1/ Cyclo through Old Quarter in Hanoi. The Old Quarter is the cultural heart of Hanoi, where the pulse of life has been beating for nearly 2,000 years. It’s definitely worth taking a cyclo for an hour or so at the start of a visit to Hanoi. This authentic way allow visitors discover the city center in intense emotions.
2/ Cruise in Halong Bay. The World Heritage seascape of Halong Bay, dotted with jagged limestone pinnacles, is one of Vietnam’s biggest attractions. The most popular way to experience the bay is on a cruise.
3/ Boat into the rice paddy in Ninh Binh. The undulating limestone cliffs surrounding the city of Ninh Binh, about 2 hours south of Hanoi, have been nicknamed “the inland Halong Bay” - and for magnificent reason. A visit to perhaps the most famous wetlands of the region, Tam Coc, will quickly show how the area has earned the honorable nickname. If you’re wondering what to do in Ninh Binh, look no further! A glorious Tam Coc boat tour into the rice paddy wetlands framed with daggering limestone formations is well-worth the ride on the train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. It may just be your favorite thing you do while backpacking in Southeast Asia!
4/ Trek in Sapa. Sapa trekking and a hill-tribe homestay among the remarkable rice terraces nestles itself firmly at the top of any Vietnam travel itinerary. When going on a Sapa trekking journey, you’ll want to find a local guide familiar with the landscape, weather changes, terrain, and the most beautiful spots.
5/ Join your hands on cooking class (Hanoi, Hoi An, Saigon). The cooking class began at local market where guests shop for ingredients. The Chef leads the way through narrow lanes flanked with stalls set up on temporary tables, upturned crates and on plastic ground mats. You will learn typical Vietnamese ingredients and punchy aromatics like garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime, chili, fish sauce, and the abundant use of herbs and spices. After cooking, taste it.
6/ Hit the beach (Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, Hoi An). With over 2000 miles of coastline, Vietnam has plenty of secluded coves with white sands and waters fit for snorkeling. For days spent sunbathing and evenings watching stunning sunsets, these are the best beaches in Vietnam: Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, Hoi An.
7/ Explore on a bike tour to countryside (Hoi An, Mekong). This real bike tour is a perfect combination of cycling and discovery of the Vietnamese culture and way of life. Venture off the tourist trail and pedal around the river delta, hopping on a boat or cycling across bamboo bridges. Stop off along the way to peek into rural villages, experience traditional handicraft demonstrations and eat lunch with a local family at their home. This is a great way to discover real Vietnam.
8/ Stay local home-stay (Mai Chau Village, Hoi An, Mekong). Staying in small local hotels is a great way to get a feel for the culture you’re visiting, but if you really want to understand more about the daily lives of the local people, then there really is no substitute for spending a few days as a homestay guest. Homestay is the best way to experience local life in Vietnam.
9/ Crawl through Cu Chi tunnels. Perhaps, Vietnam is known into the world by the Vietnam War, also known as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War. Nowadays, Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the must-see place when traveling to Vietnam.