Vietnam is a beautiful country with many different tourist destinations, each varying in landscape and climate. Every city or town has something different to offer, from its delicious food to its sights and activities. Here are some of my favourite places in Vietnam and the reasons why I loved them! Have you visited Vietnam? If so, what was your favourite city?
A lesser-known travel destination, the rural town of Mai Chau is nestled in a peaceful valley surrounded by green mountain scenery. Stay in one of the many homestays scattered throughout the town for a beautiful place to relax and unwind. During our one night stay we took a bike ride around the entire town, riding past glistening rice paddies and locals at work. We also shopped at the cute local markets and ate delicious traditional Vietnamese food prepared by our homestay. This spectacular region of Vietnam is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Check out my post on Mai Chau here.
Ha Long Bay
This beautiful bay in northern Vietnam is known for its limestone karsts, which tower above the vibrant emerald coloured waters. We did a two-night boat trip to Ha Long bay, waking up to the most spectacular views out of our cabin windows. Although it wasn’t exactly swimming weather in February, we went kayaking through the beautiful bay, and also explored beaches and caves.
This destination is known for its spectacular cave system, which is one of the largest in the world. It is also the place where the blockbuster film King Kong was filmed. We walked through a huge cave before spending the rest of the day zip lining across a river, swimming into a cave and then exploring, even stopping in a cave which housed a natural mud bath. Our group had so much fun playing around in the mud, which was so dense that you actually floated on top of it. Talk about messy!
Quite possibly my favourite place in Vietnam, the ancient town in this city is filled with colourful French colonial buldings, beautiful Asian lanterns, and tailor stores to buy affordable, custom made dresses and suits. The beach is only a short taxi ride away, and the nightlife is not only fun, but also dirt-cheap. Two-dollar cocktails? Don’t mind if I do! One of my favourite daytrips we did was in Hoi An, where we rode bikes out to the villages where the locals lived. We hopped in bamboo boats and went fishing for crabs before doing a Vietnamese cooking class with a lovely local man at his house.
This coastal resort city is the perfect place to chill out, hit the beach, go diving or explore the surrounding islands. We did a wonderful day trip by boat where we snorkelled with colourful fish, swam in the clear aqua waters and ate fresh fruit and seafood. We had a really fun night out here, as we all wore the colourful shirts we bought in Hoi An.This is also a popular destination for Russian tourists, with a clear Russian influence around the city made evident from shop and restaurant signs, which are in both Vietnamese and Russian.