Vietnam is a vibrant and rich environment that will transport you away to a brand new world. Just one step and you’ll be absorbed into the country’s rich culture and history. It’s no wonder it’s becoming one of the most popular destinations for tourists.
This culture is one of the biggest parts of Vietnam’s charm. If you’re planning a trip, here are the top four cultural highlights of Vietnam that you can’t miss out on.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and packed full of history and culture on every street corner.
But like every city, there are some places that carry its heart and soul. The Old Quarter is one of them. With over 1,000 years of history soaked into every cobble, the Old Quarter is where you’ll find locals bargaining in the market streets, tasting some of the best dishes in the country or enjoying a drink in one of the many open-air bars north of Hoan Kiem lake.
Take a step back into the past by visiting a perfectly preserved small-scale trading port of the 15th and 19th centuries.
As an official UNESCO heritage site, the seaside town of Hoi An promises fantastic views and a mash of culture like you’ve never seen before. It’s a mix of Chinese temples, Japanese bridges, French colonial houses, pagodas and rustic wooden shops. All from years of small trade and exchange of cultures.
A tour of Hoi An is a must-do for any Vietnam travelers.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to some of the most unique experiences in Vietnam. Located in the middle of the country, it can be quite a trek for those who are just planning to head to the capital city. But it’s worth the travel.
This national park holds some of the best views in the country. What’s more, it’s famous for 400-million-year-old limestone caves and underground rivers. The most famous is Son Doong Cave, which is so big it could fit the entirety of New York City inside. Now, that’s a sight to see.
Central Vietnam experiences high levels of rainfall between September and December, so to make the most of the park you may want to plan your trip here around those dates.
No cultural trip in Vietnam would be complete without a visit to Huế, its once imperial city. Here, you can literally walk amongst the old kings in the former palaces. Although a lot was destroyed by American bombers, you can still see the size of the empire in the ruins.
If that’s not enough to grab you, the city is also filled with art déco mansions, beautiful and spicy food and unique markets – all amongst beautifully leafy streets that will make the perfect Instagram pictures.
Ready to fly?
Every part of Vietnam is bursting with beauty, culture and history. These are our top four picks for you to explore, but don’t worry. Vietnam is geographically one of the easiest countries to explore (see our Vietnam itinerary for first timers). And the magic of Vietnam lies behind every corner.
Just make sure you pack your camera to keep as many memories as possible.