Vietnam is a jewel of Southeast Asia, with its rolling hills, lush rice paddies and stunning coastline. A fantastic blend of busy cities, quaint countryside and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Vietnam has a little something for everyone. Whether it’s eating your way around Hanoi, swimming in the unique Halong Bay or sampling fresh fruit in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam will awaken your senses and leave you longing to return to this beautiful part of the world. Keep reading to discover some of the best experiences in Vietnam!
Stay on a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay
Halong Bay is possibly one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in Vietnam. A canvas of glistening water, towering limestone islands and lush greenery, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect place to kick back and relax with a postcard perfect backdrop wherever you look. Explore cave systems, kayak among the marine life and swim to your heart’s content. Staying on a traditional junk boat makes the experience that little bit more special, as you can stay overnight and experience the sunrise in this magical destination.
Cruise the Mekong Delta
The Mekong River is the seventh longest in southeast Asia, spanning Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China. Life in southern Vietnam revolves very much around the Delta, and a lot of the villages are accessible far easier by river than they are by road! Cruising down the river on a longboat, passing villagers going about their daily lives and even stopping off for a homemade meal is a highlight of the region. You can also sample snake wine – if you are brave enough!
Get lost in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
The Old Quarter in Hanoi is a maze of motorbikes, shops, cafes and crumbling colonial buildings. Each street is named after the goods that it used to sell, from Silk Street to Cotton Street. The busy lanes eventually reach Hoan Kiem Lake, a peaceful oasis for when the noise of tooting horns becomes too much! On the lake sits the tranquil Ngoc Son Temple. This is a great place to explore and watch the locals catch up over a coffee. The Old Quarter is the ultimate foodie heaven, from street food vendors to niche vegan restaurants, dessert houses to high end restaurants. Simply walking through the streets after dark, when seemingly everyone comes out to play, is an experience in itself!
Take a cooking class in Hoi An
Vietnamese food is known for using plenty of fresh ingredients and a huge assortment of local vegetables and herbs. We are yet to come across a traveller who does not enjoy the Vietnamese cuisine! While you can find foodie tours and cooking classes up and down the country, Hoi An is known for having some of the best. They will take you to the local market, stock up on fresh produce and then show you the secrets behind the mouth watering Vietnamese spring roll as – well as other delicious delicacies. We can safely say an authentic cooking class in Hoi An is one of the best experiences in Vietnam.
Go hiking in Sapa
Northern Vietnam has some of the richest and lushest scenery in the country. It is also home to Vietnam’s highest mountain; Fansipan! Sapa is accessible by train from Hanoi in around 5 hours, so it’s easy to do an overnight trip. It’the perfect place to experience picture perfect rice paddies as well as more remote charming villages. It is best to stay overnight and enjoy some of the lovely hiking trails around the area, taking in the fresh mountain air and meeting friendly locals on the way.