10+ Recommended Things To Do In Vietnam 2023
Vietnam is home to plenteous attractions which give a great diversity of exciting things to do all year round. You may find fun activities in every region of Vietnam, including beach relaxation, water sports, mountain sightseeing, learning about local history and culture, sampling local cuisine, and much more. Plan your Vietnam tour with the top fascinating activities that you should not miss.
1. Taste Vietnam Local Food
- Best places to try: Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Price range:
|Range (only for consideration)
|US $0.5 - $10 /person
|US $10 - $15 /person
|US $20 - $35 /person
|US $50 - $150 /person
Vietnamese food is world-known, especially the street food culture here, which has been listed in hundreds of travel rankings in many international reputable forums, magazines, and newspapers.
But don’t let the traditional media frame you into the mindset that only street foods here are worth trying. Vietnam not only has Pho, Banh Mi, Bun Cha, and Cha Gio (Nem or Fried Spring Roll); with thousands years of continuously creating and developing a unique line of cuisine, this country has so much more to show the world.
With the existence of the Michelin Guide in Vietnam with 3 1-star Michelin restaurants (2 in Hanoi and 1 in Ho Chi Minh City) and 30 places listed in Bib Gourmand, Vietnam strongly claims that it is a must-visit destination on the world culinary map!
Trying Vietnamese Food Is The Best Way To Learn About Vietnam Culture
2. Cruising Overnight at Halong Bay
- Best suggestions & price:
|Scarlett Pearl 5*
|From US $173/pax
|Paradise Elegance 5*
|From US $168/pax
|From US $187/pax
|La Regina Legend 4.5*
|From US $143/pax
|From US $142/pax
Cruising is always the most outstanding way to explore the heritage Halong Bay with marvelous scenery. Enrolling in the overnight cruise not only allows you to witness the magnificent unique landscape here, but also offers both indoor and outdoor interesting activities such as culinary classes, taichi practice, kayaking, swimming, exploring caves, etc. The cruise is suitable for everyone, especially couples, families with kids, and a group of friends. Also, celebrating anniversaries or organizing events and meetings here is always a good idea!
Chill With Friend On Sundeck
3. Enjoy Boat Trip to Tam Coc Rice Fields
|Hoa Lu - Tam Coc full-day tour
|From $50/pax (including visiting Hoa Lu & Tam Coc, guide, modern car transfer, entrance fee, boat trip, lunch)
Located in Ninh Binh, Tam Coc is famous for its magnificent unique landscape. You may explore hidden tunnels, paddle across the river, and take in the rice fields while sailing in Tam Coc. Mid-April to early June is the ideal time to visit Tam Coc because it is the harvest season and you can see the mesmerizing yellow rice paddies.
Enjoy A Boat Trip To Tam Coc Rice Fields
4. Trekking to Hill Tribe Villages in Sapa
|Cat Cat - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Ta Phin
|From US $118 /pax
|Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Cat Cat - Sin Chai
|From US $79 /pax
|Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Su Pan
|From US $69 /pax
In the mountainous region of Northern Vietnam, Sapa is home to a large number of hill tribe communities, including Ta Van, Cat Cat, Ta Phin, Lao Chai, Sin Chai, Y Linh Ho, etc. Every community has its own village, culture, and way of life. The H'Mong ethnic group resides in Cat Cat Village, the Red Dao ethnic group resides in Ta Phin Village, and the Tay ethnic group resides in Ho Village, Nam Sai Village, and Thanh Phu Village.
Witness The Poetic Attractiveness Of Waterfalls In Cat Cat Village
Trekking to those villages will allow you to witness lovely scenery, such as lush fields, mountains, waterfalls, and meet lovely local minorities who lead humble lives but have kind hearts and smiles. Late September and early October are the finest times to go trekking in Sapa to experience the breathtaking mountain scenery in those communities when the rice in all of the terraced fields is ripe and has turned yellow.
5. Stay in The House on Stilt in Mai Chau
|Mai Chau 2-day tour
|From US $119/pax (including modern car transfer, accommodation, 4 meals, cycling tour, and other activities)
The unspoiled region of Mai Chau offers stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, rice fields, and waterfalls, as well as the chance to interact with the welcoming locals. Staying at a homestay with the Thai minority is one of the nicest things to do in Mai Chau. There are many places in Mai Chau that offer homestay at traditional stilt houses, some most popular villages are:
- Lac Village - the most popular and crowded option with many stunning views and homestays
- Pom Coong Village - less touristy, more tranquil but doesn’t have a really good view
Stay In A Local Stilt House In Mai Chau
6. Work Like a Farmer at Tra Que Village
|Tra Que Village tour
|From US $48/pax (including bike, guide, entrance fee & activities in Tra Que, and lunch)
Hoi An's Tra Que is a small but well-known village. It is a serene farming community that contrasts sharply with Hoi An's bustling downtown. The village is only about 3km from Hoi An town center. It is famous for growing the best organic vegetables, including lettuce, salad, basil, houttuynia, flagrant knotweed, coriander veggies, etc., thanks to the favorable conditions of rich soil and water. In Quang Nam, foods like Quang noodles and Cao Lau have great natural tastes that are enhanced by Tra Que veggies.
