The 4 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

With 99 million inhabitants and a coastline stretching over 2,000 miles between north and south, there are plenty of people to get to know and plenty to explore and do, as well as food in Vietnam. I first went there in 2004 and have visited several times since. It’s simple to take the tourist path of the historic Hanoi and the ethereal Halong Bay, shopping emporium Hoi An and buzzy Ho Chi Minh City; however, you should go a bit further, and you’ll be rewarded with unforgettable moments. The following four places are the best to visit in Vietnam, so stay tuned!


Hanoi is bustling, crowded and gorgeous all at once. The city that dates back to the year 1000 was founded on the bend of the Red River and is full of charm, history museums, shops, markets, and delicious street food. Do not miss visiting the Old Quarter, the heart of the city. Here, you’ll find plenty of food hotels, temples and hotels tucked in with shops. 

Be aware of motorbikes when you’re on a street-food tour or walking around the coloured ochre French colonial homes, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum as well as The Temple of Literature, the “Hanoi Hilton” prison museum of Hoa Lo and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

Ha Giang

Ha Giang is Vietnam’s northernmost region that is pushing towards the frontier with China. It’s an ethereal landscape with sugarloaf mountains, mountain passes and rice paddies that have been carved into steep mountain peaks. 

Explore villages such as Red Dzao, Flower Hmong and other minorities from the local area market, eco-stays, and markets. It’s an opportunity to enter into the traditional, rural lifestyle like weaving. Do not miss a chance to visit the Palace of the Hmong king, who made income from opium farming. While on the way, stop in the magnificent rice paddy area in Mu Cang Chai.

As you plan your next Vietnam travel experience, consider these four must-see spots. Start in bustling Hanoi to immerse yourself in its rich history and vibrant street life; cruise Ha Long Bay’s breathtaking landscapes of emerald waters and towering limestone islands; don’t miss ancient Hoi An with its well-preserved architecture and colourful lanterns; finally take in Ho Chi Minh where modern skyscrapers meet historical landmarks for an unparalleled mix of past and present.

Hue and the DMZ

Hue was the centre of culture and the powerhouse of the Nguyen Emperors, Vietnam’s final imperial dynasty. They constructed a citadel decorated with bronze, enamel and lacquer, and with gates for them as well as elephants and their comrades inspired by Beijing’s Forbidden Cities of Beijing. 

They arose in lavish regal splendour, surrounded by concubines as well as Eunuchs. And they fashioned their last resting places, all gothic-meets-Confucius and geomantic in design, landscaped with streams, statues and elaborate graves that trace the serpentine route of Hue’s Perfume River. 

It is often omitted by travellers who prefer Hoi An as a central Vietnam visit, but you shouldn’t overlook this one. The thousands of dishes served by the imperial family are consumed as well. From here, you can explore what is known as the Demilitarized Zone, marking the border created by the Soviet North in 1954 as well as the US-backed South.

Pu Luong and Mai Chau

A short distance to Hanoi are these lovely getaways nestled in green rice fields that glow in the sun. The Pu Luong nature reserve, with its eco-retreats, homestays, and other accommodations, wanders through the rice orchards and paddies of the Muong people. You can also take a cruise in the traditional bamboo raft through an area that is covered using traditional wheels for water. 

This region is home to a rare Asian black bear, Owston’s palm Civet and threatened Delacour’s langur. North is the stunning Mai Chau Valley, a tranquil landscape that is carved out of rice paddies. Stay at the charming Avana Retreat constructed by the local Hmong, White Thai and Black Thai people.