A relatively new tourist destination, Vietnam has already won the hearts of travelers with its distinctive culture, amazing natural landscapes, rich variety of flora and fauna. They come here not only to see the sights of Vietnam, but also to rest their soul, to get a real relaxation. So what to see in Vietnam first? What to include in the list of places to visit?
Staying in such an exotic country requires special attention to the organization of the tour program. Guides in Vietnam can offer dubious options for travel, but with our list of the most famous tourist sites you can avoid communicating with scammers and return after a holiday completely satisfied.
The southern part of the country, little explored by tourists, has an amazing nature. There are many interesting places to see with your own eyes. Excursions in Ho Chi Minh City in this region are inexpensive and excellent for beginner travelers. The Mekong River Delta, located in the southern part of the country, is a truly exotic place. It attracts tourists like a magnet. To see the sights of Vietnam, located here, will require about 1-3 days.
In the eastern part of the delta is Ho Chi Minh City, so no wonder that this place is loved by tourists and locals. This is also where Phu Quoc Island is located in the area. A trip along the river will provide the most positive experience for a long time. After that, you can rent a junk and sail between the islands, of which there are many. Each of them in itself is interesting. For example, you can visit a factory that produces coconut candy. At the beginning of the journey through the delta, you can take a leisurely stroll along the shores, where the floating houses of the locals are located.
Sightseeing in Vietnam can be good for your own health. Especially if you make a trip to the hot springs of Mu An. They are located in Hue, which is located in the central part of the country.
Thermal springs are notable for their convenient location and proximity to the common routes of tourists. To visit them, you need to get away from the city just 7 km. The temperature in the springs is about 52 degrees. Directly in the pool - no more than 42 degrees. These springs are very popular among local residents. The water is useful for skin diseases, skin lesions. Healing this place and for people suffering from digestive disorders, as well as for allergic people. The air contains negatively charged ions. The smell from the water is not very pleasant (hydrogen sulfide aroma), but you can drink it. It is believed that it helps with constipation and flatulence. The resort has a spa complex and restaurant, as well as a cozy hotel.
Traveling to this exotic country should be done in comfort. Planning your trip and deciding what to visit in Vietnam, you need to decide on the place of residence. If you want to literally be in a fairy tale, then the Hang Nga guest house is what you need. This non-standard hotel resembles a tree, “overgrown” with architectural forms. The idea of creating such an unusual hotel belongs to the architect Dang Viet Nga. Therefore, you should definitely pay attention to this fantastic structure.
The hotel’s exterior looks like a surreal object. Especially complementary to the overall impression are unusual windows and holes made in different shapes. The hotel itself is located in a huge tree, and its buildings are made in the form of strange animals, looking more like a giraffe and a spider. Despite the strange name “Crazy House”, it is an object that attracts tourists. This unusual hotel is located in the resort town of Dalat. Its rooms are comfortable and convenient. Lodging here, you can really make a trip into a fairy tale.
Official site: http://www.crazyhouse
The country is famous for its unique landscapes, original cuisine and quite interesting history. The sights of Vietnam will capture the imagination of even the most sophisticated travelers. One example is Halong Bay.
According to ancient legend, on the site where the bay is now, once lived a big dragon. One day, leaving the tracks of its powerful paws and tail on the ground, the monster went into the sea. The ravines eventually filled with water. Only the land where the dragon never set foot remained on the surface. It has survived to this day. Now these islets are the main decoration of the bay.
The bay covers about 1,500 square kilometers. On its territory there are a countless number of caves, rocks and cliffs. Is it worth talking about the islands, of which, according to scientists, there are more than 3,000?
The three sites in the bay are considered the most popular among tourists:
Halong Bay is a place to enjoy beautiful views and get a closer look at the secrets and mysteries of the past.
Vietnam’s sights introduce tourists not only to nature, but also to local history. Proof of this is the tomb of Khai Dinh. It is not as large as other similar structures. However, the tomb has many interesting features, such as the striking architecture and the unusual decorations.
