Tours & Itineraries things to do places to visit Vietnam

30 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam - Updated 2020

best places to visit in vietnam
Josiah
Josiah
Updated

Squeezed between Laos, Cambodia and the South China Sea, Vietnam is a nation with a rich landscape comprising of forested mountains, beautiful valleys on the central highlands and cultural diversity. Here, if you are a swimmer, biker, hiker and a lover of outdoor activities, you will get your teeth into the many national parks in the countryside and the picturesque karst seascape of the famous Halong Bay. In addition, while the countryside boasts spectacular panoramas, the urban centers provide unique opportunities to sample the outstanding culinary prowess of Vietnam. The country has had its fair share of colonization from which it has retained a variety of historic attractions and ancient traditions that are worth visiting. If you’re planning to visit this destination, check out this article to discover the best places to visit in Vietnam.

1. Phu Quoc Island (from USD 115)

Phu Quoc is a picturesque island located in the Gulf of Thailand. Phu Quoc offers a variety of attractions including clean beaches, romantic sunsets, beautiful forests, and a tranquil atmosphere, which make it an ideal holiday destination for those looking to escape the busy urban life. Besides having lunch and swimming at Sao and Dai beaches, you can go wine tasting at the sim wine factory or go shopping for fish sauce, pearl and pepper at the local farms. For students and historians, this is an exciting opportunity to learn about war crimes and horrific torture tactics used at the Coconut Tree Prison.

Full-Day Phu Quoc Island Tour

Duration: 8 hours

1 review

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2. Hanoi (from USD 23)

Hanoi has several interesting places worth visiting. The first one is Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of the nation’s most notable historical figures including the father of Vietnam Mr. Ho Chi-Minh. This is a chance to learn the country’s history. Besides the mausoleum, you go for sightseeing and a photo session at the stunning one pillar and Tran Quoc pagodas. Further, you can explore beautiful sceneries along the Hoan Kiem Lake including the turtle tower, and the Ngoc Son temple. At Hoan Kiem Lake you will have a chance to enjoy unique Vietnamese cuisines like Trang Tien Ice Cream, egg coffee and ancient folk games like rope jumping, eating umbrellas and tug of war. Lastly, you can opt to watch the water puppet show or take a scenic cyclo road.

Hanoi in a Day

Duration: 7 Hrs Duration

571 reviews

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3. Ha Long Bay (from USD 32)

If you love boat adventures, Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam would be a good fit for you. At the bay, you can cruise with Alova Premium Boat which serves drinks and a range of Vietnamese delicacies. Sightseeing is also another thing many people come to do at the bay’s emerald waters and towering limestone islands covered by rainforests. At the legendary Titop Island, you can indulge in a variety of fun activities such as swimming, kayaking, and trekking to the mountain top. The next attraction, Sung Sot Cave, is arguably the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay. It boasts magnificent natural sceneries comprising of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites.

Full-Day Halong Bay Islands, Cave, Kayak. Lunch. NATIONAL HIGHWAY Transfer

Duration: 12 hours

120 reviews

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4. Nha Trang (from USD 67)

Nha Trang is a renowned coastal resort city boasting scenic offshore islands, great diving sites, and clean beaches. The main beach is long and curves beautifully along Tran Phu Street where you can access different amenities namely the promenade, hotels and seafood restaurants. A critical moment, when you visit, would be at the Long Son Pagoda, which boasts magnificent, turn-of-the-century Taoist architecture of mythical creatures. The three-tier entrance to the complex is decorated with beautiful mosaic dragons and potted topiary leading to the large temple grounds. Further, you can discover the rich heritage of the Cham civilization at Po Nagar Cham Tower.

Private Nha Trang Half-Day City Tour

Duration: 4 hours

3 reviews

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5. Hue (from USD 158)

Hue is a former capital city and a major tourist attraction in central Vietnam. The main attraction here is the vast Đại Nội Citadel which holds a number of ancient shrines, palaces and the once emperor’s home in the Forbidden Purple City. Many people visit Hue to pay homage to former emperors in their final resting places that are dotted all over the city. This includes the tombs of figures such as Tu Duc, Minh Mang, and Khai Dinh. Another top spot in this area is the perfumed river with its delightful promenade meandering the river banks and this makes it an ideal place for an evening nature walk.

