From must-do activities like cruising around Halong Bay or crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels to brag-worthy feats like drinking snake wine or scuba diving in the South China Sea, here are 40 unforgettable experiences to have in Vietnam. See how many you can check off on your trip.
Halong Bay Taichi
1. Ride a classic cyclo, Vietnam’s ubiquitous three-wheel bicycle taxis.
2. Tuck into a bowl of steaming pho at a street-side restaurant.
3. Light incense at the famous Perfume Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most famous Buddhist shrines.
4. Take a bike tour of Hoi An’s charming Old Town.
5. Hire a motorbike and zoom along the city streets.
6. Attend one of Vietnam’s unique festivals like the Elephant Racing Festival in Tay Nguyen, the Huong Pagoda Festival or the Le Mat Snake Village Festival.
7. Take a hill tribe trek through the Sapa Valley.
8. Get a suit or dress tailor-made in Hoi An.
9. Learn about Vietnam’s turbulent war years at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
10. Watch a traditional water puppet show in Hanoi.
Vietnam Cyclo Tour
11. Take a street food tour of Hanoi.
12. Ride a dug-out canoe around Lak Lake.
13. Visit the Cai Be floating market on a cruise along the Mekong Delta.
14. Try scuba diving in Nha Trang.
15. Crawl through the famous Cu Chi Tunnels on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City.
16. Check out Vietnam’s tallest temple, the seven-story Tien Mu Pagoda in Hue.
17. Top up your tan at the white sand beaches of Phu Quoc island.
18. Go sandboarding down the Mui Ne sand dunes.
19. Experience Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage with a show at the Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh.
20. Hunt for bargains at the markets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Street Food in Vietnam
21. Enjoy wildlife spotting and bird watching in the UNESCO-listed Can Gio Biosphere Reserve.
22. Savor the unique flavors of Vietnamese cuisine with a cooking class.
23. Visit the UNESCO-listed ruins of My Son.
24. Attend a traditional Vietnamese wedding.
25. Ride the scenic Reunification Express train all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city.
26. Hike through the Cuc Phuong National Park.
27. Get off-the-beaten-track and explore the natural grottoes of Tam Coc.
28. Take a cruise around Halong Bay on a Junk boat.
29. Purchase some typical Vietnamese souvenirs, like a conical hat, a tailored silk blouse or local handicrafts.
30. Discover Hue’s UNESCO-listed Imperial City.
Sapa Rice Terraces
31. Pay your respects to the founder of unified Vietnam at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex in Hanoi.
32. Photograph the spectacular rice terraces surrounding Sapa.
33. Ride a seaplane over Halong Bay.
34. Look down over Ho Chi Minh City from the Saigon Skydeck.
35. Join the festivities at the vibrant Tet Festival, the Vietnamese New Year.
36. Scale Vietnam’s highest peak, Fan Si Pan.
37. Try Vietnam’s scariest beverage, Snake Wine – if you dare.
38. Stroll through the spectacular Paradise Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
39. Take a steamy bath in the Thanh Tan Hot Springs.
40. Enjoy a traditional foot massage while lounging on the beach./.