5 Unique Must-have Experiences in Vietnam

top places to go in vietnam

Vietnam is a country that has attracted millions of travelers with its colorful streets, jaw-droppingly beautiful nature, excellent beaches, and, of course, delicious food! We visited Hanoi in 2016 and wrote about it, too. This post is a recommendation of some of the best places to see in Vietnam :)

5 Unique Must-Have Experiences in Vietnam

As you can probably tell, this country is rich in every element that is needed for an interesting and memorable trip. However, it can be hard to figure out where to start, what to do in Vietnam, and if you need a Vietnam visa for tourists. Not to worry! This fun and practical guide will help jog a few ideas for some of the most unique and must-have experiences to have in Vietnam.

#1. Go Island Hopping in Halong Bay

Many people associate Vietnam with Halong Bay and, as such, consider it one of the main tourist attractions of the country. With such beautiful turquoise waters and grandiose rock formations, it’s no surprise why travelers flock to this area. Halong Bay is, as the name states, a bay with many islands, caves, cliffs, and grottoes located less than 200 km from the capital, Hanoi. Thanks to its unusual landscape, there are many legends and mysteries surrounding Halong Bay. The most popular story among the locals is the legend of a family of dragons who once descended from the sky and scattered emeralds, which later became the islands that can be seen to this day.

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In fact, even the name translates to the bay of the descending dragon — ‘Ha’ means descending, and ‘Long’ means dragon in Vietnamese! While visiting the area, you might encounter the island of Cat Ba, which is the largest island in Halong Bay. The island offers plenty of things to do, including three beaches, mangrove forests, and coral reefs. In fact, one part of the island is even a designated national park! If you’re planning to visit Halong Bay, the best option is to rent a motorboat to explore the most beautiful corners of this magical place (or even find something new!) just by sailing between thousands of islets.

#2. Spend the Night in a Fairytale House

If you’re constantly searching for unique, fun, or quirky accommodations, you’ll love the Hang Nga Guesthouse. Located in Da Lat, in Vietnam’s central highlands, the Hang Nga house was designed by Dang Viet Nga, the daughter of a Vietnamese political leader. She was a big fan of Gaudi and drew inspiration from his projects — as well as those of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali — in order to create this one-of-a-kind building. Although the house resembles a scene from a fairy tale movie more than an actual residential building, it’s fully operational and functions as a guesthouse for tourists! The house is made in the form of a giant tree, with ‘branches’ that serve as passages to the rooms, which are located in the central ‘trunk’ of the tree. There are also hanging gardens and figurines of various animals.

#3. See the Impressive Po Nagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang

To get a closer look at the history and architecture of Vietnam, definitely add a trip to the Cham Towers to your itinerary. These ornate towers, which were built more than a thousand years ago, are still standing to this day! Although the complex originally had eight towers in total, only four survived the test of time. The entire complex is dedicated to the goddess Yang Ino Po Nagar, the founder of the Cham ethnic group, and was intended for religious rituals. Even today, the territory is used for Buddhist ceremonies and worship of ancient ancestors.

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Another interesting fact is that locals have come for centuries to the towers to meditate, and because of this, there is special energy felt here. Likewise, there is an extensive observation deck that opens up to a lovely panorama of the city of Nha Trang.

#4. See The Most Beautiful Waterfall of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is known for many beautiful waterfalls (such as the ​​one in Krabi’s Kao Prak Bang National Park!), and Vietnam is no exception. The Ban Gioc–Detian Falls is located near the city of Cao Bang, right along the border with China. Wide rice fields, mangroves, and lush forests encircle the Detian waterfalls, which, together with the pointed peaks and mountains in the background, further complement this picturesque place and give it a magical atmosphere. The waterfall itself is a huge three-tiered cascade of water that falls from a height of nearly 30 meters. To fully enjoy the waterfalls, visitors can take a ride on a bamboo raft to the bottom of the falls.

#5. Relax and refresh at the Thap Ba hot springs

After an exciting adventure exploring the country, trying delicious Vietnamese dishes, and making plenty of memories, it’s time to kick back and relax… and what better way to do so than at the Thap Ba hot springs? Thap Ba is a mineral spring and mud bath that is popular among both locals and tourists. The baths are filled with warm spring water that is reported to revitalize the body (and mind!) thanks to the unique mix of minerals.

Wrap Up: Places to See In Vietnam

So, there you have it, five of the most unique experiences in Vietnam every traveller should check out :) Here is a vlog we made back in the day about our time in Vietnam (and a post from our sister site, veganvstravel, about how it was my trip to Vietnam that made me eventually go vegan):

What about you, what places have you been to in Vietnam? Feel free to share any tips & advice below! 

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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