Hue in a day from Chan May cruise Harbor

Duration: 9 to 10 hours

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6. Hội An (from USD 13)

The ancient city of Hội An is an enchanting place to spend a short vacation admiring the lazy river lined with majestic mustard-yellow houses. Secondly, most meals in Vietnam include plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables which make eating here such a delight. Much of it comes from Tra Que, a small farming village in Hội An where you can visit and learn how a range of farm products from spring onions to hefty taro roots are grown. You will also be delighted watching the beautiful reflections of sunset at river Thu Bồn. Hội An is an ideal place to visit with family as it is considered one of the safest cities in the region.

Hoi An City and Countryside Tour

111 reviews

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7. Cat Ba Island (from USD 142)

cat ba island

Cruise along the Cat Ba Island, one of the largest islands in Vietnam for an adventurous tour of Swimming, snorkeling, trekking, rock-climbing, and hiking. You can also learn more about the city with a visit to the old fort which houses a few bunkers and an ancient war armory. Further, Cat Ba Island has a large national park where you can enjoy picturesque views of a variety of endangered species particularly the Cat Ba langur. Other natural habitats with spectacular views in the Island are limestone karsts, lagoons, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, and mangrove. Wind up the trip at the beaches relaxing and enjoying seafood such as oyster, mantis shrimp, and geoduck clam at fair prices.

Cát Bà Island: Day Trip

Duration: 1 day

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8. Ho Chi Minh (from USD 52)

ho chi minh

Most attractions in Ho Chi Minh revolve around the events of the Second Indochina War. Although it may sound somber, this town has some truly interesting activities suitable for people of all ages. Touring Ho Chi Minh is like reliving the past with numerous places of interests all over the city. Here, you will find everything from the classic architectural designs of the French to well-maintained war equipment such as rocket launchers, a helicopter, fighter plane, and a tank. At Binh Tay Market, you will also be amazed by the large assortment of handicrafts and an extensive range of vegetables, fruits, seafood, and poultry.

Lonely Planet Experiences: Ho Chi Minh Local Guided Tour

Duration: 7.5 hour

15 reviews

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9. Sapa (from USD 105)

sapa

Head to Sapa and explore mountainous landscapes and refreshing treks to Lao Cai, Ta Van, Cat Cat, and Y Linh Ho, villages. Hiking, sightseeing and nature walks are the main recreational activities in Sapa. If you are fit, you will have a lot of fun climbing Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in the country, also blessed with beautiful peaks that are accessible all year round. Further, the town has a museum that houses customs and crafts from the Red Dao and Hmong people. The museum is a great place to learn more about the Vietnamese and a perfect spot for a day out with family.

2-Day Overnight Sapa Tour by Bus from Hanoi

Duration: 2 day

52 reviews

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10. Da Lat

In the highlands of southern Vietnam lies a town called Da Lat where beautiful sceneries and cool breezes attract tourists all year long. What was originally a French resort is now a majestic land dotted with restaurants and villas erected against thick pine forests, waterfalls and lakes. Take a stroll along Turen Lam Lake and discover the area where the pine forest meets the shore. Further, at Datanla, you will witness a 20 m (65.6-foot) high waterfall disappearing through marble layers that are scattered along the river. What’s more peculiar about Datanla Waterfall is that it is not only a scenic spot but it also has a series of small waterfalls, a rollercoaster, and a hiking trail.

Da Lat City Day Tour

Duration: 9 Hrs Duration

128 reviews

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11. Ninh Bình (from USD 208)

ninh bình
Source: m.viator.com

Some towns in Vietnam such as Hanoi can be overwhelming to visit given their crowded streets and heavy traffic. Getaway to a more serene part of Vietnam with a brief tour of Ninh Bình. Here, you will have a good time boarding either sampan or a bicycle to explore the three caves of Tam Cốc and the country’s pagodas, the lovely Bai Dinh Pagoda. You will also be thrilled by a boat tour through the prolific wetlands of the Van Long Nature Reserve, where you will encounter wildlife such as monkeys, storks, and ducks. Lastly, Ninh Bình is blessed with stunning sceneries worth visiting. For instance, there are numerous limestone cliffs scattered over the rice fields.

2-day Ninh Binh highlights tour from Hanoi

Duration: 2 days

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12. Cham Islands (from USD 28)

Cham Islands is a group of eight islets which constitute the UNESCO global biosphere reserve of Cu Lao Cham. Located a short drive from Hoi An, the islands are made of stunning aquamarine seas and granite islet which make Cham a favorite tourist destination. Kick-off your tour with a visit to the traditional fishing village of Bai Lang to learn about the history of the Islands and local life. Here, you will find homestays, souvenir shops and restaurants serving local dishes like crustaceans and mollusks. After that, there is another spot called Bai Xep, where you can go snorkeling. You will be amazed by the underwater wonderland filled with beautiful coral reefs and various sea creatures.

