The many Vietnam attractions provide wonderful vacations in this enchanting Southeast Asia country. There are five UNESCO World Heritage Sites here, including the ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An, incredibly stunning Halong Bay and the nearby karst formations at Phong Nha Ke, and the incredible ancient ruins and Hindu temples of the My Son Sanctuary
Cruises on the Mekong River allow visitors to enjoy some of the best of several of the mainland countries of Southeast Asia. This mighty river is the world’s tenth longest. It rises on the Tibet plateau in China, and flows through Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, and Laos before spreading out into the vast alluvial plain of the Mekong Delta. Most of the river cruise ships are of the same deluxe standard that you will find on the great rivers of Europe, and cruises through more than one country are often seven to ten days long. Many of the attractions in Vietnam are found here, and many Vietnam activities are centered around the river, its tributaries, and delta.
Many of the things to do in Vietnam will be found in the delta that takes up virtually all of the southern part of the country. This is the so-called rice bowl of the country, and numerous canals have been built to crisscross vast green paddies and agricultural fields. One of the tours that can be enjoyed either from a ship or from the city, is an excursion through the canals and paddies on traditional sampans. The most visited of all Vietnam attractions is beautiful Halong Bay, with its thousands of islands on the northeast coast of the country. Cruises here are often several days in length, and many occur on beautiful, deluxe traditional junks.
Things to do in Vietnam include cycling tours. The Mekong Delta area is quite flat, and suitable for cyclers of all skills. The mountains, especially in the northwest part of the country, are superb venues for mountain biking. Mount Fansipan, highest peak in the country at more than 10,000 feet, is located here, and the region boasts lovely verdant valleys as well as some fascinating ethnic minority tribes that provide wonderful cultural interaction during cycling tours.
With more than 2,000 miles of coastline, in addition to thousands of islands, Vietnam activities include beach holidays. Most of the resorts in the country are located on the beautiful white powder beaches, and there are several luxury hotels that are fine international properties and include full-service spas. One of the best resorts even has a swimming pool so deep that it is used for diving lessons.
Most of the country’s beaches and islands are fringed with coral reefs, and some of the best diving in the world can be found here. Around the coastal city of Nha Trang is where the legendary Jacques Cousteau first discovered his passion for the sea, and this is the premier diving spot in Asia. But diving is one of the popular Vietnam activities just about anywhere on the coast, including islands such as Cat Ba and Phu Quoc.
Golfing may not be one of the things to do in Vietnam that first comes to your mind, but the sport has been popular here since the 1920s when it was first imported to the charming little hill city of Dalat by French colonials. Today, you will find the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, that hits most of the courses from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
If rivers and ocean don’t provide enough water for you, you can enjoy beautiful urban lakes surrounded by parks in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Some of these Vietnam attractions are natural freshwater lakes, and some are artificial lakes built by royalty of ancient eras. Many figure prominently is the history of the country, and boast lovely pagodas and temples.
In addition to mountain biking, you will find that several of the country’s mountains are attractions in Vietnam that have significance to Vietnam War veterans both native and from the United States. These same mountains are important in the country’s ancient history and are surrounded by numerous myths and legends. In the Mekong Delta in the south, there are many mountains that are isolated peaks in the large flat plains, and many of these played strategic roles in the Vietnamese wars with the French and Americans. Some of the most famous of these are the Marble Mountains near famous China Beach.
Temples and Pagodas
Many of the lakes—especially in Hanoi—have center islands that are graced with elegant temples and pagodas. You will also find these beautiful structures at the foot of mountains or on their peaks, and they are dedicated to gods, deities, and legends from the past. But you will find that almost all things to do in Vietnam will include visits to a pagoda or temple, as they are part of the everyday life of the people and are located everywhere. They appear on the itineraries of just about everyone who enjoys vacations in the country. They are in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, in small mountain villages, on deserted islands, and even in the most humble of homes.