Vietnam is a rising star. From the devastation it experienced during the harrowing years of the Vietnam War, the country has found its feet and is now taking long strides towards globalization, closing in on long-standing Southeast Asian powerhouses like Singapore. Its urban centers sizzle with modernity, while the countryside clings proudly to the rich treasures of its past. Discover how Vietnam is bridging its past with its future by experiencing these must-do activities on your holiday there.
Cruise Along Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay, with its picturesque if surreal vistas, is hands-down the most popular nature destination in Vietnam. Dotted with limestone islands sprouting from aquamarine waters and walled with limestone crags carpeted with emerald-green foliage. Ha Long Bay is considered to be one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia.
Take a Boat Ride Down to the Mekong Delta
A short day trip on a boat southward from Ho Chi Minh City will take you to the Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Vietnam. Channels of the great Mekong River snake through this region, providing much-needed irrigation to the verdant rice fields scattered along the delta. Along the river, you will find riverside villages and colorful floating markets.
Buy Bespoke Clothes in Hoi An
You don’t need to go to Italy, London or New York to buy a bespoke suit and spend a fortune in the process. Tailors in Hoi An Old Town can create a suit or set of clothes custom-made for you for only a fraction of the price. If the suit is simple enough, you can have it within the day. Have your measurements taken early in the morning, explore the city, and return to the shop for your finished suit in the afternoon.
Visit one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site at My Son Temple
The My Son temple complex is considered to be one of the most important temple complexes in Southeast Asia, comparable to Borobodur in Indonesia and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The complex houses ancient buildings and artwork, many of which were partially destroyed during the Vietnam War.
Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
Did you know that there are around 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam? You can learn more about the culture and way of life of these ethnic tribes by viewing the exhibits at Hanoi’s Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
Hike to a Hill Tribe Village Outside Sa Pa
While you can learn a lot about Vietnam’s ethnic tribes on a visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, nothing will ever beat the experience of visiting a tribal village and learning about their culture firsthand on your holiday. One way you can do this is by trekking the mountains just outside the city of Sa Pa, where you can find villages settled by the Hmong and Dao peoples. Have a good look at their breathtaking rice terraces while you’re on your holiday there.
Tour the DMZ
Unlike the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, Vietnam’s DMZ is open for exploration. Here you will learn a lot about the two Indochina wars that devastated the country. The first war is the French Indochina War that led to the end of French colonial rule and the separation of the country into North and South Vietnam. The second one is the Vietnam War, where the defeat of the Americans led to the unification of Vietnam under a communist regime.
Take a Glimpse of Vietnam’s Imperial History at Hue
Before the French came to colonize Vietnam, the country was ruled by a series of imperial dynasties. The last of these dynasties, the Nguyen, moved the country’s capital city from Hanoi to Hue. Descendants of the imperial Nguyen family now live in exile in France, but their former home has retained marks of their legacy.
Crash a Beach Party in Nha Trang.
The coastal city of Nha Trang is known for its beautiful white beaches and its exciting nightlife. Let your hair down and join a party at the beach on your visit to the city. You’re sure to make new friends there.
Go on a Food Trip.
Vietnamese food is considered to be one of the tastiest and healthiest of Southeast Asian cuisines. Thanks to its focus on fresh ingredients and its lack of dairy- and oil-based foods. Traveling to Vietnam just to sample the food is worth the money, time and effort.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Vietnam right now.