Cham Islands Day Tour

Duration: 7 Hrs Duration

171 reviews

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13. Da Nang (from USD 27)

At the center of Vietnam is Da Nang, an important stopover that you should never miss in any Vietnam itinerary. The city boasts some of the most exquisite stone sculptures molded into many products, some of which include Buddha statues, sculptures of historical figures and ornamental household products like ashtrays, toothpick canisters, neck-straps, bracelets, and rings. Visit Non-Nuoc Stone Carving Village where there’s a skillful display of local craftsmanship and you can add any of the products to your sculpture collection. Dada also has one of the longest suspension bridges in the country. Thuan Phuoc Bridge gives nature lovers a splendid view of the Han River as it flows to the sea and the landscape below.

Da Nang Day Trip

Duration: 1 Day(s) 5 Hrs Duration

94 reviews

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14. Mui Ne (from USD 29)

What a better place to spend your summer holiday than a beach town? There is one such resort along the southeast coastline of Vietnam called Mui Ne. The town is renowned for great surf spots and its magnificent sand dunes. Moreover, the long palm-lined beaches experience steady wind conditions that are ideal for kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailing among other water sports. Mui Ne fishing village is another great location to enjoy the rich local culture and fresh seafood. The village offers a panoramic view of colorful fishing vessels anchored at the seashores. If you visit the fishing harbor in the morning, you will see a massive display of live scallops, crabs, stingrays and groupers by fishermen as they return after a nightlong fishing expedition.

Private Tour Mui Ne Sand Dunes by Jeep

Duration: 4 to 8 hours

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15. Bai Tu Long Bay (from USD 81)

Bai Tu Long Bay continues to receive a lot of attention among international tourists. Although some of its resources like beaches are still widely unknown, they constitute a hidden paradise worth exploring. For instance, Ban Chan Beach has crystal clear waters and smooth white sand which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling with family. Here, kids can engage in water games as adults gather up for a barbeque at the beachfront. Secondly, uncover the beauty of Thien Canh Son Cave starting from the stone cliff to the thick forest canopy-forming at the entrance. Inside, the cave is just another wonderland. You will see lotus and elephant-like images curved naturally on the walls. The ceiling is covered with sparkling stalactites which give the impression of hanging lamps illuminating the cave.

Daily tour Bai Tu Long bay

Duration: 6 hours

1 review

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16. Vung Tau (from USD 127)

Hiking, kite-surfing, seafood and beach time are the main attractions that make Vung Tau a great coastal gateway. The town has four main beaches namely Vung Tau, front, back, and pineapple beaches. The beaches are not in their best condition, but you can still enjoy fresh seafood at the nearby restaurants. Nonetheless, Vung Tau has a giant statue of Jesus overlooking the city, which projects beautiful sceneries with the morning sun. On the other side of the statue, you will see a lighthouse that is extremely photogenic and you can take alluring snapshots for your social media platform. On your way down, you can grab a refreshing cup of yogurt from any of the outlets along the slopes.

Full-day Tour of Vung Tau City from Ho Chi Minh City

Duration: 8 hours

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17. Can Tho (from USD 162)

A day-long tour to Can Tho is enough to cover the major attractions of the town. Of course, you can spend more time here, but the Mekong Delta has other interesting places to visit too. To begin with, Cai Rang Floating Market is a major destination for many tourists in Can Tho and a must-visit for people around the globe. At the market, you will enjoy beautiful views of the sunrise and typical market activities at the comfort of your boat. Also, you will see colorful vessels stacked up with fruits and vegetables as people trade from one boat to another. A visit to a cacao farm should also be included in the itinerary. For instance, at Lam the Cuong’s farm, you will learn how the cacao fruits are processed into butter, alcohol or chocolate.

Can Tho 1 Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh City

Duration: 1 day

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18. Hai Phong

Hang Pagoda - Hai Phong - Vietnam

Posted by Un Mundo De Flores Y Plantas on Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The port city of Hai Phong is a lovely town to visit and a base for touring other northeastern cities like Halong Bay and Cat Ba. The city is just magnificent, in fact, it is commonly referred to as ‘The City of Flame Flowers’ because it is lined with flame trees in almost every street. Similar to other towns in the region, the main areas of interest are pagodas, temples, mausoleums, and shrines. There are several temples in Hai Phong, but the main ones are Nghe and Du Hang Buddhist temples. There is also a popular joint close by called Do Son Beach Casino, where tourists come for the bullfighting festival.