Be A Farmer In Tra Que Village
The majority of the residents in Tra Que are hard-working farmers. Visiting this lovely village, you can practice farming tasks such as raking the dirt, seeding, watering greens, picking greens, and many other gardening activities. Booking a tour to Tra Que, besides farming activities, you may participate in other activities including cooking classes and bike riding.
7. Hanoi Cyclo Tour
- Price: From US $8.5
The cyclo used to play a significant role in the lives of the Hanoians as a frequent mode of transportation and many Hanoians in the 1990s have fond memories of the “cyclo” from their youth. Therefore, the Hanoi Cyclo Tour is undoubtedly a fantastic choice for any tourist to discover fascinating insights into Hanoi's attractiveness in an authentically local way.
Witness Hanoi Old Quarter On A Cyclo
Learn more helpful information about Hanoi cyclo tours HERE
8. Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels
|Cu Chi Tunnels tour
|From US $39 /pax (including guide, modern car transfer, entrance fee)
Cu Chi Tunnels is recommended by many tourists as a must-visit site for anyone who travels to Ho Chi Minh City. It consists of a network of 120 km subterranean tunnels with trapdoors, living quarters, kitchens, storage rooms, educational institutions, medical facilities, and command centers. Due to their independence, this tunnel system was crucial to the Vietnamese army's triumph in the war.
Crawl Through The Cu Chi Tunnels
When you visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, you can see its distinctive architecture and construction and learn how significant they are to the history of Vietnam. The Cu Chi tunnel should not be attempted by anyone who has a mild case of claustrophobia or heart disease.
9. Visit Cai Rang Floating Market in the Mekong Delta
- Location: Cai Rang Dist., Can Tho City
|Visiting Cai Rang Floating Market tour
|From US $230 /pax (including modern car transfer, accommodation, guide, 3 meals, boat trip visiting Cai Rang Market & other activities for 2d1n trip)
Vietnam's Mekong Delta is a different world on the water. On the rivers, canals, and streams of the Mekong Delta, there are floating marketplaces, homes, and restaurants. One of the biggest wholesale floating marketplaces in this religion is Cai Rang, which sells mostly fruits and vegetables, and also provides groceries to locals.
Vendors In Cai Rang Floating Market
The market is crowded from 4 - 5 a.m. and will be quiet at around 10.30 - 11.00 a.m.; therefore, you should get to the Cai Rang floating market the sooner the better. Here, you are not only able to see the vibrant boats selling goods, but you also have the opportunity to sample multiple seasonal fresh local fruits such as green mangos, pineapples, dragon fruits, oranges, coconuts, and durians, as well as hot dishes served on the sampans.
Since the Cai Rang Floating Market opens early in the morning, it is preferable to sign up for a 2-day-1-night tour that includes an overnight stay in the province of Can Tho and visit the market on the following day.
10. Explore My Son Sanctuary
(No public /shuttle bus available)
|My Son half-day tour
|From US $48/pax (including entrance fee, guide, modern car transfer, lunch)
The Champa ruins known as My Son Sanctuary are scattered throughout the mountains and are known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 70 temples and epitaphs. You can discover more about the history of the Champa Kingdom by visiting this sanctuary.
Beautiful megastructures of My Son Sanctuary
Early in the morning is the best time to visit My Son Holy Land since the temperature is not too high, the air is fresh, and you can watch a stunning sunrise over the temples. As there aren’t many choices for transferring there, it is better to book a tour to visit My Son Sanctuary for more convenience. Also, as this place is a historical site, a knowledgeable tour guide is necessary for learning more about this special sacred.
11. Visit War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
- Address: Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 7.30 a.m - 5.30 p.m. (ticketing closes at 5.00 p.m.)
|40,000 VND/person (~ $1.7)
|80,000 VND/person (~ $3.4)
You may find out more about the history of Vietnam at the War Remnants Museum. The museum exhibits objects, relics, and pictures that highlight the effects of war on the Vietnamese people. There are many images of US armored vehicles, explosives, weapons, and notorious French and South Vietnamese prisons, as well as collections of posters and images that promote the global antiwar movement and depict the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnamese culture.
