Whether you’re a traveling foodie, shopper, history buff, or nature lover, you’re going to find something to love in Vietnam. The country is a splendid showcase of astounding landscapes, ancient architecture, sensational shopping, and delectable cuisine. Check out the four best places to visit when you make the trip to beautiful Vietnam.
A boat tour through Halong Bay is an absolute must when visiting Vietnam, as it provides a surreal and captivating experience you’ll remember forever. It would, after all, be extremely tough to forget a breathtaking adventure snaking through limestone pillars and forest-topped islets atop a deep blue-green sea.
Absorbing the spectacular scenery is enough of an adventure to fill your agenda while there, and you can top it off with an overnight stay on a boat if booked in advance. Cruise offerings range from budget to luxury, so shop around and read customer reviews until you find one that fits your requirements.
Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon)
As Vietnam’s biggest and most bustling city, Ho Chi Minh City automatically makes it onto the list of best places to visit in Vietnam. This crazy commercial hub features an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés, a captivating people-watching scene, and the best shopping in the entire country. It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for silk, coffee, or one-of-a-kind souvenirs, you’re going to find it Ho Chi Minh City.
Additional highlights of this magnificent metro area include the HCMC Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral, both located in the central district of Dong Khoi. The historic district of Da Kao is another alluring spot, featuring remarkable architecture and the spectacular Jade Emperor Pagoda.
History buffs can even more fully satiate their hunger for ancient treasures in the city of Hoi An, a showplace of Vietnam’s most impressive surviving structures. The city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the historic city center provides a pedestrian-friendly, car-free area ripe for exploration.
Old merchant houses that date back to the 1400s are a must-see, with several open to the public for your reminiscing pleasure. The Japanese Covered Bridge, built in the late 1500s by the local Japanese community, is another notable attraction, as are the tailor shops peppered throughout the city’s center. Despite its multiple tourist attractions and shopping opportunities, the overall vibe of Hoi An remains relatively laid back.
Just a few hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City lies a different, calmer Vietnam. The Mekong Delta refers to the area surrounding the Mekong River and is peppered with tiny traditional villages, markets stocked with an array of exotic fruits, and handmade boats slowly winding down the river.
To get a break from the hustle of HCMC, book a stay in a traditional home in the Mekong Delta, which generally includes tantalizing meals and cooking lessons. During the day, you can explore the lush greenery in the area, or hop on a boat and take a tour of the area’s famous floating markets accompanied by a local guide.
In addition to a sense of adventure and valid passport, make sure you bring along a Vietnam visa. Go for expedited visa service from Swift, and you can be quickly on your way to enjoy the incredible experience of exploring Vietnam.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.