The tomb was built in great detail. The process of its construction took 11 years. The emperor buried here gave his whole life to the struggle for freedom and independence of the state, for its development.
Before the visitor gets inside the structure, he passes 36 steps and the Court of Honor, which contains sculptures of the emperor’s courtiers. But that is not its peculiarity. The glass and porcelain mosaics and the pavilion of praise attract more attention.
The tomb itself is not neglected either. It contains a gilded box, around which are beautiful engravings and lanterns. You can visit the tomb from the morning until 5 pm.
The city of Hue, near where the site is located, was once the capital of Vietnam (during the Nguyen Dynasty).
Vietnam’s sights encompass not only nature and history, but also religion. A great example is the statue of Jesus Christ located in Vung Tau. In fact, it is the counterpart of the monument from Rio de Janeiro.
This landmark is located just 100 meters from the coast on a low mountain. It appeared in 1974. But the entrance for tourists was not opened until 20 years later. The construction of the statue was sponsored by the Catholic community of Vietnam.
The hands of Christ spread out to 18 meters, the height of the monument reaches 32 meters. Inside, there are 133 steps up which you can get to the observation deck. From there you can see the city and the sea. To get to the statue you have to climb 500 meters (811 steps).
The Christian community, to which the site owes its existence, was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese. However, at that time it was not widespread. That all changed a century later with the arrival of the Jesuits. Thanks to their work, the community now has about 8,000,000 people. They are the main custodians and visitors of the unique statue and its observation deck.
Many tourists, coming here for the first time, ask quite a pertinent question: what to see in Vietnam? The answer is simple - cultural and architectural monuments, temple complexes, beautiful beaches, natural parks can impress even the most fastidious tourists. They hide secrets from the past and the long history of the state. One example is the villas Bao Dai.
Villas - a complex of five buildings that are surrounded by an incredibly beautiful park. They were built back in the 1920s under the direction of the French architect A. Crème. The author of the park was a local gardener. His name, unfortunately, has not been preserved.
The name of the place came from the Emperor Bao Dai, who used it as his summer residence. The villas remained in this status for many years. This has contributed to the fact that both the buildings themselves and the park have remained in good condition.
Nowadays the complex is open for tourists. Everyone can visit the museum, the restaurant, the park and the beach. In addition, vacationers have the opportunity to stay in a comfortable hotel.
The villas of Bao Dai still have luxury and sophistication. Visitors can look at everyday objects, clothes, and personal belongings of the emperor’s family. They can try on some of the outfits and sit on the throne.
From Mount Cu Lao you can see the whole of Nha Trang. There also proudly rise the famous attractions of Vietnam - Cham Temple Towers Po Nagar. Outwardly they look like quite modern buildings, but in fact their history began more than 1,000 years ago.
The Cham Towers are part of a complex that was built during the Champa Kingdom (hence the name). According to the locals, this area is sacred. Therefore, rituals and ceremonies are held here.
Visitors will only be able to see four of the dozen towers, the rest simply have not survived. They are different both in style and in size. Each Cham tower is used to serve a different deity.
The northern tower is considered the most important and is also the tallest. The height of the structure is almost 30 meters. It was intended for the worship of the queen mother named Po Nagar. At the entrance of the tower you can see a sculpture of Shiva on a bull. Inside is a twenty-meter statue of the goddess Po-Nagar herself.
Those who plan to visit the complex should take care of their clothes in advance. You can enter it only barefoot, without headgear, with shoulders and knees covered. If necessary, you can take balaclavas near the entrance.
Tien Mu Pagoda was founded back in 1601. Its name means “heavenly fairy”. It is associated with an old legend. One day, an old woman appeared on the mountain. She told people that the mountain was sacred, and then climbed into the sky. In the place indicated by her and was laid the foundation of the pagoda.
