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11 Unique Places To Visit In Vietnam

From the impressive Marble Mountains and the striking Golden Bridge, to the natural beauty of Halong Bay and the buzz of the ancient town of Hoi An, these unique places to visit in Vietnam should definitely be on your bucket list.

There aren’t many countries in the world which boast the breadth of scenery of Vietnam. One day you can be cruising past spectacular limestone karsts in Halong Bay, and the next you can be adventuring through the rice paddies of Sapa. Vietnam has hundreds of natural wonders, but it’s also home to some incredible man-made creations too.

Mekong Delta
There are many beautiful places to visit in Vietnam, such as the Mekong Delta

I’d recommend a trip to the Golden Bridge, located close to Da Nang, which appears to be held up by two giant stone hands. Alternatively, visit the charming town of Hoi An and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, as you explore streets illuminated by colourful lanterns, and watch the tailoring trade still going strong.

While some of you might fancy planning your own itinerary, there are plenty of great itineraries which will tick off a number of the unique places in Vietnam. I’d suggest booking via Original Travel, a company which creates tailor-made holidays, designed to take the stress out of travel planning.

We visited San Sebastian with them a few years ago, and it really felt like every little detail was taken care of, from the second we reached the airport in London. They’re also great if you’re travelling with kids, with itineraries such as this Family Vietnam holiday, designed to show you all the sights, while making it a comfortable and fun trip for your little ones too.

Ready to find out more about Vietnam’s unique destinations? Let’s go!

Ha Giang
The incredible landscapes of Ha Giang

11 Amazing Places To Visit In Vietnam

Halong Bay

The postcard for Vietnam, and for very good reason, Halong Bay is an absolute must-see if you’re planning a trip to the country. We visited in November and had the most amazing 3-day cruise around the region.

View of Halong Bay from Ti Top Island
I loved the view from Ti Top Island in Halong Bay

Located in north-eastern Vietnam, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its natural beauty. It’s home to 1,600 limestone karsts and islets, all topped with lush vegetation.

You’ve probably seen the photos of these towering limestone islands, jutting out from the emerald green waters, but did you know the area is home to caves and secret beaches too? Most people book a 2-day cruise around Halong Bay, but if you get the chance to stay longer, I’d 100% recommend it. You’ll get deeper into the region, away from the masses of tourist boats, to some more tranquil spots.

Looking at the view of halong bay
You’ll see a lot of cruise boats in Halong Bay

Highlights for me included the views from the top of Ti Top Island, exploring Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave) and waking up to watch the sunrise from the boat. We also kayaked to a small island, walked through a cave and then emerged at a secret beach.

The scenery here is so unique – it really feels like one of those magical places in the world. I’d urge you to add it to your Vietnam itinerary!

halong bay cave
Exploring the caves in Halong Bay

Marble Mountains

Being honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Da Nang. It felt like a built up, soulless city. But, it’s definitely worth a stop as there are some amazing places to visit close by.

Just a short drive away are the Marble Mountains. This cluster of five limestone and marble hills is home to caves, pagodas and various religious sites.

Marble Mountains Da Nang
We had an incredible day at the Marble Mountains near Da Nang

While the geology is impressive (and surprising considering you’re right by the ocean), the views are what makes this place seriously unique. From the main viewpoint you’ll have spectacular panoramas of the landscapes all around.

If you’re an adventurous sort you can scramble through some of the caves too. It’s a unique place to visit in Vietnam, and definitely worth allowing time for if you’re visiting Da Nang or Hoi An.

Marble Mountains cave
There are several caves to visit in the Marble Mountains

Golden Bridge

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have seen images of this architectural wonder in Vietnam. The Golden Bridge appears to be held up by two giant stone hands that emerge from the lush green hillsides. Despite being relatively new, the hands look weathered and ancient.

Golden Bridge Vietnam
The Golden Bridge is located close to Da Nang in Vietnam

This unique place in Vietnam is part of Sun World Ba Na Hills, reachable on a day trip from Da Nang. I’ve heard mixed things about visiting, as it can get really busy. If you’re keen for some great photo opportunities, I’d recommend getting there nice and early before it gets too crowded.

Dragon Bridge

The Golden Bridge isn’t the only famous bridge around here! Another great reason to visit Da Nang is to see the famous Dragon Bridge show, right in the city centre. This bridge is a unique sight in itself, but time your trip for a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll get to see a weird and wonderful fire and water show!

Dragon Bridge show Da Nang
We thought it was a fun experience seeing the Dragon Bridge show in Da Nang

Yes, that’s right. This dragon breathes fire and water over the crowds! We witnessed it and we were amazed by the enormous flames erupting from the dragon’s mouth. Minutes later, jets of water exploded, showering those below! The show is accompanied by lights too, making it even more memorable.


I’ve mentioned some of my favourite beaches, caves and towns in Vietnam. Now, it’s time to focus on mountains! This area in northern Vietnam is known as Sapa. Just look at it – isn’t it dreamy?

