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Vietnam is a country of diversity: Chaotic cities and sleepy rural villages. Mountains and beaches, palm trees and pines. While traveling in Vietnam, we trekked through rice terraces, hugged a 1,000-year-old tree, explored famous caves, ate everything we set our sights on, went ziplining and canyoneering, drove a motorbike through jungles and misty mountain passes, were invited into a home in a rural village, learned how to cook some tasty Vietnamese dishes, and rang in the new year on our own private beach.
The food, the motorbikes, the landscapes and the people made this one of our favorite destinations in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is a country that surprised us in every way, and we can’t wait for you to experience its flavors and sounds and warmth for yourself.
Top Places to Go In Vietnam
The capital of Vietnam and the second largest city, Hanoi is an interesting mix of the East and the West with noticeable traces of the communist influence as well as the French invasion. Known for being chaotic, colorful, scooter-infested city, Hanoi has a lot to offer in terms of delicious French and local delicacies, French-colonial architecture as well as a tranquil countryside that is a short drive away.
Top things to do in Hanoi besides visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - often used as a symbol of Hanoi, includes watching the water puppet theatre and visiting 'Uncle Ho' at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. A popular hangout spot for locals throughout the day, a visit to the Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake) is a central feature of Hanoi. For shopping, Dong Xuan Market is the largest of its kind in Hanoi offering an extensive collection of fashion, apparel and souvenirs. Travel back through time by visiting Hanoi's Old Quarter where visitors can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets and it brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be.
If you have extra time to spare, Packist recommends to go on a Halong bay River Cruise where you will be able to join a delicious meal while admiring the scenery of limestone landscapes and cool caves.
Ho Chi Minh
Drawing millions of tourists every year, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant mix of old and new, with well-preserved colonial structures and war relics from the devastating Vietnam War as well as the modernization of the city with sleek skyscrapers, elegant sports clubs, and expansive shopping malls. The whirlwind formally known as Saigon is a hot, noisy, dynamic city that rarely sleeps, with a complex history and plenty of culture for tourists to soak up.
Visiting Ho Chi Minh without a stepping inside Cu Chi Tunnel would be a lost as it would be the main area to fully understand the Vietnam War besides the War Remnants Museum.The Notre Dame Cathedral is also a famous tourist spot with the building materials were imported from France and the Virgin Mary statue was reported to shed tears. Opposite of the Cathedral is the Saigon Central Post Office with Gothic, French and Renaissance architectural influences.
If you would like to have a breakfast and shop at the same time, Packist recommends to visit Ben Thanh Market which is located at Ho Chi Minh liveliest area. While restaurant stalls are price reasonably, do bargain religiously on apparels and souvenirs and ignore the "fixed" price signs.
Best known as the tourist capital of South Central Vietnam, Da Nang's location in the west coast makes it a great spot for beautiful sunsets against the lush mountains. Best to visit between May and August, Da Nang is a hip and thriving Vietnam city which offers a wide range of fun-filled activities and sightseeing opportunities.
Top things to do in Da Nang includes visiting the Dragon bridge at 9 pm during the weekend as the impressive dragon sculpture spouts fire and water from its head near the Han River's eastern bank. A 20-mile stretch of white sand, My Khe Beach is considered to be one of Vietnam's most picturesque beach. A must-do for any first-time visitor to Da Nang, Marble Mountain is a cluster of of limestone and marble hills where tourists can enjoy an amazing view across Non Nuoc Beach or My Khe Beach ( after climbing the mountain of course!). Reviewed as one of the most unique churches in Vietnam, Da Nang Cathedral - which is also known as Con Ga Church (Rooster Church)
features a pink-painted edifice, stained-glass windows, and an imposing bell tower topped with a rooster weathercock.
If you have an extra day to spare, Packist recommends to escape to Ba Na Hills to marvel at the exquisite architecture of the Linh Ung Pagoda, feeling refreshingly cool weather and gorgeous countryside views.
Top Travel Tips for Vietnam from Packist