Heavy Weapons Used By The US Army In The Outdoor Exhibition
12. Cycle in Hoi An Ancient Town
- Price range:
|25,000 VND - 30,000 VND /bike /day (~US $1.3)
|Cycling tour around Hoi An
|From US $29 /pax (including bike and guide)
Tranquil and nostalgic, Hoi An in the eyes of tourists is one of the best places in the world for enjoying cycling. There is no specific requirement for enjoying cycling here as it’s not a challenging adventure, it is simply a typical way to explore the little town of Hoi An inside out, totally relaxing but still quite interesting.
Cycle In Hoi An Ancient Town
13. Explore the Imperial Citadel in Hue
|Entrance fee: 200,000 VND /person (US $8.2)
|Hue City tour including Citadel
|From US $39/pax (including guide, modern car transfer, entrance fee, dragon boat trip)
Hue was the last capital of feudalism in Vietnam. Therefore, the Imperial Citadel here is the only royal palace kept in the best condition at present.
It served as the "home" of Vietnam's final dynasty - Nguyen Royal Family. A picturesque moat brimming with waterlilies surrounds the fortress grounds. As you wander within the citadel, you may see many structures in their original, repaired, and damaged states, as well as carved gates, royal pavilions, the Flag Tower, and museums of Royal Antiquities.
Explore The Imperial Citadel In Hue
Learn more about Hue Citadel HERE
14. Climb the Rock in Vietnam
- Best places to try:
|Cat Ba Island
|Lan Ha Bay
|Da Nang Marble Mountain
One of the most adventurous activities in Vietnam is rock climbing, which offers an exhilarating, enjoyable, off-the-beaten-path experience that is well worth attempting. The activity can take place at numerous Vietnamese locations with unique characteristics but the best area to try is in the North with mountainous terrain. As the crags’ height for rock climbing in Vietnam ranges from under 5 to almost 50 meters, this activity here actually can accommodate all types of tourists, from beginners who are interested in the activity to experts who have years of rock climbing under their belts.
Climbing in Datanla Waterfall, Dalat
15. Do Zipline in Vietnam
- Best places to try & price:
|Song Chay - Hang Toi (Phong Nha National Park)
Low season: 250,000 VND /person (~US $10.5)
High season: 450,000 VND /person (~US $19)
|Dalanla Falls (Da Lat)
|425,000 VND /person (~US $18)
|Hoa Phu Thanh (Da Nang)
|50,000 VND /person (~US $2)
|Aeris Hill (Yen Bai)
Short route: 50,000 VND /person (~US $2)
Long route: 250,000 VND /person (~US $10.5)
(Don’t apply to public holidays)
|Madagui (Lam Dong)
Short route: 100,000 VND/person (~US $4)
Long route: 150,000 VND/person (~US $6.5)
Both route: 200,000 VND/person (~US $8.5)
The zipline, which travels across a variety of rivers, streams, lakes, and trees, is definitely a must-do in Vietnam. This game may look quite thrilling, but since you will always fasten your seatbelt to a fixed rope, guaranteeing your safety even when you are seated, it seems like one of the safest adventure activities and it’s joyful even with the most pigeon-hearted person.
Zipline Is One Of The Most Thrilling Things To Do In Vietnam
- Don’t try a zipline if you have heart disease
- Bring fewer and light personal necessities and keep them in a small bag with a zip closed to prevent dropping while enjoying the zipline
- For the best experience and safety, you should avoid wearing skirts/dresses/tight clothes; comfortable clothes are a perfect choice
- Follow all safety instructions from local staff
You can read the article Ziplining Vietnam: Outstanding Activities Must-do to customize your best zipline trip.
16. Wander at The Night Market
- Best places to try & price:
|Hanoi Walking Street
Hanoi Old Quarter
|From 30,000 VND (~ $1.3)
|Dong Xuan Lane, Hanoi
|From 50,000 VND (~ $2.2)
|Quang Ba Flower Market
|No. 236 Au Co Rd., Hanoi
|From 50,000 VND (~ $2.2)
|Ben Thanh Market, HCM City
|From 50,000 VND (~ $2.2)
|Ho Thi Ky
|Ho Thi Ky Rd., HCM City
|From 30,000 VND (~ $1.3)
Shopping at the night market is a highly recommended nightlife activity in Vietnam, especially for anyone who travels to big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with many interesting night markets to experience. Each market has its own theme which decides its signature products, but most of the time you can purchase a wide range of items including clothing, food, souvenirs, and even flowers. Please note that not all the night markets open all evening, some are only available on the weekend.
