In Vietnam’s busiest cities, such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, walking is one of the simplest yet best ways to explore everything, from colorful fruit inside the street vendors’ buckets to the smallest carving details in the temples.
Leisurely or not, whether you walk through packed cities or trek through idyllic, rustic and rural countryside, there are indigenous vibes you will not miss and experiences you will not forget.
- Be surrounded by Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi’s swarming traffic
- Stroll around the narrow alleys with clusters of workshops in Hanoi
- Join Ho Chi Minh City’s vibrant city life by foot
- Stop by one of the best tailors in Hoi An for your own tailor-made suit
- Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s ancient history in Hue
- Have a relaxed trekking experience around Sapa
What It Is Like to Walk in Vietnam
Walking in the cities and in the rural areas are two entirely different experiences. When crossing the street in a big city like Hanoi, you must on the lookout every moment for roaring motorbikes; but by comparison, walking or trekking in the countryside or natural landscape is peaceful and relaxing.
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City Walks in Vietnam
With all the swarming traffic in Vietnam, you will soon find out that walking around in Vietnamese cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, is extremely bizarre yet fun.
Waves of motorbikes flow around you in split seconds, but worry not, as your local guide will keep you right, showing you unique details of and stories from the city, that you can enjoy only by walking.
What to Expect:
- Chance to see hidden gems,
- Interaction with locals,
- Trying out street food,
- Being part of the daily lives of locals,
- Reducing carbon emissions.
Best Places to Do City Walks
Where are the best spots to conduct your city walking tours? Below we list some recommended spots for you.
Feel the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Vietnam simply by joining it. Beat the heat, tighten your shoelaces and explore the oldest yet busiest business district in the city, the Old Quarter.
You can spend a whole morning or afternoon in the Old Quarter as there is lots to discover, such as the following ancient relics and sites: Bach Ma temple, Quan Chuong Gate, Ly Quoc Su Temple, Hanoi’s biggest indoor market Dong Xuan and the magnificent 200-year-old Saint Joseph’s Cathedral.
Slow down and have a leisurely stop at Hoan Kiem Lake, just 10 minutes’ walk from the Old Quarter. Watch the busy traffic around the lake and enjoy the breeze under the shade of big trees. Treat yourself to an ice cream to make the stop perfect.
Hue is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in Vietnam. As such it is a perfect place for learning more about Vietnam’s centuries-old history, simply from its remnants all over the city, explained by our local guide.
The Citadel was the seat of power for the Nguyen lords in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s a key attraction you won’t want to miss. Enter from one of the eight gates, such as the Thuong Tu gate, and stroll around inside.
The Thien Mu pagoda beside Perfume River is regarded as the unofficial emblem of the city. It’s a seven-storey pagoda, 3 kilometers from the Citadel. Not far away you can find the Imperial Tombs, dating back to the 16th century.
Hoi An is another UNESCO heritage site, reflecting fusion between local culture and foreign influence, introduced by foreign merchants between the 16th and 18th centuries, particularly highlighted in its quaint architecture.
Modern Hoi An is renowned for its homemade silk, expert tailors and friendliness to pedestrians, with a walking area off-limits to cars.
The Old Town starts at the Japanese Bridge, built in the early 17th century as a temple and now a landmark of Hoi An. Stroll along the lane to enjoy an amalgamation of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles, such as at Old House Tan Ky and across from it, Old House Diep Dong Nguyen.
Continue your walk to Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Jinshang Temple, then to Chua Ong Pagoda, built in 1653 to honor a Chinese General, Quan Chong, symbolic of his loyalty and justice.
Wrap up your walking tour by wandering along the Thu Bon River and if you finish at night, enjoy the reflection of the small lamps in the river at night.
Ho Chi Minh City
You will find yourself amid many local people and striking old French architectural buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, which is culturally rich and diverse.
Start your city walk with a light breakfast in Benh Thanh Market, the largest traditional market in the downtown area. Stroll inside to examine clothing, gifts, and souvenirs.
Enrich your knowledge of history in the War Remnants Museum and in Reunification Palace. Enjoy the unique architecture in one of last bastions of Catholic influence left by the French, the Notre Dame Cathedral; and the flashy yet boldly-designed architecture of Saigon Opera House, where you can book the famous AO Show for later.
Continue your walk to Saigon Central Post Office, a gorgeous colonial building that is currently a working office. Lastly, find your way to Ho Chi Minh City Hall and if you like, wrap up your walk in a nice bar and restaurant, the Lion Brewery.
Want to personalize your city walk plan? Do not hesitate to contact us. We will gladly help you design your own city walking tour.
Trekking in Vietnam
Walking is usually arranged in old streets or old quarters to see the architecture, observe the lives of local people, and sample iconic street food. Arranged to last between half-a-day and one full day, a walking tour usually doesn’t require much preparation. It’s enough to bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated, and comfortable sandals or shoes for walking.
Trekking is arranged in remote areas such as Sapa, where there are higher physical demands, and caters for clients who are interested in adventure, landscape and ethnic minority cultures.
Usually arranged to last between 1 and 3 days, trekking is considered an adventuresome way of experiencing local culture and natural surroundings.
The Asia Highlights Experience
Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you design your own walking and trekking tours in Vietnam, according to your interests and physical condition.
Your safety and maximizing the enjoyment of your travel experience are our main priorities, so we collaborate only with experienced and knowledgeable local guides.
Check out the following links to learn more about our tours and get a head start on planning your hassle-free vacation today!
10-Day Best of Vietnam with Mekong Delta
13-Day Vietnam Classic Wonders with Sapa
14-Day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Tour
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