From trying some of the mouth-watering street-food to crafting your own Chinese lantern in Hoi An and learning to catch fish like the locals, here’s our ultimate guide of the must-have experiences in Vietnam.
While the five Hs – Hanoi, Hue, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City - tend to form the backbone of any trip to Vietnam, there are experiences within these highlights that are not to be missed!
Tuck into Banh Mi
At the top of our list of things to do in Vietnam is trying Vietnamese street food. If there is one food you try in Hoi An, it’s going to be a Banh Mi. Banh Mi is every sandwich-eater’s dream, bringing together several cultures in one crispy French baguette. Filled with hamburger meat, pickled vegetables and garnished with mayonnaise and spices, this meal-in-one can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Relax on the palm-fringed white sand beaches of Phu Quoc
Spend a day relaxing on the beach at Phu Quoc Island
. Phu Quoc weather makes this an ideal spot for some quality and needed beach time. While you’ll never be short of things to do in Phu Quoc, simply taking time to relax and unwind here is perfect after a busy trip exploring Vietnam.
Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels
Explore the immense Cu Chi Tunnel network in Southern Vietnam. Here you can crawl through specially adapted sections of the Vietnam War tunnels
and experience the conditions in which the Viet Cong troops lived.
Learn to catch fish by cast nets in the Thu Bon River Delta, Hoi An
Thu Bon river fishing
is a must-do activity in Hoi An.
This experience gives you a taste of the traditions and daily life for the people in Vietnam. Take the time to learn how to row a traditional Vietnamese ‘basket boat’ at the same time.
Practice meditation with Monks in Hue’s ancient temples
Visit the ancient temples and take one step closer to understanding the culture and beliefs of the monks. Discover the sacred and ancient meditation practises passed down from generations in the magnificent perfumed temples in Hue.
Make Chinese lanterns in Hoi An.
In Vietnamese culture, these traditional lanterns are placed and hung outside their homes to bring luck, wealth and happiness to the family. Travel to Hoi An to try your hand at crafting a Chinese lantern to take home your own piece of Vietnam.
Try your first Pho
Pho, pronounced ‘fuh’, is a delicious beef noodle soup and is Vietnam’s national dish.
The city of Hanoi practically runs on pho with many eating it for breakfast or a late night snack. Head to one of the noodle bars in the historic French Quarter (we like Pho Thin, open since 1979) and pick up a steaming bowl for around £1.50.