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19. Phan Thiet (from USD 60)

Phan Thiet, like Mui Ne, is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. Its coastline is lined with resort-style developments that continue to attract many tourists from around the world. The beaches, especially Tien Thanh and Ke Ga, are quiet and peaceful, inviting people to relax, swim, and enjoy other fun activities. In addition, traffic along the coastline is light, so riding or trekking along the beach is very peaceful. Stepping in the middle of the city will further expose you to many picturesque museums, restaurants and shopping malls. You can also visit the school where the famous revolutionary Ho Chi Minh taught before leaving for France to further his education.

Private Half-Day White Lake Excursion in Phan Thiet

Duration: 4 hours

1 review

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20. Quy Nhon (from USD 23)

With the prospects of becoming another big tourist destination in Vietnam, Quy Nhon offers many sites of tranquillity, sundry escapades and a simple, yet vibrant culture. Situated between hills and the South China Sea, the town is endowed majestic landscapes and beaches. For instance, there is a popular spot called Queen’s beach where locals frequent to see heaps of egg-shaped rocky pebbles scattered over the shore. In most cases, kids are not interested in history and culture as much as adults. Quy Nhon has addressed this concern with a zoo safari park which is home to different animal species among them bears, ostriches, tigers and deer.

Tour Eo Gio - Ky Co - Hon Dua

Duration: 1 day

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21. Rạch Giá

Nguyễn Trung Trực temple
Source: Wikipedia

Rạch Giá, the capital city of Kien Giang Province, has several areas worth visiting. The first, Nguyen Trung Truc, is a temple located along Nguyen Cong Tru Street and opposite a tranquil river which further complements the beauty of the area. Although the temple was built in 1960, it has retained its magnificence which comprises of the 2 pillars at the entrance with impressive designs of dragons sculptures and bronze statues of past heroes. In August of every lunar calendar, the temple hosts the Nguyen Trung Truc festival where the natives gather to prepare vegetarian dishes to commemorate the arrival of pilgrims. Other activities that take place during such anniversaries are fair trading, martial arts, folk games, and demonstration programs.

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22. Ha Giang

Posted by Halong Ha Giang Tours on Tuesday, 16 April 2019

At the Vietnam-China border lies Ha Giang, the most scenic province in Vietnam. To visit Ha Giang is a journey back in time to encounter the country’s most rugged and yet grand landscapes. This laid-back capital is best known for its granite mountain and limestone forests. Higher up as you approach the Vietnam-China border stands H'Mông King Palace. This impressive mansion was built during the French invasion and it has a unique design which draws from the Mong culture and the traditional designs of the Qing dynasty. The palace is embellished with unique images of sacred animals like a dragon, turtle, unicorn, and phoenix. Visit this magnificent palace and get firsthand information from the descendants of the king, some of who still live in the area.

Ha Giang

Address: Ha Giang province

Website: Ha Giang

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23. Buon Ma Thuot

Buon Ma Thuot

Notwithstanding being a sizable town in the Central Highlands, Buon Ma Thuot does not attract many tourists as other towns in Vietnam. Although Buon Ma Thuot does not have much attraction, the town provides easy access to immediate sceneries. This is why it is considered a great place for excursions and outdoor tours. Waterfalls and game reserves are some of the major attractions in the immediate area. You can visit Dray Nur and Gia Long waterfalls: they are impressive but not as Dray Sap, which is found in a fascinating rainforest. The other attraction accessible through Buon Ma Thuot is Yok Don National Park. Here you will find a variety of endangered species.

Buon Ma Thuot

Address: Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam

Website: Buon Ma Thuot

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24. My Tho

My Tho

The proximity of My Tho to Ho Chi Minh City makes it a popular tourist destination to explore the Mekong Delta and experience exquisite river life. Tien River is one of the tributaries of Mekong Delta and a magnificent place to visit. At the waterfront promenade, you can watch ferries and cargo boats as they go about their day-to-day businesses. You can also join local families who flock the area in the evening to enjoy the cool breezes and delicacies from the cafes and drink stalls. A short distance from the city center is one of the largest anti-venom snake farms in Vietnam. In Dong Tam Snake farm you will be thrilled by different snakes including pythons, cobras, and tree snakes.

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25. Đồng Hới

Dong Hoi

Most travelers opt for direct transportation from hue to Hanoi, skipping a little jewel only 150 km (93.2 miles) from hue called Dong Hoi. Although it was greatly affected by the Second Indochina War, the lovely Đồng Hới has made a big comeback over the past years. Just along the shoreline lies Nhat Le beach, a long stretch of pure white sand. The beach is about an 18-minute walk from Dong Hoi. If you opt for this luxury route, you will find a resort where you can dine on local specialties. If you love adventure, you will also have a great time exploring the famous Phong Nha and Paradise caves.

