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Ultimate Vietnam Bucket List – 100+ Things To Do In Vietnam

Visiting Vietnam? This ultimate Vietnam bucket list has over 100 awesome things to do in Vietnam. From the jaw-dropping beauty of Ha Long Bay to the chaotic markets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has so much to offer.

I’ve collated all the best things to do in Vietnam so you don’t have to.

Contents – Vietnam Bucket List

I’ve divided this Vietnam bucket list into the following areas:

Things To Do In Hanoi & Northern Vietnam

  1. Take a scenic boat tour through Ha Long Bay. Here you’ll see many stunning and unique islands. Why not try a junk boat? It’s one of the most popular ways to see the islands.
Ha Long Bay
  1. Take a food tour around Hanoi and treat your tastebuds. 
  1. For unforgettable views of Hanoi from above, head to the observation deck on the 65th floor of the Lotte Centre.
  1. Be adventurous and go trekking in Sapa. Why not visit Muong Hoa Valley for a trek you’ll never forget.
  1. See if you can spot a golden-headed langur at the Cat Ba National Park – there are only 65 of these endangered animals remaining in the world!
  1. Have a drink at Cafe in the Clouds – this is a mountain bar in Sapa that overlooks the luscious green valleys. 
  1. Marvel at the beauty of the Ban Gioc Waterfall. This stunning waterfall is 30 metres tall and 300 metres wide! 
Ban Gioc Waterfall
  1. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi which is the final resting place of Vietnam’s most iconic and popular leader, Ho Chi Minh. You can actually view his preserved body here in a glass case. 
  1. Visit Bat Trang Pottery Village in Hanoi which has been producing high quality ceramics for 7 centuries!
  1. Explore ancient Hanoi by visiting the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.
  1. Take a trip to Cat Ba National Park. This stunning park is located on one of the islands within Ha Long Bay and you can really get lost in nature here.
Cat Ba Island Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash
  1. Head over to a water puppet theatre for a puppet show! Watch the puppets dance over the water.
  1. Get lost in Hanoi’s old quarter. These chaotic narrow streets never sleep and really bring Vietnamese culture to life. 
  1. Stay in a local village homestay in Sapa to get a glimpse of how people have lived here for centuries.
  1. Visit Hanoi’s Train Street where twice a day a train passes only inches away from the houses on this street.
Train Street Photo by Chor Tsang on Unsplash
  1. Get lost in nature at the Ba Vi National Park. With 3 mountains to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Why not climb the tallest summit where you’ll find an 11th century temple and epic views of the valley below.
  1. Stay at Topas Eco Lodge which has an infinity pool overlooking the terraced rice fields of Sapa. It’s one of the most incredible views you’ll see!
  1. Marvel at the beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. See if you can spot one of the turtles that swim in the lake.
  1. Ride in a seaplane in Ha Long Bay. This is an amazing way to travel and will allow you to view the Red River Delta, beautiful beaches, bays and fishing villages.
Ha Long Bay
  1. Get yourself a souvenir at the Hanoi Weekend Night Market, a huge bustling market held every weekend.
  1. Head up to the Ngu Lam peak for incredible views of Cat Ba National Park and the jungle below.
  1. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, an ancient Buddhist temple that has existed for over 1,000 years.
One Pillar Pagoda
  1. Ride in a sampan and explore Tam Coc which features a river surrounded by mountains and rice paddies. 
  1. Visit St Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi. This is one of the city’s best churches.
  1. If you’re interested in history then why not explore the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi.
  1. Ride a motorbike through the Ha Giang Loop, one of the most beautiful mountain loops in Vietnam. 
  1. Have a fun day out at Vinpearl Water Park which is the largest underground waterpark in the world. 
Vinpearl Water Park
  1. Hike Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in Indochina – it’s 3,143 metres above sea level!
  1. Visit Cat Cat Village in Sapa where you can trek through the rice paddies and learn about rural life from the locals.
  1. Join a boat party on Tuan Chau Island. 
  1. Enjoy the beautiful views at Dong Van Karst Plateau where you’ll find narrow valleys and rocky mountains.
Dong Van Karst Plateau
  1. Cycle through the Mai Chau countryside. Here you’ll cycle past beautiful villages and vast rice fields.
  1. Grab yourself a beer at Bia Hoi Junction and drink the night away. 
  1. Visit the authentic Meo Vac Sunday Market in Ha Giang where locals come from all over to purchase goods.
  1. Take a boat ride through the tranquil Ba Be National Park.
  1. Check out the pearl farm in Ha Long Bay where you can pick out your own pearl necklace.

