Vietnam

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With everything from superb cuisine to stunning landscapes, this corner of Southeast Asia dazzles the senses. Peaceful paddy fields give way to frenetic urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where the youthful population rushes to embrace the future. Boutiques fill the French colonial buildings in enchanting Hoi An; in the north, a world away, are Sapa’s ethnic markets. Around Vietnam, lush jungles and jagged karst peaks beckon adventurers. Absorb it all but take time to relax, perhaps on the long, alluring coastline with its world-class beaches.

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Ho Chi Minh City

Romantically referred to by the French as the Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City today is a supercharged city of sensory overload. Motorbikes...

Hanoi

Hanoi celebrated its 1,000-year anniversary back in 2010, and although Western fashions, music, and food have long since elbowed their way into...

Hoi An

From the lantern-strewn streets of Old Town to the farmers shouldering their harvest in balanced baskets, the scenes of Hoi An capture what...

Hue

Hue (pronounced hway), 13 km (8 miles) inland from the South China Sea (known to the locals as the East Sea) in the foothills of the Annamite...

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is the first major city you'll find heading north up the coast from Ho Chi Minh City. Home to some of Vietnam's best beaches and dive...

Phu Quoc Island

The white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, swaying palms, and laid-back feel of this beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand have made it one...

Dalat

With an abundance of pine trees, the cool climate, and colonial architecture, the mountain resort of Dalat bears a vague resemblance to a European...

Danang

Danang became a significant port city at the end of the 19th century, when silt filled up the Thu Bon River and eliminated neighboring Hoi An...

Mui Ne

Twenty years ago, Mui Ne was not much more than a deserted road running along an equally deserted beach. Now there's a 15-km (9-mile) stretch...

Vung Tau

Known as Cap St-Jacques during colonial times, Vung Tau was a popular beach resort for the French and later, during the Vietnam War, it became...

Sapa

Ringed by the majestic Tonkinese Alps, Sapa is a hill town and region that has become the undisputed tourist capital of the Northwest. Make...

Con Dao Islands

One of Vietnam's star attractions, this stunning archipelago of 16 islands has picturesque beaches, jungles teeming with wildlife, and a fabulous...

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Part of the Annamite mountain range on the northwest Central Coast, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2003...

Haiphong

Vietnam's third-largest city, with a population of more than 1.8 million, has been a hub of industrial activity for the last century and one...

Cat Ba Island

One of Halong Bay's most remarkable formations is Cat Ba Island, 420 square km (162 square miles) of wildly steep spines of mountains, narrow...

Can Tho

The meeting point of various waterways, Can Tho is the capital of the Mekong Delta and the region's gateway. This bustling hub of activity is...

Chau Doc

One of the Mekong Delta's most interesting destinations, Chau Doc is a religiously diverse and picturesque border town with Kinh (Vietnam's...

Halong Bay and Around

A visit to the north is not complete without a trip to Halong Bay, where placid waters give way to more than 3,000 limestone karsts and wind...

Ninh Binh

Pleasant enough in itself, but a largely unremarkable provincial capital on the main road between Hanoi and Hue, Ninh Binh is notable for being...

Quy Nhon

Once the Cham capital of Vijaya, Quy Nhon is a seaside gem located midway between Nha Trang and Hoi An. People who come here often stay a day...

My Tho

The closest Mekong Delta city to Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho was the center of the ancient civilization of Funan from the 1st to 5th centuries...

Cai Be

Spilling over from the land into the river, this Mekong Delta town and its nearby villages are a hive of market activity. Slip into a sampan...

Phan Thiet

Phan Thiet is a charming fishing town divided by the Phan Thiet River, where the colorful feline-eyed fishing fleet is moored. The town has...

Soc Trang

Soc Trang is one of the centers of Khmer culture in Vietnam (the others are Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta and Nha Trang on the south-central...

Tra Vinh

Tra Vinh is a pretty little riverside town populated by friendly people, tall trees, and an amazing proliferation of temples used by the local...

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Hue is a convenient location from which to visit the former Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). A trip here can be combined easily with a visit to the...

Ca Mau

Ca Mau was once part of the Kingdom of Funan, then the Khmer Empire, and was only ceded back to Vietnamese control in 1757. On the Dai Dong...