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26. Dương Đông

Duong Dong
Source: Wikipedia

Besides boasting a rich cultural diversity, Dương Đông has many attractions including beaches, fish sauce plants, and cultural attractions. Ganh Gio Beach, one of the cleanest beaches on the island, is located in Dương Đông. The beach has appealing golden sand where you can stroll, relax and take photos. On the outskirts of the town, you will find pepper plantations that are open to the public. Here, you will learn how to grow the best organic peppercorns and you can even buy the pepper. It is also noteworthy that the main market, Cho Duong Dong, comes to life every morning with traders dealing with vegetables and fresh fish. This is usually a great opportunity to buy unique dishes like herring salad, island pepper, and the Phu Quoc mushroom.

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27. Pleiku

Among the glorious beauty of the Central Highlands lies Bien Ho (Sea Lake), a freshwater lake to the north of Pleiku...

Posted by Vietnam-GO on Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Pleiku played a crucial role in the Vietnam War. This is where the North Vietnam Army launched the first attack of the series of bombing in operation rolling thunder. Although the town was left in ruins after the battle, it has since been rebuilt by the USSR, and even with the foreign involvement, Pleiku has retained its countryside charm owing to its stunning mountainous landscape. For instance, there is an old volcano with a flooded crater 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Pleiku, that visitors can enjoy amazing sceneries from the gazebo. In addition, Ho Chi Minh and Gia Lai museums will interest you with its artifacts, stone tools and funny dioramas depicting the life of ethnic minority.

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28. Châu Đốc

Are these Mallard/hybrids? Seen near Tra Su Bird Sanctuary, Chau Doc, Vietnam

Posted by Sheryl McNair on Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Châu Đốc is another incredible place to visit in the Mekong Delta region, bordering Cambodia. The first pleasure of visiting in Chau Doc is Tra Su Bird Sanctuary, one of the topmost nature reserves in Vietnam. This large reserve is home to many astounding birds and although some part of the park is off-limits to visitors, you can still enjoy a speedboat or a relaxing paddle via the green sunken forest. The colorful Chau Doc Covered Market is another interesting place to try mouth-watering dishes, particularly the grilled glutinous rice topped with bananas. Adjacent to the market is the 30 Thang 4 Park, another must-visit in Chau Doc. The park serves as a promenading area and it’s the perfect spot for river gazing.

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29. Vinh

Posted by Quang Vinh Bui on Saturday, 6 July 2019

Vinh has several beautiful sceneries worth visiting. Starting from the native home of president Ho Chi Minh you will be inspired by the fervor of the crowds that congregate here. This well-maintained village is similar to any other rural set up in Vietnam but what makes it special is the fact that it is the home of the greatest leader in the country’s history. Next, Pu Mat National Park is a nice place for game viewing. It is home to many kinds of animals and plants including the northern white-cheeked gibbon, saola, Annamite striped rabbit, and the glamourous red-shanked douc.

Vinh

Address: Nghe An, Vietnam

Website: Vinh

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30. Côn Đảo (from USD 416)

côn Đảo
Source: m.viator.com

The scenic coral reefs, beaches, and marine life of Côn Đảo make it one of the most enchanting places to visit in Vietnam. Discover the brutal history of how local convicts were treated by their oppressors at Phu Hai Prison and Con Son Island penitentiary which has since been transformed into a majestic museum. Also spend some time visiting beautiful temples, busy markets, and beaches where you partake of kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling. Besides these recreational activities, Con Dao presents an excellent opportunity to watch an array of wildlife, from the black giant squirrel to the endemic bow-fingered gecko. Indeed, the island is slowly transforming into a luxury tourist hotspot but the sobering memories of the turbulent past still remain.

2-Night Con Dao Island Tour from Ho Chi Minh City: History, Temples and Beaches

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Visit Vietnam on your next vacation

It’s rare to find a country with such cultural diversity, stunning landscapes, and a rich heritage to attract tourists looking for adventure. Look no further, Vietnam has a perfect balance of natural beauty, culture, and history and it is one of the most preferred countries in Asia. Take a vacation to this pristine place and explore the countless attractions that Vietnam has to offer.

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Josiah Ndung'u is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and a travelling enthusiast who loves networking with new people, learning new cultures, having fun (especially at the beach), and sampling new...Read more

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