Since then, the building has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. During the reign of one of the emperors it had seven tiers (total height 20 m). This is the form in which the pagoda has survived to this day. The seven tiers symbolize the incarnations of Buddha.
Around Tien Mu is a beautiful garden, with sculptures, pavilions, a pond with orchids and a sea of other flowers. And that’s not all there is to see. Guides in Hue are sure to show a huge bell that weighs up to three tons. They will also pay attention to the collection of bronzes on display in one of the pavilions.
All visitors to the pagoda have the opportunity to look down on the fragrant river. And they can also experience the atmosphere that has reigned in the holy place for several centuries.
Vietnam’s sights can be listed for a long time. These are architectural, religious, and cultural monuments. Here we can also include the incredible beauty of nature. Each of the significant places has its own special history. One example is the Monkey Island, located about 20 km from Nha Trang. This attraction got its name from the large number of monkeys that live there. Scientists estimate that there are about 2,000 of them on the island.
In the past there was a nursery on the island. In it they bred animals for further shipment to different countries of the world. After the kennel was closed, and hundreds of monkeys became full owners of the entire island. Almost all of them are friendly to tourists. Monkeys gladly take treats from the hands of people, allowing after that to make a photo with a memory. But sometimes they can be aggressive, snatching from the hands of cameras, food, glasses, etc.
In addition to interacting with animals, tourists have many more options for what to see in Vietnam. They can enjoy relaxing on local beaches, shopping, and trying Vietnamese food in restaurants. Monkey Island has everything they need for a good vacation for both adults and children.
Official website: http://longphutourist.com/
Excursions in Vietnam are amazingly diverse, and there are programs for every category of vacationers: extreme athletes, athletes, families with children, the elderly, young people and lovers of ancient relics. All you have to do to guarantee yourself a fabulous time in this country is know where you’d like to go!
The list of things to visit in Vietnam continues with the architectural monument, Mai Son. It is a place that hides countless secrets of the past. Throughout its existence, it has been exposed to dangers. For example, during the Indochina War, the sanctuary of the temple complex was looted. In the late 1970s, the main temples were destroyed in a bombing raid. Only a few structures have survived to this day. Tourists can see a diagram of their location at the entrance. Only one temple has been restored. The rest are piles of bricks and other building materials, densely overgrown with grass.
Many people think that all of these attractions in Vietnam superficially similar. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that this is not the case. Each building had a role to play: some were used for rituals, others were used to make sacrifices, and still others held countless treasures.
Virtually every structure in Mai Son had a tower. Their height was thought to indicate the power and greatness of the king. And not only the height - the incredible in their beauty sculptures and bas-reliefs also spoke of the glory of the ruler. Excavations in the temple complex are still going on.
The Cuci Tunnels are landmarks in Vietnam reminiscent of the events of the time of American expansion. They are otherwise known as the underground village. And not in vain, as the tunnels stretch for more than 180 km. The whole 15 years they were digging with improvised means.
What to see in Vietnam in the tunnels Kuchi:
Everyone, in addition to the tour, can visit the beach. There are several: family, lazy, surfer and others.
Official website: http://en.diadaocuchi.com.vn/
What to see in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City? You can start your acquaintance with the local attractions with the Museum of War Victims. It is located in the heart of the city, and from Pham Gu Lao Street it can be reached on foot. This is one of the most visited places by tourists. Admission ticket price is about 15 thousand dong, which in rubles is about 24.
The spectacle, which opens to the visitor, leads to a state of shock, but to visit such attractions in Vietnam is necessary. The museum exhibit includes cages where prisoners were held, instruments of torture and the guillotine. In the courtyard are tanks, planes and other military equipment from the war. You can touch and look inside the military equipment, but it is not allowed to climb on it. In the halls are pictures that depict the victims of those events. Real weapons, which are part of the exposition, strike the imagination. Sad statistics about the people affected by the war are also presented here.