Long Xuyen

Long Xuyen is a regional capital with an interesting history and a rather bland present-day reality. Like My Tho it was founded by the ancient...

Buon Ma Thuot

Central Highlands towns are good bases from which to stage trips to the ethnic minority villages and jungles of the hinterland. Buon Ma Thuot...

Ha Tien

Just 8 km (5 miles) from the Cambodian border, Ha Tien has some interesting sights, such as a network of caves that have been converted into...

Vinh Long

The capital of the Vinh Long Province is the transport hub of Vinh Long, a midsize industrial town. Most of the tourist infrastructure is near...

Danang Beach

Nicknamed "China Beach" by U.S. and Australian troops during the war, Danang Beach stretches for over 30 km (18 miles), and encompasses several...

Dien Bien Phu

Hard by the Laos border in one of the most remote regions in Vietnam, it is easy to imagine that Dien Bien Phu might have remained in obscurity...

Kon Tum

The best base for exploring the region, Kon Tum is a sleepy, relatively undiscovered gem on the banks of the Dakbla River, surrounded by interesting...

Bac Ha

The main reason for venturing to Bac Ha, a small town built on a desolate highland plain northeast of Lao Cai, is the century-old Sunday morning...

Bai Tu Long Bay

The limestone outcrops that rise out of the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay are perhaps not as lofty as the ones at Halong, but the two seascapes...

Mai Chau

The Brigadoon of Vietnam, Mai Chau nestles in a serene valley of Hoa Binh Province that has been called one of the most beautiful spots in the...

Sa Dec

The former home of French novelist Marguerite Duras and the setting for her book The Lover (where said lover's house still stands), Sa Dec...

Cu Chi

Cu Chi, now an outlying district of Ho Chi Minh City, was the Vietcong base of operations during the last war. The base was underground, in...

Lang Co Beach

In the dry season that runs from April through to August, Lang Co makes for an oasis from the modern construction along the Danang coastline...

Son La

Son La is a convenient overnight stop on the journey to Mai Chau or Hanoi, but there are only one or two decent hotels. Many hill tribes reside...

Quang Ngai

Quang Ngai itself is, unfortunately, no great shakes. However, it is worth stopping at in order to visit to the Son My Memorial at the site...

Lak Lake

Lak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Central Highlands, is set among picturesque rolling hills and reached via a beautiful journey through...

Cat Tien National Park

This vast park, recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, includes jungle, swampland, lakes, rivers, and hills, all of which are home to a multitude...

Pleiku

Pleiku, the capital of Gia Lai province, is smaller and less colorful than its neighbor Kon Tum, but it makes a practical base in this forested...

Cuc Phuong National Park

The first national park in Vietnam and still one of its most important, Cuc Phuong is a refuge for diverse animal and plant life and an idyllic...

Can Gio

A maze of channels, inlets, and tiny hamlets hidden among swamp and forest, Can Gio has only appeared on the tourist radar within the last few...

Tam Dao Hill Station

Up in the clouds, the damp hill station of Tam Dao feels like the mountain town that time forgot—almost. In 1907 French developers scaled the...

Long Hai

There's not much to Long Hai aside from a beautiful beach and an interesting temple with views of the beach. It's close enough to Vung Tau to...

Ho Tram

There's not much to Ho Tram apart from a very long—and very beautiful—stretch of golden sand beach. Two upscale resorts front the beach but...

Ho Coc

Two and a half hours from Ho Chi Minh City, just past Ho Tram, this is a splendid, secluded area for anyone seeking an escape from the chaos...

Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum and the Perfume Pagoda

One of Hanoi’s less visited historic sights, perhaps due to its distance from the city center, the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum delivers an interesting...

Tay Ninh

Generally a visit to Tay Ninh is part of a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels arranged through one of the travel agencies in Saigon. A guide will...

Marble Mountains

Five beautiful limestone peaks, known as the Marble Mountains, rise above the beach north of Hoi An and south of Danang. Over the centuries...

Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong Pagoda

These two lovely pagodas can be combined with the Co Loa Citadel to make an enjoyable day trip from Hanoi. ...

Ba Vi National Park

With the triple-peaked Ba Vi Mountain as its towering centerpiece, this former French hill station is a popular weekend excursion for Hanoians...

