Have you ever thought about visiting Vietnam? A vibrant, bustling, and often strange country to visit in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has so much to offer to travelers. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun vacation with the kids or a budget backpacker exploring cheap destinations, Vietnam will blow you away. Here are 9 reasons to visit Vietnam that you’ll absolutely love!
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Vietnam is a country that seriously surprised me. I’d traveled to this country after visiting Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, and had thoroughly been exhausted by my backpacking adventures.
Heck, I didn’t even want to travel to Vietnam! I mean, for real, what else could it offer that those other countries didn’t deliver on? (Hint: SO much.)
Thankfully, I didn’t let the thought of Vietnam being “just another Southeast Asian country” hold me back and stop me from visiting it. And after landing in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, I knew I’d made the right choice.
Literally after walking around for about 5 seconds, I immediately loved it.
And after exploring Vietnam for one month, going from north to south with a stop at all the best Vietnam destinations, I thoroughly fell in love with this incredible country!
So what makes Vietnam so special and why is it a must-visit when traveling or backpacking Southeast Asia? Keep reading to find out!
9 REASONS TO VISIT VIETNAM THAT YOU’LL LOVE
1. Diverse Landscapes
Since Vietnam is super long (like seriously — it’s around 1,030 miles long from north to south and only 30 miles wide at its most narrowest point!), it features a wide variety of different landscapes and terrains.
All within the borders of one country you can visit the mountains of Sapa, limestone rocks of Halong Bay, sand dunes near Mui Ne, bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), captivating caves of Phong Nha, and picturesque white sand beaches of Phu Quoc.
No doubt, when visiting you’ll discover its diverse landscapes are just one incredible reason to fall in love with Vietnam!
2. Captivating History
It seems at every turn, there’s a slice of Vietnam history waiting to be uncovered.
Whether its learning about the horrific Vietnam War (or better known as the “American War” to Vietnamese people), Communism, French colonialism in Vietnam, its many emperors, or the war between the North and South of Vietnam, there’s a lot of history to unpack within this small-ish country.
Love ancient, historic places? Check out this post on experiencing sunrise at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia! Hands down, one of the coolest historic destinations to visit in the world.
3. Welcoming People
It seems I can’t say this enough… but the people of Southeast Asia countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, are seriously some of the nicest and most welcoming people I’ve met in my travels!
They go out of their way to help travelers and make sure people have a splendid time visiting their country. It’s so refreshing!
For instance, one time when a group of friends and I were searching for a waterfall near DaLat, we got a bit lost. Sitting by the side of the road, scouring Google Maps trying to figure out where it was, and looking thoroughly confused, a local lady ran across the road to ask if we needed help.
We definitely did but instead of just showing us on the map where the waterfall was, she hopped on her motorbike and physically drove us to the waterfall!
Honestly so generous. It still makes me tear up thinking about how kind the Vietnamese people are.
4. Incredibly Affordable
If there’s one thing about Vietnam that makes it a major draw to backpackers on a shoestring budget and families on a cheap vacation, it’s that Vietnam is so incredibly affordable.
From beers that can cost under just $1 and delicious meals that’ll put you into a glorious food coma for a mere $2 to full-blown multi-day tours exploring Halong Bay in luxury for under $200, you can find the ultimate adventure when traveling Vietnam to fit with your budget!
Not sure what to wear in Southeast Asia? Use my guide on the DOs and DON’Ts for what to wear in Thailand! Much of it applies to Vietnam, as their dress codes tend to be similar!
5. Endless Motorbike Adventures
Vietnam is one of the best countries to jump on a motorbike and explore the various landscapes and rural areas by two wheels! (Safely, of course.)
Whether you want to voyage around the iconic Ha Giang Pass and the mountains of Sapa in Northern Vietnam or cruise down the coast on the Hai Van Pass from Hue to Hoi An, exploring Vietnam by motorbike if you can will no doubt be a memorable experience.
6. Mouthwatering Food
After reading the 5 reasons to visit Vietnam above, you were probably wondering where the heck the reason on Vietnamese food was, eh? Well, here it is! And she’s a good one.
Vietnam dishes up some seriously mouthwatering food! Some of my favorite Vietnamese dishes include:
- Bánh mì (sandwich on a fresh, crispy baguette)
- Pho (flavorful soup)
- Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepe packed with fresh fillings)
- Fresh spring rolls (wholesome and healthy)
- Bánh bao (filled steamed buns)
- Sauteed garlic-y greens (a personal favorite!)
