When you're planning your trip to Vietnam, you want to make sure to lay out your itinerary so you have time to see everything you're interested in. Luckily, we've assembled a list to make your vacation planning easier.
Here are the top 10 Vietnam attractions that you must see on your trip.
The War Remnants Museum
Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the War Remnants Museum is essential to visit for history buffs. This museum details the brutal history of the American war in Vietnam. It does so by displaying graphic photographs and actual weapons from the conflict. The section dedicated to chemical warfare is especially heart-breaking and touching.
While children are permitted to enter the museum, use your discretion when deciding whether to take yours along. The images may be disturbing or upsetting even for adults, as they accurately depict a violent war.
Cu Chi Tunnels
If you don't get your fill of Vietnam War history at the War Remnants Museum, then the Cu Chi Tunnels will provide further insight into the war's history. These tunnels are more than 120km long and they were constructed by Viet Cong soldiers during the war.
Visitors can travel through these tunnels and experience first hand what the environment would have been like for these soldiers. They can also try firing the weapons that were used during the war and can taste some of the food that soldiers would have eaten, as well as experience a guided tour of the various traps placed by the Viet Cong.
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
While you are in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, make sure to also check out Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, another of the essential Vietnam attractions in this city. This cathedral was built in the 19th century, inspired by the European influence in Vietnam in this time period, and resembles its bigger brother in Paris, as you might have guessed from the name.
Many of the building materials for this cathedral were actually imported from France. Both the interior and exterior of the cathedral are incredibly impressive and feature gorgeous stained glass windows.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
If you're more of an adventurous traveller, you will enjoy visiting this beautiful national park in Quang Binh Province. Visitors can also enjoy cycling, mountain climbing, or kayaking through the park.
This park also features a variety of limestone caves and caverns that are perfect for exploring. These caves include impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations that are incredible to see. In fact, the largest cave in the world is located here, as well as several smaller, but no less impressive, caverns.
Sand Dunes of Mui Ne
While the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park features beautiful mountains, caves, and lakes, the sand dunes of Mui Ne feature a completely different landscape. These dunes are a geological wonder and are some of the most beautiful sand dunes in Asia, and inspires a feeling that you’ve left Asia altogether and stepped onto the barren and mesmerizing landscape of Mars.
Visitors can even rent plastic sleds to slide down the dune, or pay a driver to take them up and down the steep sand dunes, a truly memorable experience, though not for those faint of heart or scared of heights.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
Located on the northern border with China is the fourth largest frontier waterfall in the world, Ban Gioc Waterfall. A trip up to the stunning waterfall and the surrounding pools (where you can take a refreshing swim) is absolutely amazing, and the local guides will take you out on a boat so close to the falls that you’ll feel the spray hitting your face.
Khai Dinh Tomb
For folks who are more interested in architecture, the Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue is essential for their list of Vietnam attractions. This tomb blends both Vietnamese and European Gothic styles of architecture, making it a particularly unique attraction. Notable features include murals surrounding the burial site as well as beautiful bronze statues.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Another essential stop for architecture and history lovers is Hoi An Ancient Town, which is the highlight of many people’s entire trip to Vietnam. The town features a wide variety of architectural styles, including French colonial style homes, Chinese temples, Japanese bridges, and an old canal system, and the majority of the buildings remain untouched from the city’s glory days as a medieval trading port from the 15th century.
The town itself is small enough to get around on foot and features traditional shops and street performers. A cycling tour can also be a fun way to get around town and explore the places to shop and eat. At night, head down to the waterfront to take in the lanterns that light the river at night.
Complex of Hue Monuments
Hue Imperial City is set on the Perfume River and features a wide variety of beautiful ancient monuments dating back to the 19th century. A few notable monuments include the Forbidden Purple City, pagodas, royal quarters, and royal temples. There is also a library and museum that visitors can tour.
Much of this city was dedicated to housing the royal family of the Nguyen Dynasty and their servants. In addition to the beautiful buildings, the imperial city also features magnificent landscaping, making the overall experience breath-taking.
Temple of Literature
Another stop for history buffs in Vietnam is the Temple of Literature in Hanoi. This temple is dedicated to Confucius and was built in the 11th century. Statues of Confucius and his disciples can be seen around the temple grounds.
Additionally, the temple also honours the work of scholars and academics throughout the years. In fact, this temple was the site of the very first university in Vietnam, The Imperial Academy. The academic and scholarly atmosphere of the temple is complimented by the landscape, which features beautiful greenery and ponds.
Plan Your Tour of Vietnam Attractions
There is plenty to see and do on your trip to Vietnam. And, with the exchange rate, you will be able to afford to fit many activities into your budget, much more than you would be able to in other destinations. With these ten attractions on your list, you'll be sure to have a trip that you won't soon forget.
Whether you enjoy history, architecture, or nature, Vietnam has something to offer you. If you're ready to start planning your Vietnam adventure, then check out our customized tours. These tours will help you see everything on your list with the help of an experienced guide, and as they’re customizable down to the smallest detail, ensure that you only spend time on the destinations and sights you’re personally interested in.