Things to Do in Vietnam: The Ultimate Bucket List

tuyen quang vietnam bucket list

Posted by on 02 May 2022

Vietnam offers unforgettable experiences for everyone. This exotic Asian country has activities and attractions to suit any preference, including dynamic cities, charming villages, lush natural sceneries and cultural landmarks. You’ll never run out of things to do in Vietnam’s many regions!

Planning what to include in your Vietnam bucket list might get overwhelming with all the sites and activities to choose from. To help you plan your itinerary, we’ve narrowed down 15 of the best things to do in Vietnam.

15 Things to Do in Vietnam

  1. Take a boat tour along Halong Bay

  2. Most Vietnam itineraries include a scenic tour through Halong Bay, a body of water just 100 miles east of Hanoi. Get aboard the famous "junk boat" and stay in awe as the vessel snakes through towering limestone rock formations. Journey over turquoise waters as you pass by the hundreds of islands and islets of Northern Vietnam.

    While a “junk boat” doesn’t sound luxurious, it isn’t an ordinary boat — it’s actually a liveaboard cruise ship with around 15-20 cabins. Expect a more intimate experience with other guests on tour.

  3. Reach the 65th floor of Lotte Center Hanoi

  4. Lotte Center Hanoi is a Vietnam must-see as it is the third tallest building in the country. This 65-story structure is just a few floors short behind Vincom Landmark 81 and Hanoi Landmark Tower 72. It houses a 5-star hotel, offices, a premium department store, restaurants and the famous Lotte Observation Deck.

    Observe the dynamism of Vietnam’s capital and lose yourself in the panoramic views of Hanoi. Brave the height and conquer your fear with the 360° unrestricted perspective of the Observation Deck.

  5. Marvel at Ban Gioc Waterfall’s beauty

  6. Ban Gioc Waterfall is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam located at Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark. It continually draws more and more visitors every season, but the place is relatively uncrowded. On a good day, it would feel like you have the whole place to yourself, allowing you to fully immerse in the scenery.

  7. Spot an endangered langur at Cat Ba National Park

  8. Include Cat Ba National Park in your itinerary if you seek natural beauty and a diverse forest ecosystem. UNESCO has recognised this park as a world biosphere reserve that includes mangroves, humid forests, wetlands and coral reefs.

    Cat Ba is also home to 32 species of mammals, including the world’s most endangered primate, the golden-headed langur. There are only less than a hundred of this species in the world.

  9. Enjoy cold drinks at Cafe in the Clouds

  10. This coffee shop is a frequent stopover for travellers going to Sapa. It gets its name from the clouds surrounding it in the early morning or late afternoon. The interior is rustic and adorned with paintings by local artists. Here, you can get a panoramic view of the valley of Cat Cat village while you dine on authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

  11. Shop for ceramics at Bat Trang Pottery Village

  12. Shopping for local, artisan products is one of the many things you can do in Vietnam, and what better place to do it than in Bat Trang. This famous traditional porcelain and pottery village in the north of Vietnam has provided locals and travellers with various ceramics for daily household use, including plates, pots, and bowls. Some of these can also be for worship or decorative purposes.

  13. Explore the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

  14. The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built on the remains of a Chinese fortress in the 11th century. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, and its construction marked the country’s independence from the Dai Viet.

    There are many sights to see at the Imperial Citadel. The Doan Mon (main gate) is made from wooden-hammer bricks with five arched stone gates. Its most prominent entrance was dedicated to the king, while the remaining entries were for mandarins. Another is the archaeological site 18 Hoang Dieu, which has a diverse system of relics and valuable artefacts.

  15. Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter

  16. Immerse yourself in the rich Vietnamese culture in the intriguing neighbourhood of the Old Quarter. Old Quarter is Hanoi’s urban core and offers a mix of busy streets and shops, green spaces and charming architecture juxtaposing the old and new.

    Traverse on foot to get the most of your visit. See intricate Vietnamese architecture and green spaces, drop by ancient shops and hop from one street food stall to another. The neighbourhood’s 36 streets are named for the different crafts sold or produced there. While its alleyways may feel frenetic, you can choose to stay at homey coffee shops and just watch from a distance.

  17. Be mesmerised by the pagodas of Hue

  18. Delve into the most well-preserved historical sights at Hue. Myriad ancient pagodas, shrines, tombs and palaces dot the city. Some notable Vietnam attractions include the Khai Dinh Tomb, Thuen Mu Pagoda and Linh Mu Pagoda.

  19. Shop at floating markets on the Mekong

  20. Don’t miss out on the chance to shop at the fantastic Mekong Delta floating markets. Enjoy a frenzy of activity across muddied waters and get a first-hand glimpse of the Vietnamese way of life. Make sure you include this in your Vietnam bucket list, as this adventure will surely be an eye-opening experience.

  21. Discover the Caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang

  22. Phong Nha Ke Bang is a stunning 400-million-year-old limestone landscape filled with underground rivers and caves. You can do various activities as you explore every inch of Vietnam’s most incredible national park, such as trekking, kayak trips, and spelunking. See mind-blowing stalactite and stalagmite formations and experience Vietnam’s ancient and enchanting side.

  23. Get tailor-made clothes at Hoi An

  24. Travel back in time as you walk through Hoi An’s Old Town. Its well-preserved streets are bursting with that Old Vietnam charm. Once a trading port hundreds of years ago, Old Town is now renowned for its tailors. You can get custom-made suits, dresses or jackets at can’t-beat prices. The intricate techniques used by tailors leap off of every finished product.

  25. Conquer mountain trails in Sapa

  26. Sapa is Vietnam’s famed mountainous region that people flock to for its dramatic rice terraces and misty mountain peaks. You can opt to have a self-guided hiking tour on its many trails or ask a local to lead the way.

    The hillside villages you’ll pass through are home to the region’s many ethnic minorities, each with its own distinct culture and customs. Embark on this epic trek for a memorable culture and nature trip folded into one.

  27. Travel across the Hai Van Pass

  28. Get the most scenic views of the coastal stretches of Vietnam at the Hai Van Mountain Pass. It is a contender for the most famous road in the country, with its short but impressive routes above the East Sea. Rent a motorbike and drive through the wide hairpin turns of the road, with scenic views at every turn.

  29. Lounge on a rooftop bar

  30. Rooftop bars and restaurants popped up as Ho Chi Minh City modernised. While these establishments are a bit pricier than the usual watering holes, they are a welcome respite from Saigon’s restless city streets. Plus, nothing beats having cold drinks and mingling with strangers as the sun sets over Ho Chi Minh City’s skyline.

Experience Vietnam Firsthand

Vietnam is a country with a storied past, stunning architecture and tasty cuisine. With its many fun activities and exciting attractions, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in Vietnam.

Choose from our Vietnam holiday packages and plan your getaway to the land of the Ascending Dragon today.

Last updated: December 12, 2023
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