Official website: http://www.baotangchungtichchientranh.vn/
Going on a trip, it is advisable to plan your itinerary in advance and decide what attractions you would like to see in Vietnam. One of the interesting places are White Dunes and Lotus Lake, located near the village of Mui Ne. The distance from this small town to the destination of the trip is about 30 kilometers. It is most convenient to overcome it by bike, which is available for rent. If you want you can book an excursion here.
If the tourist came to rest in the country for the first time and does not know what to visit in Vietnam, you should go straight here. Start the journey better in the morning, in this case you do not have to travel all the way through the heat. Entrance to the territory of White Dune is paid, but the ticket price is only 15000 VND. Incredibly beautiful view, which is before your eyes, fully justifies the long journey and the money spent. The sight is so incredible that it gives the impression of being not in Vietnam but in the African desert. There are almost no people here, and you can in solitude think about your own, enjoy the solitude. In the middle of the dunes is the Lotus Lake, which amazes with the beauty of delicate flowers.
You can take a fascinating trip to Phu Quoc Island, where the famous pepper plantation is located. This route has only recently begun to be explored by tourists. There is almost no infrastructure, but the island has preserved the unique nature. Such attractions must visit Vietnam. You can go to the plantation alone or as part of a tour group.
The pepper grown here has a special taste and is considered the best in the world. Locals call Phu Quoc the kingdom of pepper, and among other things, not in vain. This plant is grown almost all over the island, but the largest plantation is located just in Hutuong. Here you can take pictures in front of real thickets of peppers. The plants reach a height of about 3 meters. Workers often have to use ladders to climb the plants to gather the best harvest. Harvesting time is from February to July. The plantation is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Definitely worthy of being on the top attractions in Vietnam, the Golden Bridge is the newest object, which appeared in the summer of 2018. The golden-colored bridge hangs over the picturesque mountainous landscape at 1,400 meters above sea level, so throughout its 150 meters, you can lean on the railing to view the mountainous panorama of Ba Na Hill. By the way, this place was a favorite recreation area of the ruling French authorities here at the beginning of the last century. The entire bridge structure rests on the edge of a leafy cliff and from a distance looks like a strip of gold floating above the treetops and going somewhere in the sky. And perhaps the main highlight of this construction is that the canvas of the bridge is carefully “supported” by giant stone hands - the image of the caring hands of God.
In Vietnam you can find something interesting in Hue city, the so called Forbidden Purple City, excursion to which takes you back to another time, five centuries ago. At that time, a beautiful palace complex was created for the emperor’s family and his concubines. During its existence, the palace town managed to become famous for its unprecedented luxury, which could afford only emperors and their loved ones. Unfortunately, the war with the U.S. caused considerable damage to the town, in which most of the buildings were destroyed. Today tourists have the opportunity to visit some of the surviving parts of the complex, such as the restored Royal Theater, the Imperial Library, and one of the buildings that houses a collection of imperial clothing and old photographs.
About 70 km from Da Nang, the ruins of the ancient Hindu complex of Mishon can be seen. It was built at a time when the ancient state of Champa existed on the territory of Vietnam - it was about the 7th to the 17th century. All that remains of the once great prosperous principality is this ruined temple complex. Mishon consists of several areas suitable for study. The first is the main temple itself, the best preserved of all the other structures. The second is the area most mottled by the remains of the bombs, and the third is the modern part resulting from the restoration of the structures. The modern temple buildings in this area completely repeat the features and appearance of the structures that existed here before.
Conventionally, Vietnam can be divided into northern, southern, and central parts. And if the southern cities are famous for excellent conditions for the beach, resort towns and tropical climate, the pristine nature and ancient architectural monuments is known north of Vietnam. What to see in Hanoi? In fact, this northern city has concentrated a lot of interesting places, among which is the Hanoi Citadel, the largest landmark in the country. On the territory of the fortress you can visit a lot of structures of different times: palaces, gates, museums, a number of archaeological monuments - excavations are still going on here today. The citadel was founded in 1010 and for many years was the political center of the country. However, the oldest surviving structure today is the foundation of the Quint Thien Palace, founded in 1467.