Things To Do In Hoi An, Da Nang & Central Vietnam

  1. Walk across the Golden Bridge in Da Nang. This unbelievable site looks like 2 giant hands supporting a bridge. 
Golden Bridge Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash
  1. Ride along the Hai Van Pass – one of the world’s most scenic coastal roads. 
  1. Explore the city of Hue and see how many ancient pagodas you can spot!
  1. Take a boat trip out to Cham Island for some peace and quiet. This stunning tropical paradise is well worth a visit!
Cham Island
  1. Check out the world’s largest natural cave in Phong Nga. Hang Son Doong is more than 5 kilometers long!
  1. Get some tailor-made clothing in Hoi An. This town is known for the best tailor-made suits. 
  1. Check out the lantern market in Hoi An. You’ll see hundreds of brightly coloured lanterns illuminating the stalls and decorating the streets. 
Lanterns in Hoi An
  1. Take a bike tour around Da Nang to explore what the city has to offer. 
  1. Take a traditional cooking class in the Tra Que Vegetable Village. Here, you’ll learn how to make corn pancakes!
  1. Visit the infamous Dragon Bridge in Da Nang. Make sure to stop by at 9pm on Saturday or Sunday as the dragon spits real fire! 
Dragon Bridge Photo by Ngô Thanh Tùng on Unsplash
  1. Explore the royal tombs in Hue by bicycle. Hue was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. 
  1. Soak up some sun at one of the beautiful beaches in Hoi An. Check out An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach, often regarded as some of the best beaches in Vietnam.
  1. Visit the My Son Ruins close to Hoi An. This is a complex of abandoned Hindu temples that date back to the 4th century. 
  1. Get out and explore the streets of Hoi An’s ancient old town. 
Hoi An
  1. Take a cable car ride up to Ba Na Hills where a fantasy theme park sits upon the hilltop.
  1. Visit the mysterious forgotten tomb of Emperor Gia Long in Hue which is only reachable by taking a wooden boat across the Perfume River.
  1. Explore the Marble Mountains in Da Nang. Here you’ll find hills made from limestone and marble as well as caves, tunnels and temples.
Marble Mountains, Da Nang
  1. Visit the Phap Lam Pagoda in Da Nang. Filled with culture, here you’ll find stunning gardens, Buddhist statues and nature. 
  1. Get lost in the rainforest at the Son Tra Peninsula. This place is huge at over 4,000 hectares!
  1. Relax on Da Nang’s Non Nuoc Beach – one of Vietnam’s most picturesque beaches. You can soak up some sun or even try out some surfing.
Non Nuoc Beach
  1. See if you can spot a seahorse whilst snorkelling on Cham Island.
  1. Take a dip in the Elephant Springs named after a boulder that looks like an elephants head.
  1. Visit an eerie abandoned waterpark – Ho Thuy Tien. It has a post-apocalyptic feel becoming overgrown and even has a dragon.
Abandoned Water Park Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash
  1. Visit the Tomb of Nguyen Emperor Khai Dinh. You’ll be impressed by the fierce dragons guarding the tomb, the stone elephants and warriors standing outside and the huge iron gates.
  1. Go trekking in Bach Ma National Park.
  1. Take a step back in time and tour the imperial city of Hue in a horse-drawn carriage.

Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City & Southern Vietnam

  1. Let loose and go for a night out in Bui Vien in Ho Chi Minh City. This street is an infamous backpacker street where you can party all night long.
  1. Take a hot air balloon ride over Mui Ne, a coastal city home to 2 huge stretches of sand dunes, the white dunes and the red dunes.
  1. Grab a drink at one of Ho Chi Minh City’s rooftop bars for epic views of the city. 
  1. Relax and take a mud bath in Nha Trang. 
Nha Trang
  1. Be adventurous and go canyoning in Dalat. This involves abseiling down a waterfall and swimming. 
  1. Go diving on the island of Con Dao. You’ll see corals, hawksbill turtles, rays and even sharks!
  1. Check out the impressive sand dunes of Mui Ne. If you’re feeling adventurous why not go sandboarding! 
Sand Dunes in Mui Ne Photo by Matias Malka on Unsplash
  1. Or you could ride an ATV along the red sand dunes of Mui Ne. 
  1. Go snorkelling on the island of Phu Quoc! This is the best place to see marine life, get yourself some snorkelling gear to see cuttlefish, octopus, scorpion fish, pufferfish, anemones, eels and more.
  1. Head up to the Sky Deck of the Bitexco Tower for 360º views of Ho Chi Minh City. This building is also the tallest in Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City Skyline At Night
  1. Learn about the Cao Dai faith at the Cao Dai Temple in Ho Chi Minh City. 
  1. Explore a floating market on the Mekong Delta.
  1. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City which was built by French colonists in the 1880’s. Standing in front is a Virgin Mary statue that allegedly shed tears in 2005 – see if you can spot a miracle!
Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City
  1. Go kayaking along the Saigon River. 
  1. Learn about history and experience what it was like for soldiers by heading to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This is a network of tunnels that was used during the Vietnam War and today they’re open to the public, you can even get inside the tunnels themselves.
  1. Take a boat ride along the Mekong Delta. 
  1. Relax on the stunning beaches of Phu Quoc. Some of the best include Long Beach and Ong Lang Beach.
Phu Quoc Photo by Ryan Christodoulou on Unsplash
  1. Marvel at the French-inspired buildings dotted around Ho Chi Minh City.
  1. Delve into history at the Phu Quoc Prison where Vietnamese soldiers were imprisoned during the Vietnam War. Today, the museum shows toture instruments, photos of prisoners and much more.
  1. Visit Vietnam’s oldest and largest market, Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. It has over 3,000 vendors!
  1. Take a dip in the stunning blue waters at Doc Let, just north of Nha Trang. 
Dawn at Doc Let
  1. Take some time out and have some fun at the world’s first Buddhist waterslide park – Suoi Tien Cultural Theme Park. 
  1. Delve into history at the War Remnants Museum where you can learn more about the Vietnam War that ended in 1973. 
  1. Take a romantic stroll through the Valley of Love in Dalat. 
Valley of Love, Dalat
  1. Check out the stunning Datanla Waterfalls in Dalat where they even have a rollercoaster that begins at the summit of the falls. 
  1. Visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda which is one of the most stunning and famous temples in the country.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
  1. Take a tour of one of the quirkiest places in Vietnam – the Crazy House. The house is built to resemble a tree and each room has a different theme. You’ll see lots of strange things here.
  1. Enjoy an evening out at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House.

General Things To Do In Vietnam

  1. Treat your tastebuds and try one of Vietnam’s most famous dishes, pho. This is a type of soup which consists of noodles and slices of either beef or chicken.
Pho Photo by Sharon Chen on Unsplash
  1. Try the stinkiest fruit on earth – durian! It’s super sweet and creamy. 
  1. Take a cooking class and learn to make some of Vietnam’s delicious cuisine. 
  1. Grab yourself a cup of Vietnam’s famous egg coffee. Nobody does coffee like Vietnam. 
Vietnamese Egg Coffee
  1. Hire a motorbike and explore the sites of Vietnam!
  1. Originating on the streets of Saigon, make sure you try a banh mi, a French-Vietnamese hybrid sandwich. 
  1. Visit a traditional fishing village. There are many of these along the entire length of the Vietnamese coastline that give an interesting look into how many people of Vietnam make a living. 
  1. Taste Vietnam’s famous sizzling meatballs, bun cha. 
Bun Cha
  1. Book a ticket on a sleeper bus and take a trip down Vietnam’s long coastline.
  1. Enjoy a glass of the world’s cheapest beer, bia hoi.  
  1. Make sure you try some street food in one of Vietnam’s cities.

Thanks for reading this ultimate Vietnam bucket list that includes over 100 awesome things to do in Vietnam. The list is by no means complete so please let me know if there’s something else I should add!

Happy travels!