Tan Chau

Across the Bassac River from Chau Doc, Tan Chau is known for its silk, and a visit here means going to a silk factory where the fabric is made...

Co Loa Citadel

Less than 30 minutes north of Hanoi is a series of large earthen ramparts that used to protect one of the country's earliest capitals from Chinese...

Phat Diem

Phat Diem’s hulking cathedral is prominent among Vietnam’s religious buildings. Unique both for its vast dimensions and also an architectural...

Ho Chi Minh City

Romantically referred to by the French as the Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City today is a supercharged city of sensory overload. Motorbikes...

Hanoi

Hanoi celebrated its 1,000-year anniversary back in 2010, and although Western fashions, music, and food have long since elbowed their way into...

Hoi An

From the lantern-strewn streets of Old Town to the farmers shouldering their harvest in balanced baskets, the scenes of Hoi An capture what...

Hue

Hue (pronounced hway), 13 km (8 miles) inland from the South China Sea (known to the locals as the East Sea) in the foothills of the Annamite...

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is the first major city you'll find heading north up the coast from Ho Chi Minh City. Home to some of Vietnam's best beaches and dive...

Dalat

With an abundance of pine trees, the cool climate, and colonial architecture, the mountain resort of Dalat bears a vague resemblance to a European...

Danang

Danang became a significant port city at the end of the 19th century, when silt filled up the Thu Bon River and eliminated neighboring Hoi An...

Mui Ne

Twenty years ago, Mui Ne was not much more than a deserted road running along an equally deserted beach. Now there's a 15-km (9-mile) stretch...

Vung Tau

Known as Cap St-Jacques during colonial times, Vung Tau was a popular beach resort for the French and later, during the Vietnam War, it became...

Sapa

Ringed by the majestic Tonkinese Alps, Sapa is a hill town and region that has become the undisputed tourist capital of the Northwest. Make...

Haiphong

Vietnam's third-largest city, with a population of more than 1.8 million, has been a hub of industrial activity for the last century and one...

Can Tho

The meeting point of various waterways, Can Tho is the capital of the Mekong Delta and the region's gateway. This bustling hub of activity is...

Chau Doc

One of the Mekong Delta's most interesting destinations, Chau Doc is a religiously diverse and picturesque border town with Kinh (Vietnam's...

Halong Bay and Around

A visit to the north is not complete without a trip to Halong Bay, where placid waters give way to more than 3,000 limestone karsts and wind...

Ninh Binh

Pleasant enough in itself, but a largely unremarkable provincial capital on the main road between Hanoi and Hue, Ninh Binh is notable for being...

Quy Nhon

Once the Cham capital of Vijaya, Quy Nhon is a seaside gem located midway between Nha Trang and Hoi An. People who come here often stay a day...

My Tho

The closest Mekong Delta city to Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho was the center of the ancient civilization of Funan from the 1st to 5th centuries...

Soc Trang

Soc Trang is one of the centers of Khmer culture in Vietnam (the others are Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta and Nha Trang on the south-central...

Phan Thiet

Phan Thiet is a charming fishing town divided by the Phan Thiet River, where the colorful feline-eyed fishing fleet is moored. The town has...

Cai Be

Spilling over from the land into the river, this Mekong Delta town and its nearby villages are a hive of market activity. Slip into a sampan...

Tra Vinh

Tra Vinh is a pretty little riverside town populated by friendly people, tall trees, and an amazing proliferation of temples used by the local...

Ca Mau

Ca Mau was once part of the Kingdom of Funan, then the Khmer Empire, and was only ceded back to Vietnamese control in 1757. On the Dai Dong...

Ha Tien

Just 8 km (5 miles) from the Cambodian border, Ha Tien has some interesting sights, such as a network of caves that have been converted into...

Long Xuyen

Long Xuyen is a regional capital with an interesting history and a rather bland present-day reality. Like My Tho it was founded by the ancient...

Buon Ma Thuot

Central Highlands towns are good bases from which to stage trips to the ethnic minority villages and jungles of the hinterland. Buon Ma Thuot...

Danang Beach

Nicknamed "China Beach" by U.S. and Australian troops during the war, Danang Beach stretches for over 30 km (18 miles), and encompasses several...

