Vietnam is rising on the radar as an excellent travel destination. Vietnam, which is in Southeast Asia, features stunning natural scenery, history, culture, and architecture, and is very inexpensive. All of these factors make it prevalent on quite a few travel bucket lists.
There are certain entrance requirements to be aware of. For example, knowing Vietnam visa requirements is important to make sure you are prepared to enter the country. Beyond the technicalities and logistics, if you’re planning a trip, the following are some places you might want to add to your itinerary.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is one of the most beautiful locations in Vietnam. Halong Bay brings in around 10 million visitors a year. There is an expressway that connects Hanoi and Halong City, so it’s easier than ever before to reach this area in Vietnam.
There’s also the Van Don International Airport, which is around 50 kilometers from Halong Bay. There are different boat cruises and tours you can take by boat on the Ha Long Bay. You can even opt for a luxury cruise, which pretty much gives you all the amenities of an upscale hotel on the water. If you don’t need a luxury experience, there are mid-priced and budget cruises on the Ha Long Bay too.
Hanoi has sights, food, and a lot of great color and architecture. January can be a nice time of year to visit Hanoi because even though it’s considered the cold season by Vietnam standards, in reality, it’s a nice, moderate temperature.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and when you’re there ensure you check out the Old Quarter, which is essentially an open-air museum that showcases French and Asian colonial-era architecture. Despite damage from the Vietnam War, much of the architecture is still in-tact. Other things to make sure you see while in Hanoi are the Temple of Literature, HoanKiem Lake, and the French Quarter.
Ke Bang National Park
Ke Bang National Park is more remote than some of the other destinations on this list of places to visit in Vietnam.It is fully known as World Heritage PhongNha-Ke Bang National Park.
Ke Bang National Park is the site of the Hang Son Doong, which was only discovered in the 1990s and it’s the biggest cave in the world, as confirmed in 2009. The cave is around 5 km long, and you can take a guided tour, but it can be costly to do this. Other things to do if you’re visiting the park include biking in the Bong Lai Valley, ziplining, or doing a tour that will allow you to learn about the history of war in the area. Many of these tours take place in jeeps that were part of the Army’s fleet.
Sapa is located in the northwestern area of Vietnam. Sapa is close to the Chinese border, and natural scenery includes mountain peaks and rice fields. There are villages located on the hills where you’ll find communities from different cultural backgrounds. You should know that while Sapa can certainly be worth it, it is one of the more difficult parts of the country to visit because it’s rural and remote.
Sometimes called a hidden gem, Ninh Binh has scenery that will make you feel as if you’re truly in a wow moment when you encounter it. You can go to Ninh Binh as part of a day trip from Hanoi because it’s about 100 km south of the city, or you can spend a few days there. The limestone cliffs and rice fields are magnificent. If you are going to Ninh Binh from Hanoi, you can go by train or bus.
Finally, Hue was once the capital of Vietnam, up until 1945. Now, Hue, which was referred to as the “Forbidden City” is a UNESCO site.
Hue has a modern downtown where you’ll find hotels and restaurants, as well as shops and other conveniences. These are intermixed with historic pagodas and temples, making for a unique juxtaposition. The Imperial City is arguably the most important site in Hue. This was where the emperors serving as rulers of Vietnam lived at one point.
Thien Mu Pagoda holds the distinction of the being the tallest religious building Vietnam, and it’s located along the Perfume River. The Temple of Literature is a little more under-the-radar compared to some of the other sites of Hue, but not less worth visiting. The Temple of Literature is quiet, and there is no entrance fee.