Official website: http://www.hoangthan
One of the most visited sites in Hanoi is the tomb of the first North Vietnamese president, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The tomb is located in Bac Ninh Square, where Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the country’s independence in 1945. The president himself, who had previously willed to have his body cremated after his death, died exactly on the next anniversary of the declaration of independence. His successors did not fulfill his will and embalmed his body, which was kept in a secret place for several years and then six years later was placed within the walls of the newly opened mausoleum. The mausoleum has a height of about 20 meters and includes three tiers: the first has an area for official speeches of political leaders, the second contains the funeral hall, where the body of the Vietnamese President is kept, on the third tier there is a panoramic platform, where the windows overlook the park spread around the mausoleum.
The tomb of Emperor You Duc was built in the 1960s
A trip to central Vietnam can also open up a lot of new experiences. Reviews indicate that in Hue the most famous attraction is the tomb of Emperor Ty Duc. It is the largest of the seven tombs located on the banks of the Aromatic River a few kilometers from the city, and is a whole complex consisting of several structures - steles, gates, pavilions, gardens, triple pagodas and the tomb itself. The whole complex is located in a picturesque area with a lake, some of its structures are located in the most part of the forest. The work on the tomb began during the emperor’s lifetime and lasted 13 years. Originally there were about 50 structures on this territory, but today only about a dozen have survived. The main role in the decoration is played by woodcarving - carved elements decorate almost all parts of the single ensemble of the tomb.
Find their place in the tourism list and religious attractions in Vietnam, Nha Trang proof of that. The city is a beautiful pagoda, which is the main Buddhist temple of Khanh Hoa Province. Originally the pagoda, built in the late 19th century, stood on Mount Trait Thu, but a strong storm in 1900 significantly damaged the structure, after which the pagoda was moved to the foot of the mountain, where he is to this day. A giant statue of Buddha sitting on a lotus flower has since taken its place at the top of the mountain. The complex is surrounded by a picturesque fence in the traditional style, around the temple laid out a magnificent garden with sculptures, fountains and plenty of greenery. The pagoda is decorated in the traditional Asian style, with lots of lace decor. The interior is decorated with colorful ceramic tiles, wooden carvings and picturesque paintings.
Hanoi delights visitors with another unusual monument, known not only in the city but also in the whole country. This pagoda on one pillar, which is unique in that its entire structure is supported by a single pillar with a diameter of just over a meter. Despite its fancy appearance, the building has a long history - it was built in the 11th century by the emperor in honor of the deity Avalokiteshwaru, who appeared to him in a dream and then gave him a son. It is worth noting that originally the pagoda, built in the center of the lotus pond, was wooden, but in 1954 it was destroyed by the French during the war. What we see today is a reconstruction, assembled a year later from the remaining rubble. However, a number of ancient structures - such as the triple gate, the ancestor worship hall, and the garden tower - still remain in the surrounding grounds.
The attention of tourists in Nha Trang is attracted by the majestic building of the Cathedral, located on an elevated site and well visible from almost anywhere in the city. St. Mary’s Cathedral is also notable for the fact that it is the main Catholic diocese in the country - it must be said that in the south of Vietnam Catholicism is the most widespread religion. To build the cathedral in the 1920s, fundamental work was done to demolish the top of the rock on which it was planned to build - about 500 mines were blown up here. As a result, a perfectly flat area of 4,500 square meters on the top was achieved, and the majestic building grew in a few years. In its decoration one can trace elements of Gothic architecture, recognizable in the stained-glass windows, the bell tower, and the wide curved dome inside the hall.
