Heading out to the magical country of Vietnam? Be ready for epic views, towering mountains, bustling cities, breathtaking adventures, and MORE! To stir up some inspiration, take a look at my top 1o incredible experiences to have in Vietnam below!
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Looking for some incredible experiences to have in Vietnam? Get ready for something amazing because Vietnam is a beautiful, crazy country filled with wild adventures, friendly people, and unbelievable experiences.
A Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea, Vietnam is extremely diverse and there’s no shortage of things to do, considering the country has a north to south distance of about 1,025 miles!
From canyoning in DaLat to floating on a boat in the middle of Halong Bay, there’s an array of amazing experiences to have in the beautiful country of Vietnam.
Are you planning a trip to Southeast Asia? Don’t forget to read my thorough 4-part Southeast Asia Backpacking Guide! It has EVERYTHING you need to know before you go.
TOP 10 INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES TO HAVE IN VIETNAM
1. Motorbiking Around the Mountains of Sapa
Located in Northern Vietnam, Sapa is filled with vibrant green forests, gorgeous rice paddies, friendly locals, and beautiful, rolling hills.
And how is it best explored? On two wheels of course!
There’s nothing better than speeding around on a motorbike through Vietnam and the lush mountains of Sapa.
Plus, if you haven’t learned how to ride a motorbike yet, Sapa is one of the best places to learn! Yes, the roads may be a bit rough, but they’re usually empty so it gives you lots of room to make mistakes. Just don’t go riding off the side of the mountain!
Psst, before you head to Sapa, don’t forget to check out my post on 17 Sapa travel tips every Vietnam backpacker needs to know!
2. Trekking Through the Hills of Sapa
Similar to motorbiking around, exploring the area of Sapa on foot is definitely one of the most incredible experiences to have in Vietnam! Wandering around on foot allows you to get to the places that motorbikes can’t. It’s completely worth seeking out all those little nooks and crannies that are hidden from the main roads!
And even better? If you’re staying at one of the homestays in Sapa, there’ll likely be someone who’d love to be a hiking guide for you! At Miku Chillhouse, where I stayed, the local kids were happy to show a group of us to the nearby waterfall! They were adorable.
Hey, would you rather have everything planned out for you? Click here to take a look at this 2-day Sapa tour from Hanoi where all your activities are already ready to go!
3. Exploring Halong Bay by Boat
Turquoise blue waters, limestone karsts of all different shapes and sizes jutting out of the sea; breathtaking views, and bays packed with lively junk boats, filled with fun and friendly backpackers… need I say more?
And even better? Halong Bay can totally be done on a budget — so you can save up a few more pennies for other adventures, like spending a full month in Vietnam.
Pssst, interested in doing a more luxurious Halong Bay tour where you can relax and just take in all the beautiful scenery? Click here to take a look at this incredible 2-day, 1-night Halong Bay tour!
Psst, you probably agree… anything can happen while traveling! Especially if you’re traveling Vietnam, as it’s not the safest country (I saw a girl get completely run over by a motorbike!). That’s why you should always always always protect yourself with reputable travel insurance. Get a quote with World Nomads here!
4. Canyoning through Da Lat
Da Lat is unlike anywhere else in Vietnam; positioned in the mountains and located 4,900 ft above sea level, Da Lat has more spring-like weather compared to the more tropical weather of the rest of Vietnam.
With its more cooler weather, Da Lat is a fantastic place for hiking, canyoning, motorbiking, waterfall hunting, and other outdoor activities. Whereas you’d be sweating your butt off in the rest of Vietnam, you’ll be nice and cool in the chillier weather of Da Lat!
One of my favorite days in Vietnam consisted of me wearing long leggings, a long sleeve top, and a sweatshirt while motorbiking around the area.
5. Wander Around the Markets in Hanoi
Filled with the unique craziness of Vietnam, the markets in Hanoi are nothing short of eye-catching.
