Feel your heart race with wonder as you stare out over a seascape of limestone islands from the deck of an antique boat in Halong Bay. Take in the sheer chaos of motorbikes rushing through the busy city streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
If you're looking to experience things you'll never forget, Vietnam is calling your name.
For those looking to narrow down their list of must-sees while visiting this stunning country, we've got a few highlights for you. Just take a look below.
Halong Bay is a destination that will have all your Facebook friends dying of holiday envy. This stretch of sea is known for the thousands of limestone karst formations dotting the area. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
You'll be spoiled for choice with endless grottoes and countless tiny islets to explore. Entry tickets must be purchased by all visitors entering the national park and there are separate tickets on sale for additional attractions, such as caves and fishing villages.
Ho Chi Minh City
Bustling streets, cosmopolitan cafes, historical relics, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-do for anyone making their way through Vietnam. In the center of the city lies Đồng Khởi, a small central district, home to the majority of city's most notable sights. The HCMC Museum, the grand Notre-Dame Cathedral and the History Museum all call Đồng Khởi home. Make sure to visit the the old district of Đa Kao to explore some of the best preserved examples of the city's French colonial architecture.
If you don't mind stepping just a little outside the city centre, visit The Reunification Palace, formerly known as Independence Palace, located along Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street. Formerly the residence of South Vietnam's president, it's famously known as the spot where North Vietnam's tanks stopped on 30 April 1975, officially ending the war. The decor in the palace is still completely stuck in the 1960s, making it an eye -catching stop on your trip.
Củ Chi Tunnels
Speaking of Ho Chi Minh, the Củ Chi Tunnels deserve a section of their own. Located in the city's expansive War Museum, they give visitors a glimpse into the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers in 1948. With over 120km of underground tunnels, including living areas, kitchens, hospitals and even trapdoors, it stands as one of Ho Chi Minh's most notable attractions.
Following the war with the French, the Vietnamese expanded these tunnels, even including functional air filtration systems which ultimately aided in the soldiers' survival during the Củ Chi carpet-bombings. Before you enter the tunnels, you will watch a short film to help you understand just how the system works. Beware: this excursion is definitely not for the claustrophobic! Though modified slightly to accommodate more foot traffic, the passageways in the tunnels are quite narrow!
Dalat is different to the rest of Vietnam. The weather sits at comfortable springtime temperatures, an exception to the stifling heat of the rest of the country. The town is dotted with elegant French-colonial villas and local farms grow strawberries and coffee instead of rice.
There is plenty to do in Dalat, from visiting the quirky Hằng Nga Crazy House full of wild colours and heaps of cascading lava-flow-like shapes to hiking to the famous Elephant Falls - there is truly something for everyone!
Hoi An takes the best bits of Vietnam and delivers it in one location. A perfect combination of old-school Asian wonder, enviable white sand beaches, charming hotel options and a centre full of restaurants and shops to explore - you'll find everything you could have asked for in Hoi An.
The town is only 5 miles from a range of beaches, and whether you stay in the centre of town or right on the shore, it's a breeze to travel between the two locations. Cửa Đại is the closest beach to Hoi An and is home to some very impressive views. Enjoy a cold drink and take in the sights. Da Nang is also located very close to Hoi An and has an airport and railway station on the coastal "Reunification Express" route.
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