The oldest temple in Hanoi is the late 19th century neo-Gothic cathedral, somewhat reminiscent of the French Notre Dame. It is the most important religious site for both Catholics in Hanoi and followers of the religion throughout the country. It was built during the French colonial regime on the site of a former Buddhist pagoda designed by a French architect. Since Vietnam gained its independence, the cathedral went through bad times - it was in disrepair, its property was looted, priests were arrested, and only in 1900 the first Christmas mass was held here. The cathedral is crowned by two tall bell towers, and the interior features rich stained glass and frescoes, as well as Vietnamese decorations, which make an unusual addition to the thematic decoration.
For travelers going to the south of Vietnam, what to see first? Ho Chi Minh City is one of the southernmost cities in the country, which is also distinguished by its religious monuments. And against the background of the usual Buddhist buildings stands out a Catholic temple in the neo-Romanesque style with Gothic elements - the Cathedral of Our Lady of Saigon, a kind of twin French cathedral of Our Lady of Paris. Originally built by French colonists, the temple was intended to be an ideological symbol of the greatness of Western civilization. This explains the impressive size of the cathedral and its monumentality. The building is crowned by two bell towers almost 60 meters high, topped with Gothic spires, and inside the spacious halls is a very simple, light and airy interior, which is transformed by the rays of the sun streaming through the colorful mosaic of stained glass windows.
One of the most visited places in central Vietnam is a few kilometers from Da Nang - right in the middle of a flat area there are five cliffs overgrown with trees and shrubs. The Marble Mountains get their name from the fact that this area once quarried marble, and even earlier it was an island in the middle of the sea. Today in these mountains you can visit a number of interesting objects - for example, natural caves Buddhist shrines and pagodas inside, as well as observation platforms, from the height of which you can admire the panorama of the city. At present, only one of the mountains, the highest, Thuishon, is equipped for tourism. It has walking paths, steps, resting places, and caves with decorative lighting.
The top Vietnamese attractions in Hanoi are complemented by a quiet, cozy and tranquil corner located in the heart of the city - Lake of the Returned Sword. In opposite parts of the lake rise two small islands - according to legend, this is the body and head of a giant turtle, which once handed the emperor a sword, with which he defeated the Chinese army and revived the ruling Le family. On the island representing the turtle’s body is the 18th-century Jade Mountain Temple, to which a classic Vietnamese bridge spans the waters of the lake. On the other islet, representing the head of the turtle, is the Turtle Tower of the late 19th century, which was built by a nobleman to bury the ashes of his father in it. The graceful tower is especially transformed in the evenings, when it is illuminated with mesmerizing lights.
Studying the attractions of Vietnam on the map, you can see that in the bay of Nha Trang nestled a small island - Hon Che, an area of only 25 square kilometers. In order to quickly reach the island from the coast of Nha Trang City, there is a cable car, which is the longest over the sea. The funicular was designed by engineers from Europe who managed to create a construction that is resistant even to earthquakes and tsunamis. One cabin cable car can deliver to the island up to eight people - tourists are even offered a kind of “air ride” by cable car over the sea for 20 minutes. The length of the road is 3.3 kilometers, and the height - about 70 meters above sea level.
Among the places for entertainment and recreation, too, there is something to see in Vietnam. Phan Thiet, for example, is famous for its beach infrastructure, and water sports can be done in Nha Trang. By the way, in the same Nha Trang you can visit and a large amusement park Wynperl, which is as popular as China’s Disneyland in Hong Kong. It is located on the island of Hong-Che, which can be ferried to by cable car. Among the attractions of Wynperl is a chic water park with a lot of different slides, oceanarium with exotic sea creatures, fed by divers, a room with amusement machines, singing fountains show, trips on the electric mountain sled and much more. All the features of the amusement park can be used by buying a round-trip ticket in advance, which includes not only travel, but also unlimited visits to attractions for one day. Read also about Indonesia’s most interesting sightseeings and get inspired for your next Asian trip!