By walking through the markets where locals buy their food and products, you get a small peek into their everyday lives. And no doubt, you see everything here.
From small, unique trinkets to knockoff Apple products to full-on pig carcasses on the back of motorbikes. It’s totally crazy! But so unique and cool at the same time.
P.S. This is an awesome day tour with raving reviews where you can explore all of Hanoi’s highlights!
Curious to see what else there is to do in Hanoi? Click here to check out my list of cool things to do there!
6. Visit the Bich Dong Pagodas in Ninh Binh
Nestled into a beautiful mountainside, the ancient and wondrous Bich Dong Pagoda is a three tiered pagoda built in 1428 by two Buddhist monks. All three pagodas, arranged in ascending order, are built directly into the mountain side.
No doubt, making it one of the coolest Buddhist pagodas to visit!
Whilst visiting, you can wander into the mountain behind one of the pagodas and climb up a set of black, mysterious stairs up to what is known as the dark cave, where an ancient Buddha statue resides.
No doubt, one of the most incredible experiences to have in Vietnam!
7. Explore the Wondrous Caves of Phong Nha
Endless cave rivers flowing into the abyss, breathtaking limestone rock formations, and towering cave ceilings?
The wondrous caves of Phong Nha are not to be missed when seeking out incredible experiences to have in Vietnam. The 4 most visited caves near Phong Nha are the Phong Nha Cave, Tien Son Cave, Paradise Cave,and the Dark Cave.
All are absolutely stunning but if you are short on time, visit Paradise Cave. It’s truly spectacular, as it’s the longest dry cave in the world.
Filled with limestone rock formations, in all different shapes and sizes, the caves around Phong Nha will no doubt take your breath away.
Hey! Heading to Indonesia, too? Here are 10 essentials you can’t forget to pack for Bali.
8. Wander Around the Mui Ne Fairy Stream
Zig-zaging and curving its way through the bamboo forests and sand dunes of Vietnam, the Mui Ne Fairy Stream is like another world. Resembling a sort of miniature Grand Canyon, the Fairy Stream has towering sand sides and breathtaking colorful rocks.
For the most part, the Fairy Steam is no deeper than one’s ankles. And the red dirt, which the stream consists of, is pleasantly soft to walk on.
Although at first it may look a little unpredictable, as the red sand makes the stream look dirty, visitors are encouraged to take off their shoes and get their feet wet!
It’s surprisingly relaxing strolling through the Mui Ne Fairy Stream. One just might believe there are actual fairies hiding within the mysterious caverns that line the river…
9. View Ninh Binh from Above
Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, down a quiet road, lies a not-so impressive caves. Although the caves are nothing special, this place really stands out for the panoramic views of the surrounding area.
After about 500 steps up to the Mua Caves, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking views of majestic rice paddies in Tam Coc and the shimmering Ngo Giang river winding its way through the limestone mountains jutting out of the valley.
Need some idea of what to pack for your adventure? Here are 10 odd essentials I’ll never travel without.
10. Dip Your Toes in the Sand Dunes Near Mui Ne
Near the small fishing village of Mui Ne lies some of the most peculiar landscapes: the vast white and red sand dunes of Vietnam. Seemingly out of a dream, the sand dunes are a surreal place.
When most think of the country, cities packed with busy motorbikes, rice paddies, and lush forests come to mind.
But one of the most incredible experiences to have in Vietnam lies in the middle of the country. Visitors can get a taste of the desert, dipping their toes in the sand and riding around the dunes on an ATV.
So, there you have it! My all-time favorite experiences you must add to your Vietnam Bucket List if you plan on backpacking or traveling to this country. I can’t wait to get back here again some day!
Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? Or have you ever thought about visiting this cool country? Let me know in the comments below!
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KristenFebruary 3, 2018 2:22 pm
Looks like there are so many amazing things to do in Vietnam! I’ve heard nothing but good things about traveling here, so it’s been high on my list for a while.