Sapa rice terraces Vietnam
Sapa is famous for views like this of the rice terraces

Are you a bit of an adventurer? Well, you’ll love exploring the terraced rice fields, lush green valleys, and towering mountain peaks of this unique destination. Sapa is really popular with hikers and cyclists. Plus, alongside the dramatic scenery, you’ll find cascading waterfalls, such as the 200m tall Thac Bac Waterfall (also known as Silver Waterfall).

Love waterfall Sapa
One of the beautiful waterfalls in Sapa in northern Vietnam

If you’re unsure of planning a trip like this yourself, you could chat to Original Travel, who will help put together the perfect itinerary. Their Adventure in the Hills trip includes an amazing few days exploring Sapa, as well as time exploring the picturesque Ha Giang and the buzzy city of Hanoi.

Ninh Binh

You’ve seen the majestic limestone mounds in Halong Bay, but now it’s time to turn inland and see similar geological wonders in a different setting. Ninh Binh’s lush countryside dotted with rice paddies and winding rivers make it one of the most unique places to visit in Vietnam.

Ninh Binh
If you’re looking for unique places to visit in Vietnam, I’d recommend Ninh Binh

It’s another dream location for those who love the great outdoors, with options to hike, cycle or cruise along the tranquil waters. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot too, including langurs (monkeys), snakes, lizards, butterflies, and a variety of birdlife too.

Hoi An

The ancient town of Hoi An won me over from the second I arrived. I walked around with a big grin on my face! With colourful lanterns, old buildings all painted yellow and classic temples, there’s a real charm to this UNESCO World Heritage site.

exploring hoi an
Hoi An is one of the most unique places to visit in Vietnam

The historic old town is very charming, with its yellow buildings and scattering of ancient temples. In terms of unique places to visit in Vietnam, it’s the mix of culture and beauty that puts Hoi An firmly on this list. I’d recommend heading to the banks of Thu Bon River – it’s the ultimate people watching spot. You’ll see locals around the market area, and tourists hopping on boats. We loved grabbing a drink here around sunset, and watching as people made wishes while setting off paper lanterns.

floating lanterns in hoi an
We loved setting off a floating lantern when we visited Hoi An

It’s also a town synonymous with tailoring and food. So, the two other things I’d urge you to do are: 1) get a garment made at one of the many tailoring shops and 2) go on a food tour to learn about the local Vietnamese cuisine.  

food scene in hoi an
We had so many amazing meals in Hoi An

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Known for its amazing caves and underground rivers, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to some of the most unique landscapes in Vietnam.

At over 5km in length, Son Doong Cave is the largest cave in the world, but it’s not easily accessible. To visit you’ll need to book a lengthy expedition. But don’t worry, there are plenty more amazing caves in this national park, just waiting to be explored.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a stunning place to visit in Vietnam

One of the most popular is Phong Nha Cave. You’ll start your trip to the cave by travelling along a river – what fun! Alternatively, you could visit Paradise Cave, which has a series of wooden walkways. There are also caves with ziplines, kayak tours and more. This really is an absolute paradise for adventure lovers!

Phong Nha Cave
Phong Nha Cave is one of the most popular in this region

Try to plan your trip from January to September, as many of the caves are inaccessible during rainy season (from October to December).

Mui Ne Sand Dunes

Around three hours from Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam, lie the red and white sand dunes of Mui Ne. You’ll find the red sand dunes close to the beach town of Mui Ne, so you could combine a coastal stay with a trip to the dunes.

Mui Ne Sand Dunes
How amazing are Mui Ne Sand Dunes?

For the white sand dunes (which are more of a sandy yellow in reality!) you’ll need to travel around 30km. Once you reach them, there are options to sand board or dune buggy around the landscapes. A lot of people choose to book jeep safaris as it’s a convenient way to see the area. If you can, I’d recommend planning your trip for sunrise or sunset, when the sun’s rays illuminate the dunes in a particularly magical way.

Train Street, Hanoi

How many cities have you visited where you can sit at a café as trains whoosh past your table? Head to Train Street in Hanoi and you really can order your iced coffee with a side of danger!

train street hanoi
Train Street is a popular spot to visit in Hanoi

This skinny street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, has train tracks running through the middle. There are several trains throughout the day, that skirt between the buildings. You’ll feel the wind in your face and be partially deaf after the thundering on the tracks, but it’s an exhilarating experience! The street is lined with kooky cafes, with colourful lanterns and lengthy coffee and smoothie menus, so you’re guaranteed to find something you fancy.  

Ban Gioc Waterfall

One of the most famous waterfalls in Vietnam, the incredible Ban Gioc Waterfall is located in the north of the country, close to the border with China. It’s a stunning area in itself, a real untouched wilderness. It’s somewhere to immerse yourself in nature, with lush forests, rice paddies and more of the country’s characteristic limestone mountains all around.

Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of the most popular natural wonders in Vietnam

But, the main event here is Ban Gioc Waterfall. It’s one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Emerald green waters stretch for 300 metres, with several cascades forming over the limestone rocks. It’s absolutely awe-inspiring, so it’s no wonder it attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Oh, how I love Vietnam. I fell in love with the country’s rich history, lush landscapes and vibrant towns and cities. There are so many unique places to visit in Vietnam. Where will you go first?

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With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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