Dien Bien Phu

Hard by the Laos border in one of the most remote regions in Vietnam, it is easy to imagine that Dien Bien Phu might have remained in obscurity...

Vinh Long

The capital of the Vinh Long Province is the transport hub of Vinh Long, a midsize industrial town. Most of the tourist infrastructure is near...

Kon Tum

The best base for exploring the region, Kon Tum is a sleepy, relatively undiscovered gem on the banks of the Dakbla River, surrounded by interesting...

Bac Ha

The main reason for venturing to Bac Ha, a small town built on a desolate highland plain northeast of Lao Cai, is the century-old Sunday morning...

Bai Tu Long Bay

The limestone outcrops that rise out of the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay are perhaps not as lofty as the ones at Halong, but the two seascapes...

Mai Chau

The Brigadoon of Vietnam, Mai Chau nestles in a serene valley of Hoa Binh Province that has been called one of the most beautiful spots in the...

Sa Dec

The former home of French novelist Marguerite Duras and the setting for her book The Lover (where said lover's house still stands), Sa Dec...

Cu Chi

Cu Chi, now an outlying district of Ho Chi Minh City, was the Vietcong base of operations during the last war. The base was underground, in...

Quang Ngai

Quang Ngai itself is, unfortunately, no great shakes. However, it is worth stopping at in order to visit to the Son My Memorial at the site...

Son La

Son La is a convenient overnight stop on the journey to Mai Chau or Hanoi, but there are only one or two decent hotels. Many hill tribes reside...

Lang Co Beach

In the dry season that runs from April through to August, Lang Co makes for an oasis from the modern construction along the Danang coastline...

Lak Lake

Lak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Central Highlands, is set among picturesque rolling hills and reached via a beautiful journey through...

Pleiku

Pleiku, the capital of Gia Lai province, is smaller and less colorful than its neighbor Kon Tum, but it makes a practical base in this forested...

Long Hai

There's not much to Long Hai aside from a beautiful beach and an interesting temple with views of the beach. It's close enough to Vung Tau to...

Can Gio

A maze of channels, inlets, and tiny hamlets hidden among swamp and forest, Can Gio has only appeared on the tourist radar within the last few...

Ho Coc

Two and a half hours from Ho Chi Minh City, just past Ho Tram, this is a splendid, secluded area for anyone seeking an escape from the chaos...

Ho Tram

There's not much to Ho Tram apart from a very long—and very beautiful—stretch of golden sand beach. Two upscale resorts front the beach but...

Tay Ninh

Generally a visit to Tay Ninh is part of a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels arranged through one of the travel agencies in Saigon. A guide will...

Marble Mountains

Five beautiful limestone peaks, known as the Marble Mountains, rise above the beach north of Hoi An and south of Danang. Over the centuries...

Phat Diem

Phat Diem’s hulking cathedral is prominent among Vietnam’s religious buildings. Unique both for its vast dimensions and also an architectural...

Tan Chau

Across the Bassac River from Chau Doc, Tan Chau is known for its silk, and a visit here means going to a silk factory where the fabric is made...

The Central Coast

Vietnam's long, lovely Central Coast has iconic sandy beaches, ancient Cham ruins, and fascinating royal tombs and pagodas. The highlights of...

Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta (Cuu Long) is made up of innumerable rivers, canals, tributaries, and rivulets overflowing with fish; the rich alluvial soil...

The South-Central Coasts and Highlands

Vietnam's South-Central Coast and Highlands offer up a splendid contrast of attractions. Travel by road or rail through coastal towns with long...

Halong Bay and North-Central Vietnam

There is no disguising the stature of Halong Bay among Vietnam’s tourist draws. The UNESCO World Heritage–listed seascape, a mind-blowing collection...

Side Trips from Ho Chi Minh City

Some of the destinations around Ho Chi Minh City can be visited as day trips; others may take a few days. Some excursions are more rugged,...

The Northwest

Vietnam's staggering beauty and ethnic diversity are perhaps most evident in the Northwest, where dozens of ethnic-minority groups as well as...

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Fodor's Essential Vietnam
Written by locals, Fodor's Essential Vietnam travel guidebook offers expert advice and...

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