One of the most culturally fascinating countries to visit, here’s 9 things you must do in Vietnam, from the best things to eat and drink to the best adventures and shopping spots.
Eat your fill of Pho
First up on the things you absolutely have to do whilst in Vietnam is get your hands on as much Pho as as you handle. A noodle soup, it is the country’s signature dish that is especially popular at breakfast. It’s different in the South to the North so try it all.
Watch sunset on Cat Ba Island
There’s so much to love about this area of Vietnam, but sunset from the top of Cannon Fort, overlooking the whole of Lan Ha Bay will undoubtedly be a highlight of your whole trip in Vietnam. Don’t miss exploring Lan Ha Bay by day on a boat or by kayak too.
An evening at Beer Corner
Now more of a beer street than beer corner, this rowdy spot in Hanoi is definitely not the place to head for a quiet night. Popular with backpackpackers and young locals alike, grab yourself a plastic chair at one of the makeshift outdoor bars and let the ‘Bia Hoi’ flow.
Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Another place you must stop by in Hanoi is the mausoleum of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. Contrary to his wish to be cremated, his body lays in a glass sarcophagus fiercely guarded by soldiers.
You can take a peek for free. But there’s no talking, putting hands in pockets or taking photographs. Seriously put your camera away, a quick snap here will get you arrested.
Wander Hoi An’s Streets
Vietnam’s prettiest city, visiting here is all about getting lost amongst the alleyways running through the grand, yellow hued architecture. If you can time it, be here for the monthly Full Moon Festival too and watch the lanterns light up the city.
And if you fancy some new togs, Hoi An is also the best place in Vietnam for everything from tailor-made suits and ball gowns to handmade shoes.
Try an egg coffee
Yes that’s a real thing. And love them or hate them, getting your smackers around a creamy egg coffee while in Vietnam is a must. Made from egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and coffee, if you like it sweet, you’ll be in for a treat.
Learn history in HCMC
As much as they are not something enjoyable, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum are musts as reminders of the horrors of war. The photos of the tragedy are very graphic and the documentary on the aftereffects of Agent Orange disturbing.
At the underground tunnels you’ll get a tiny glimpse into a side of the Vietnam War that you won’t get anywhere else. You can even go inside some for a very claustrophobic experience. Both are hard but important experiences that will stay with you for a long while.
Go hiking in Sapa
Right in the North of Vietnam, surrounded by terraced rice paddies, you’ll find Vietnam’s highest peak, Fan Si Pan. This area is Vietnam’s optimum trekking destination, so if you love the green outdoors you will be right at home here.
A three day trek will weave you through some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, staying in homestays each night in the villages of ethnic minority tribes. It’s an epic adventure.
Take a mud bath in the dark
Up for a bit of excitement? How about zip lining into a dark cave filled with mud. At Hang Tối cave in Phong Nha you can do just that. Working your way through the narrow passages of the dark cave, slipping and sliding in the mud might not be good clean fun, but it sure is good fun.
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