Five top things to do in Vietnam
Fabulous Vietnam – we’re yet to come across a traveller that doesn’t sing the praises of this incredible destination.
The food is always high on the list of highlights but it doesn’t stop there. Cultural and historical experiences abound in Vietnam. We know it’s a cliche, but there truly is something for everyone here.
Here’s a guide to five top things to do in Vietnam.
Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter
There are lots of reasons why Hanoi should be on any list of the top things to do in Vietnam, but for us it’s the fabulous Old Quarter and its intoxicating fusion of seemingly complete chaos and French-inspired chic.
There’s no doubt Vietnam has an amazing energy wherever you go, but it’s almost palpable in the capital. But there is method to the madness; half the fun is working out what it is.
Get lost in Hoi An
You’ll fall head over heels in love with lovely Hoi An in central Vietnam. There are so many delightful diversions on offer here, and if you only have a day or two make sure you put aside some time just to wander the cobbled streets or park yourself at a street café with a deliciously sweet Vietnamese coffee to watch the world go by.
Sister city Hue is a leisurely three-hour drive north, and is also well worth a visit.
Cruise Halong Bay
No visit to this amazing country would be complete without a visit to Halong Bay in the north to cruise the ethereal emerald waters beneath the scattered, soaring age-old limestone monoliths.
Take the option to stay a night on the bay if you can. Heck, push the boat out and stay two!
Pay your respects at the War Remnants Museum
As our collective memory of the Vietnam War grows dim and the conflict passes into history, the War Remnants Museum in Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city, is a shocking, confronting and necessary reminder of the realities of war. You must see this.
Enjoy a bowl of pho
Pho is so much more than a bowl of noodles in Vietnam. It’s a way of life; some might even say a state of mind.
Pho is central to Vietnamese culture and incredibly versatile (it’s eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Tucking into this simple chicken or beef noodle broth infused with fresh herbs and lime is a wonderfully simple way to connect with the real Vietnam – not always easy for us tourists.
Don’t be afraid to try Pho at a local noodle house, where you’ll invariably be seated at a stainless steel communal table with any number of local diners. Exchange a wink and a smile with your neighbour, then take up your chopsticks and dig in.
Adam travelled as a guest of Wendy Wu Tours and Vietnam Airlines.
Do you have anything to add to our list of top things to do in Vietnam? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment.
Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a Melbourne-based travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. Adam has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and the Middle East. He worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. Adam also appears regularly as a travel commentator on Sky News Business Class. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.