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Vietnam's top 12 experiences

Vietnam is a pho - king good time, not just because of the delicious food, but because of how much this long, thin country morphs in landscape and culture from one end to the other. It’s perfect for street-food lovers, fashion lovers who want custom clothes made in Hoi An, and history buffs.

Vietnam offers terrific experiences that should be on every traveler’s list. Here are Amity Smile Travel’s top picks for a memorable trip.

1. Halong bay
Thousands of limestone karsts jut skyward from emerald waters in this UNESCO World Heritage-listed seascape. The best way to see it is to hop by boat between islands, including scenic Cat Ba, home to a national park. Overnight on Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is not only a popular tourist spot in the country but also to be honored in the world. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it is the favorite destination of many visitors.

2. The imperial Hue city
The jewel of Hue’s Citadel, this sprawling complex of majestic palaces and evocative temples brings the magnificence of Vietnam’s royal dynasties to life.

3. Markets
From Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter to floating outposts in the Mekong Delta, markets reveal colorful slices of local life. Plunge right in and haggle like you mean it.

4. Ho Chi Minh City
Rapidly modernizing, Ho Chi Minh City is a jolt of urban energy unlike anywhere else in the country. The frenetic pace (that traffic!) is tempered by peaceful pagodas, parks, and cafés.

5. Street food
Devour a delicious bowl of pho on a bustling corner or follow the fragrant smoke emanating from a sidewalk brazier, where marinated pork sizzles.

6. Vietnam  war legacy
Museums pay tribute, but for a different perspective on the war, look underground—the vast Cu Chi tunnel network is a monu­ment to Vietnamese tenacity.

7. Phong Nha Ke Bang national park
Untamed jungle, vast imagination-defying limestone caves, and underground rivers make this spectacular region irresistible to adventurers.

8. Hoian 
French colonial architecture, historic traders’ houses, and atmospheric temples are among the charms of Hoi An that are easily discovered on a riverside stroll. Enjoy the Hoi An lanterns Hoi An ancient town has an ancient, deeply enchanted beauty. Coming here, tourists should try lying on the small boat running along the banks of the Hoai River to admire the old town. 

9. Beaches and islands
Two thousand miles of tropical coastline ensure that the white sands of a postcard are never far away. Islands like Phu Quoc combine idyllic beaches and diving. Phu Quoc Island (Jade Island) is the largest island of Vietnam. Phu Quoc has a wonderful natural landscape and coral reefs. The best time for visiting Phu Quoc is from December to March.

10. Hill stations
Built by the French as health retreats, hill stations such as Dalat make a cool contrast to the steamy lowlands—think misty peaks and rugged scenery.

11. Sapa
See the rice harvest season in the Northwest season Traveling to the northwest at the end of the year, visitors can admire the yellow terraces in the harvest season. The yellow color of ripe rice mixed with the green color of the mountains and forests can captivates anyone. The most beautiful places here are Nam Ty (Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang), Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai), and terraced fields of SapaHome to ethnic minorities, this northern mountain town is also the jumping-off point for some compelling sights, including Fansipan, Vietnam’s tallest summit.

12. The Mekong delta
This patchwork of waterways and floating markets, mangrove swamps, and brilliant green rice paddies is best explored by boat, but bike tours provide a fun alternative.


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