Vietnam is that destination that seems to have it all, from the floating villages and bustling markets to the impressive museums and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Let’s not forget the stunning beaches and soaring mountains. The vibrant cities of Vietnam have lots of activities to ensure you never lack fun things to do. There is always an ongoing event to cater to your interests, be it food, nature, culture or history.
This colourful country will awaken the adventurer in you; from lounging daily on the white sand beaches to marvelling at towering limestone islands and exploring historical monuments and pagodas. Also, Vietnam has its ways of keeping you on a healthy balance of feeling off the beaten path in your trips. Thus, offering accessible tourist attractions. Whatever your tourist spirit craves, know that you will always find something to do here.
Thus, here are some of the most amazing things to do in Vietnam;
THE REUNIFICATION PALACE
The reunification palace, also referred to as the Independence Palace, is a historical landmark in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. The palace intrigues and attracts many visitors who have interest in learning learning about the city’s incredible history. It was built in 1962. The structure is an example of top-notch architectural excellence. And is one of the top Vietnam tourist attractions.
The construction of the Reunification Palace was on the same site as the former Norodom Palace destroyed by protestors in the 1950s. Tours here will guide you through the halls where the past Presidents of South Vietnam lived and worked during the Vietnam War. You will also be shown numerous historical artefacts.
The experience which will make you step back in time with the well-preserved décor and unique architectural style will feel you with nostalgia. Furthermore, you can study; old photographs and oil paintings or check out the enormous, sprawling oval lawn filled with gardens and tranquil ponds. An excellent exhibition dedicated to the evolutions of the palace will leave even the most curious visitors very much satisfied.
THE GOLDEN BRIDGE
The Golden Bridge is a photo-esque destination on the outskirts of the coastal city of Da Nang, which is a part of Sun World Ba Na Hills. Indeed, it is a fun-filled attraction for all ages. An interestingly gorgeous natural setting usually surrounds the amusement park. There are many fun activates in the park like; an arcade, a cable car ride, a detailed French village recreation, and enough restaurants and cafes for your dining pleasure.
However, the major attraction is the Golden Bridge, a creatively designed footbridge that features two giant, mythical hands. Furthermore, the 490-foot long pedestrian bridge has become a very famous site in Vietnam for its exquisite artistry and calmly unique appearance of being held in the sky. Besides providing intriguing sprawling views, the bridge also connects the cable car hub to the colourful gardens, making it seem like you are strolling in this cinematic walkway. Indeed, a walk on this bridge will make you feels like a transportation into the pages of a fantasy novel.
THE SUNG SOT CAVE
The Sung Sot cave, located in the stunning Halong Bay, is the most extensive cave you would ever find in the bay.
The journey into the cave will leave you breathless as you glide and move past the towering limestone islands protruding from the sea into your view.
Ready walkways wind you through two sections of this natural wonder. Also, the walkways are beautifully adorned with fascinating stalagmites and stalactites. The cave’s ceiling soars and rock formations are of diverse animals by the Vietnamese. Every one of these animals have a myth and a legend attached to it. An example is the legend of the horse which tells that it defeated evil spirits.
THE CU CHI TUNNELS
In the northwestern portion of Ho Chi Minh City lies this web of past underground tunnels. The digging of the tunnels during the Vietnam War. Past soldiers used these tunnels as their living quarters and a base to set traps. Also, they kept supplies here and would prepare surprise attacks from here.
Digging and creating the tunnels, which stretched a total of 75 miles, can never be an easy feat. The soldiers had dug by hand between the end of the 1940s and early 1960s. The excitement from experience is sure to leave you breathless. You can crawl through some of the tunnels and see some of the artefacts from the war. A tour guide is always available to share the history of the Cu Chi tunnels.
THE THIEN MU PAGODA
Resembling a perched bird upon the hill of Ha Khe along the scenic Huong River is The Thien Mu Pagoda. The Thien Mu Pagoda is a Buddhist temple. The temple is octagonal, making it resemble a layered cake. Indeed, this artful edifice is an iconic structure in Vietnam.
Thien Mu Pagoda is also known as the “Pagoda of the Heavenly Lady”. The Phuoc Duyen Tower, a stunning 68 foot tall, is the star structure of the pagoda. Each of the temple’s seven storeys symbolizes the various reincarnations of Buddha. Peaceful gardens, a giant bell and two smaller pagodas are some of the other notable attractions that make up the beautiful temple complex. Finally, using a traditional dragon boat to visit the pagoda will make your visit an unforgettable one.
HANOI’S OLD QUARTER
Hanoi owns a bustling Old Quarter located north of the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi’s Old Quarters showcases its charms and delights by intricately mixing old and modern in a Vietnamese cultural cocktail.
The old Quarters of Hanoi has 36 artisan street sectors, all paying homage to their traditional craft. Thus, making the Old Quarters a lively hotspot to browse, eat, and shop. You would find local creators like tailors with silk clothing shoemakers, basket weavers and bag makers selling their wares.
In browsing these beautiful vendors and shops, always try to sample authentic cuisines at any nearby restaurant. The bustling old quarters guides you to indulge in the city’s food culture at the numerous food stalls serving very delicious bites. Try kebab rice noodles which is the Bun Cha, and egg coffee while in the old quarters. A buzzing night market would usually offer every visitor or locals ample opportunity to find souvenirs during the weekends.
THE BEN THANH CENTRAL MARKET
It is an open secret that Vietnamese food is nothing short of amazing. However, if you are a daring foodie, you should know that one of the best things to do in Vietnam is visit the local market. The Ben Thanh Central Market is a food paradise bustling with lots of street food stores where you are sure to get your fill of well-cooked meals.
There are lots of picnic table styled benches provided for the general community seating. Savour your meal with a cold beer or beverage of choice. Try to eat the “Banh da xuc hen”, which interprets as lemongrass clams that are topped with a rice cracker and richly sprinkled with sesame and coconut.
Another trendy item to eat here is the “bun thit nuong”, a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles, pork, lettuce and filled with toppings of delicious crispy pork spring roll.
The classic pho can never be missed either. Although the soup originated in Hanoi, everyone can sample the southern style of Pho here in Saigon.
THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS
The Marble Mountains stand between the great cities of Hoi An and Da Nang. The marble mountains comprise five limestone and marble hills named after the prominent five elements: earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.
Myths and legends have tales that say that a mystical dragon had laid an egg on a neighbouring beach, and after a thousand days had passed, a beautiful girl had hatched from the egg. What was left of the mystical dragon’s eggshell on the sand had grown into these mythical Marble Mountains.
Furthermore, having to trek up these mountains will show you the spectacular views of the surrounding area. The view includes the My Khe beach below. A few ancient 17th-century pagodas adorn the Mountain of Water, which is also home to several caves. Finally, try to explore on foot as it can be a fascinating area if you enjoy hiking.
THE HANOI WATER PUPPET THEATER
The Hanoi water puppet theatre is recognized as one of the best theatres in the world. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a prestigious traditional Vietnamese establishment of performing arts that dates back to the 11th century. Also, the theatre had derived the method from forms of entertainment employed long ago.
Additionally, the theatre had gained its intriguing name because villagers had performed puppetry for entertainment in the waist-high water that flooded their rice fields in the Red River Delta in the 11th century. Authentic live music with bamboo flutes, drums, guitars, cymbals, and singing constantly accompany the stories, often with a humorous twist.
Performers in Hanoi mostly use large poles to hold the puppets over a pool of water while sharing folktales, myths and legends with the anxious and excited audience.