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Best things to do in Vietnam

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Where in the world: Asia  /  Vietnam
In addition to classic sun-and-sand activities, things to do in Vietnam include cultural sightseeing and off-road trips to the scenic countryside. Vietnam's coastline is dotted with fine white-sand beaches like An Bang Beach and top surfing and diving spots. You can go kayaking, explore caves, visit a fishing village, or spend the night in an island bungalow at the World Heritage-listed Halong Bay. Busy urban centers boast colonial-era neighborhoods, open-air markets, national museums, war memorials, and modern restaurants. The downtown hub of Hanoi, Old Quarter teems with cafes, bars, temples, shops, teahouses, and stalls selling French and Vietnamese food. War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City reminds visitors about the events from the Vietnam War.

Vietnam is best known for its Gift & Specialty Shops, Spas, and Landmarks.

Top 15 things to do in Vietnam

1. Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Marvel at underground vegetation and impressive stalagmite towers at Son Doong Cave, a huge cave system featuring its own jungle and a river. Over 8.8 km (5.5 mi) long, the cave was touted as the biggest in the world. Camp on the rough sandy beach on the banks of an underground river and admire the shades of light coming from large holes above the ground. Set in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, the cave was discovered by a local in 1991, but was not seriously explored until 2009. Explore ancient limestone walls created 250 m years ago and abseil into a true underground paradise with fabulous rock shapes fringed with vegetation.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Son Doong Cave

2. Spas, Hoi An

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Spas

3. Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City

Spreading below Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels connect to a broader network of tunnels that served the Viet Cong during the war against the United States. North Vietnamese fighters used the dark, insect- and disease-infested tunnels to avoid aerial attacks, hide, move troops and supplies, plan battles, and launch attacks. After the U.S. realized the importance of the tunnels to Viet Cong military strategy, it led a series of campaigns to infiltrate, bomb, and destroy them, a feat that proved largely unsuccessful. Numerous tour operators run visits to the tunnels; prepare for cramped spaces.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $18 › Learn more about Cu Chi Tunnels

4. Cu Chi Tunnels Luxury Tour - Morning or Afternoon

FROM $18
On this half-day Morning or Afternoon Cu Chi Tunnels tour, you will see the Cu Chi complex with its network of tunnels and traps, and learn about how society functioned underground during times of war. You can also try your hand at shooting range with an AK-47
Suggested duration: 6h
Tours from $18 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

War Remnants Museum delivers a somber account of the horrors of the Vietnam War and other wars of colonialist aggression that have plagued the Vietnamese people. The museum's exhibits may contain a heavy dose of one-sided anti-American sentiment, but they well represent residual American--and other foreign--weaponry and the destruction it wreaked. Look for the French guillotine used to execute prisoners and for the unexploded ordnance stored in a corner of the yard.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $16 › Learn more about War Remnants Museum

6. Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An

A World Heritage Site dating back to the late 16th century, Hoi An Ancient Town remains an inhabited and historically preserved port village, with about 12,000 current inhabitants. The town displays remnants of the various nations who held stake in the spice trade run at its ports, including buildings of traditionally Chinese, Japanese, French, and Dutch architectural styles. Navigate the town on foot or by bicycle, and stop at one of its many restaurants for local specialties like "white rose" prawn dumplings.
Suggested duration: 3h 30 min
Tours from $22 › Learn more about Hoi An Ancient Town

7. LunaThaiSpa, Cua Lap

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about LunaThaiSpa

8. Hanoi Motorbike Tours: FOOD + CULTURE + SIGHT +FUN By Vintage Motorbike

Likely to sell out FROM $51
Taking this tour is a fun way to experience the sights, smells and tastes of Hanoi. And definitely, the best way to see and learn about the real Hanoi not just the run-off-the-mill tourist sites. We would journey you to so many parts of Hanoi that you would not otherwise see and even imagine about, from the maze of zigzagging backstreets, hectic traffic, old French boulevards to the off-roads along the Red river as well as tasting the most delicious dishes of the delicious dishes that Hanoi offers you. Also, we pass by most of the famous city’s landmarks.
Suggested duration: 4h 30min
Tours from $51 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Boat Tours & Water Sports, Halong Bay

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Boat Tours & Water Sports

10. Old Quarter, Hanoi

Walk to the hum of local traffic and curious tourists in Old Quarter, the business district and downtown hub of Hanoi that dates back to the 13th century. Bearing the names of the businesses that once stood there, the quarter's narrow streets teem with cafes, bars, temples, shops, teahouses, and stalls selling French and Vietnamese foods. Watch a water puppet show, plant yourself at a sidewalk cafe to drink a local beer, or bargain with a smile at shops and street food stalls.
Suggested duration: 3h 30 min
Tours from $23 › Learn more about Old Quarter

11. Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake), Hanoi

Situated at the rim of the Old Quarter among the city's most popular attractions, the green shores of Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) offer a break from sightseeing and provide a quiet spot for people-watching. Notice the temple--topped with a red star--on a small islet in the middle of the lake. Apart from being the city's emblem, it commemorates a local legend, which involves an Excalibur-like sword. The story goes that a local dragon god gave a magical sword to a 15th-century Vietnamese emperor who used it in an uprising against the Ming Dynasty. When the war was won, a giant turtle emerged from the lake and took back the sword to return it to heaven. The lake is home to a rare species of soft-shell turtles.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $10 › Learn more about Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

12. Small Group Hanoi Street Food Tour with a Real Foodie

FROM $29
Discovering Hanoi’s Old Quarter street foods can be a leap of faith without a guide to steer you to the must-eats and prevent you getting lost. With this small-group tour, you’ll visit tried-and-trusted food spots to sample classics, such as steamed pancakes, noodle soup, and more, all with a guide to describe each dish and help you navigate. The tour starts in the  Old Quarter, we also might visit  Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake), Dong Xuan Market e.g.
Suggested duration: 3h
Tours from $29 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Imperial City, Hue

A listed World Heritage Site, Imperial City (aka the Purple Forbidden City) stands as a testimony to the power and wealth of the last imperial Vietnamese dynasty. Situated on a riverbank, the complex features the remains of an imperial palace, Buddhist temples and pagodas, tombs of Nguyen Kings, courtyards, and gardens. It is encircled by a moat and two rows of fortification walls. Over the years following the demise of Vietnamese monarchy, the site was significantly ruined by cyclones and termites. However, it suffered the severest damage during the Vietnam War--look for the holes in the stone walls made by bullets and grenades. The highlights include a flag tower and 10 lavishly ornamented gates.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $15 › Learn more about Imperial City

14. Off-Road Tours, Hanoi

Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Off-Road Tours

15. Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta Luxury Tour from HCM city

FROM $48
• Explore the huge underground network of Cu Chi tunnels where were used as a military base of Vietnamese Soldiers during the Vietnam War resistance to the US Forces • Cruise on a motor boat to discover the Mekong Delta region & Paddle along the small canals under fronds of coconut trees lining both sides on a small rowing boat • Enjoy a local lunch with Vietnamese Cuisine
Suggested duration: 10h
Tours from $48 › More about this tour at viator.com ›