Wander At The Charming Hoi An Night Market
- Don’t show your interest in any items
- Don’t buy anything immediately, you should compare the prices of items with different sellers
- Try to bargain half of the price first and don’t buy any item that you can’t bargain for at least 20 - 25%
- Only bargain twice and strongly walk away if the seller denies, let them persuade you to return
- Don’t buy if you bargain successfully right on the first try, it means the price is still high. Just find another seller and this time, you bargain more
17. Ride Motorbikes through Hai Van Pass
- Best places to try: From Hue or Da Nang
- Price range (motorbike hiring): 130,000 VND - 350,000 VND /motorbike /day (~US $5.4 - 14.4)
For those who enjoy riding motorcycles and exploring new places, Vietnam has several breathtaking routes. The most popular route is driving through Hai Van Pass which is 20 km long and at 500 m above sea level. Spectacular vistas of misty mountains towering over the South China Sea, desolate sandy beaches, woodlands, and the twinkling lights of distant cities may be seen along the Pass.
Ride A Motorbike Through Hai Van Pass
To enjoy this experience, you can hire a motorbike in Hue or Da Nang with any stores that allow you to return the vehicle in both mentioned cities. As an alternative, you can reserve a tour and let someone else handle the transportation and bags.
18. Watch Vietnamese Culture Shows
- Best shows and prices:
|Thang Long Water Puppets
100,000 - 200,000 VND /person (~US $4.1 - 8.2)
|The Quintessence of Tonkin
|400,000 - 600,000 VND /person (~US $16.4 - 24.6)
|Hoi An Memories
|510,000 - 1,020,000 VND /person (~US $21 - 42)
|A O Show
|From 700,000 VND/person (~US $28.7)
|Teh Dar Show
|From 700,000 VND/person (~US $28.7)
For any traveler who cares more about cultural values, watching shows is definitely a must-do in Vietnam. You can witness a performance at a theater in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, or any major city.
Most of the shows tell about Vietnamese culture, history, and tales in different kinds of performances from traditional to modern such as water puppets, scenography, or contemporary dance. These shows don’t have any age restriction so they are suitable for all audiences, especially families with kids and elders.
Vietnamese Traditional Water Puppetry Show
19. See Sand Dunes in Mui Ne
Sand dunes are found at Mui Ne, therefore if you want a taste of the desert, don't miss this place. The White and Red sand dunes are the two most impressive of the many sand dunes that can be seen throughout Mui Ne. The size of red sand dunes is lower than that of white dunes. These sand dunes are stunning at sunset because of their rusty red, brown tint. Watching the stunning sunset at these sand dunes over the sweeping red hills is amazing.
Breathtaking White Sand Dunes In Mui Ne
You may take a hot air balloon ride over the dunes or rent a quad bike to move around. The fee is quite expensive but it is still worth the experience.
- Quad bike: US $40 /vehicle /20 minutes (for a maximum of 3 people)
- Air balloon: US $150 /person /60-minute journey
20. Explore Son Doong Cave
- Price: US $3000/person (6 days & 5 nights adventure)
- Requirements for adventurers:
|18 - 70 years old
|Has trekking experience in the last 12 months: at least 1 overnight trek & some trekking trips which require trekking around 8 km /day
|Ability to run 5km continuously within 50 minutes or walk within 75 minutes
|Ability to climb 5 floors continuously without difficulty breathing or dizziness
Son Doong, located inside the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is worldwide famous as the largest natural cave in the entire globe which has its own primeval forest inside with a unique ecosystem.
Another World Beauty Inside Son Doong Cave
Before registering to visit this site, visitors must adapt to the requirements of physical health and trekking experience as it is the most adventurous thing to do in Vietnam. To get to Son Doong Cave, you must trek through 17 km jungle and mountain trails with elevation changes up to 800m, cross through streams and rivers about 50 times, explore 8km inside caves which requires both trekking and climbing, 1 time descend to the cave (90m), and 1 time ascend 90m to reach the Great Wall of Vietnam.
21. Relax on Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang is voted for owning one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with a white sand beach and crystal-clear seawater. Marvelous luxury hotels and resorts can be found everywhere here, especially some high-end 5-star resorts that own stunning private beaches. This place is where you enjoy your remarkable beach holiday while tanning your skin with natural light from tropical sunshine, capturing the gorgeous sunset & sunrise, and unwind with a coconut drink.
Unwind Among The Attractive Magnificence Of Nha Trang Beach
There are 2 most popular beaches in Nha Trang City, which are Bai Dai Beach and Nha Trang Beach. However, it is recommended that you should experience Bai Dai Beach which has a lengthy, smooth sandy beach with coconut trees swaying in the breeze where you can unwind completely and take in the breathtaking scenery while watching sports like soccer, beach volleyball, or tug of war.
Above are only some of the top must-do things in Vietnam. There are many other spectacular authentic activities that you should try in this wonderful country, and to have the best experience, just contact BestPrice Travel immediately to have an impressive holiday in Vietnam!