- And SO much more!
When traveling around and visiting Vietnam, you won’t feel any lack of flavorful and delicious food! Not to mention, the food is incredibly cheap — especially if you’re someone who loves to fill up on street food.
(As a vegan, it’s hard to find vegan street food in Vietnam but there’s definitely a lot more vegan options now compared to a few years ago! For instance, finding vegan food in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Thailand was super easy.)
Planning to stay in hostels on your upcoming trips? Check out this post on the ultimate hostel packing list where you’ll find essential items to take with and items to leave at home!
7. Vietnam’s Variety of Experiences
When it comes to visiting Vietnam and backpacking this wondrous country, you’ll find it has a variety of experiences and SO much to offer to any type of traveler.
Love to explore? Head north and go on a motorbike adventure (like mentioned above).
Want to relax on a pristine beach? You won’t find lack of sublime sandy beaches here! (Check out a list of the best beaches in Vietnam here.)
Looking to visit the bustling cities filled with lots of tourist attractions, sky bars, and delicious restaurants? Head to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hanoi!
Interested in going off-the-beaten path and uncovering more unique Vietnam attractions and landscapes? Explore the caves of Phong Nha, the limestone karst mountains of Ninh Binh (known as the “Halong Bay of Inland Vietnam”), and the Mekong Delta.
For more inspiration on the best things to do in Vietnam, check out this list of 10 incredible experiences to have in Vietnam!
8. Stunning Architecture
When you think of Vietnam, what type of buildings and architecture comes to mind?
Is it the quintessential temples of Southeast Asia, small roads lined with lots and lots of small shops, endless markets packed with local stalls, or maybe even run-down looking homes in villages?
In Vietnam, you’ll find there is some of that but also so much more. As you walk around Hanoi, stroll through Hoi An, and visit Hue, you’ll find stunning architecture and gorgeous buildings that’ll blow your mind. I, for one, marvel at the beautiful temples that dot the country of Vietnam.
Not to mention, as the French colonization swept through Vietnam, they built very french-looking buildings and influenced much of the architecture seen today.
While it’s horrific to look into the history of the French colonization, which was wholly unnecessary, the architecture is very beautiful and Vietnam has preserved a lot of the buildings for both locals and travelers to admire.
9. Easy Peasy Transportation
Much to my surprise and delight, Vietnam is one of the easiest countries in Southeast Asia for seamless transportation! No matter where you want to go, it seems there is a bus, train, or plane that will take you where you need to be.
I found buses to be the best and most affordable option, not to mention the most readily available. Whether it’s a 2-hour journey or a 20-hour journey, it seems as though there’s always a bus that will be waiting to get you where to desire to go!
Learn more about transportation and additional tips in my one-month Vietnam itinerary guide.
So, have these 9 reasons to visit Vietnam convinced you to plan a trip here?
While traveling Vietnam (and backpacking Southeast Asia as a whole) might be a bit scary and seem overwhelming, Vietnam in particular is such an easy country to get around, find delicious food in, and ultimately fall in love with.
For more inspiration on backpacking and visiting Vietnam, check out these posts:
- 17 Sapa travel tips every Vietnam backpacker needs to know
- 16 remarkably useful things to know before traveling to Vietnam
- Abandoned waterpark hunting: Hue, Vietnam
- 19 fantastic things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam (you can’t miss out on #7!)
Tell me, have you ever considered visiting Vietnam? Or are you currently planning a trip here? I would love to know what you thought of this post and your upcoming travel plans! Share in the comment section below!
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- What to wear in Thailand (and what NOT to wear!)
- Remarkably useful tips to know when traveling Cambodia
- Psst, many elephant “sanctuaries” and elephant experiences aren’t ethical or responsible. Here’s why.
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John dillonJanuary 26, 2022 7:27 am
Planning a 3-4 week trip to Vietnam either fall of 22 or spring of 23. What are best resources to research. Although I am 75 am in good shape and like to hike some. Would like to check out some beaches but several posts haven’t been too optimistic. Want to spend some time in the two major cities, am more interested in rural areas and visiting villages. Definitely into checking out great veggie eateries and my wife is into staying in nice places to stay. Maybe a couple luxury but quaint hotels but mostly 3-4star with charm,to save money thanks