Leisure in Vietnam

leisure in Vietnam
Updated 2023-11-19 11:27

If you are looking for an affordable destination with beautiful landscapes, culture, and delicious cuisine, Vietnam should be on your radar. With activities ranging from visiting its World Heritage-listed sites, natural parks, and beautiful beaches to traditional locations preserving traces of the past, Vietnam caters to every type of traveler. Forge your path and find adventure, all while surrounded by a vibrant history in Southeast Asia.

Heritage in Vietnam

To date, Vietnam has eight World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO, and all of these are accessible by tourists. Each site charges a nominal fee, which contributes toward their preservation and upkeep. Two natural and five cultural sites exist, plus one mixed complex, namely:

  • The Citadel of the Ho Dynasty in Thanh HoThe Complex of Hue Monuments in Thua Thien- Hue
  • My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam
  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi
  • Hoi An Ancient town in Quang Nam
  • Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh
  • The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - HanoiPhong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Phong
  • Trang An Landscape Complex

Parks in Vietnam

The country has approximately thirty-four national parks where you can admire the diverse fauna and flora. You can enjoy a stroll through the national parks like Ba Vi, Ba Be, Hoang Lien, and that's only just scratching the surface of the North. As you travel through the country, you'll experience breathtaking sights in each location. There's truly not a single boring point of your journey.

In the north, you have the exhilarating Hà Giang loop, Ha Long Bay, and Phong Nha, a nature enthusiasts' paradise with caves and tailored trips featuring canoeing and spelunking. Continue south to explore the Imperial Citadel, Cat Ba National Park, or the dunes of Mui Ne. Leave your mind open to the beauty around every corner.


Research and prepare beforehand, as buying snacks or water at parks is difficult. If you are bringing anything in, make sure you leave no trace of garbage on the way out.

Amusement parks in Vietnam

If you live in Ho Chi Minh City, you can enjoy a day out at Suoi Tien Park. While the park is about forty minutes from the city center, it has plenty of activities to make the drive worthwhile. This historical park depicts Vietnamese history through its sculptures of legendary dragons and Buddha statues. In addition, there is a zoo, artificial beach, and a variety of other attractions on offer. A little further north, in Binh Duong, you can visit the Đại Nam Văn Hiến amusement park with merry-go-rounds, swimming pools, a zoo, theatres, restaurants, and a pagoda. Be prepared to be the only foreigners there as it is a much more local retreat.

Good to know:

If you find a guide, ask about the abandoned water park in Hue. However, you will enter at your own risk as it is not maintained or legally open to the public.

Beaches in Vietnam

Although its neighboring countries might be better known for their beaches, Vietnam has many and offers enjoyable resorts or budget accommodations along its twisting coast. The most popular beaches are An Bang Beach in Hoi An, My Khe Beach in Da Nang, Nha Trang Beach, and Eo Gio Beach in Quy Nhon. Vietnamese citizens will avoid the beach during the day to stay out of the sun, so many of the beaches have plentiful seating. You can also book a trip to Phu Quoc or Con Dao Island.

Don't be deterred by location, as all of Vietnam's coastal towns will have a range of restaurants and spas. Make a note to check out Nha Trang for their hot springs and mud baths available for a full detox treatment.

Weekend trips in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a popular weekend destination for fun boat trips that explore several smaller islands. Boats can range in luxury, and an overnight boating excursion is an unforgettable experience. At the other end of the country in Mui Ne, you'll find red and white dunes, plus an active windsurfing community. It's recommended that you visit the dunes at sunrise or sunset for comfort and photograph moments.

Further south of the country, consider booking a homestay experience in the Mekong Delta and learn about the locals' different ways of life. You will have the opportunity to eat breakfast on a floating market, visit Khmer Pagodas, and walk among villages highlighting the many treasures grown and exported from the Mekong.

Traditional visits in Vietnam

To better understand Vietnamese culture and traditions, you can stroll through the numerous markets in the different cities. You will discover the paradoxical, noisy peace of Vietnamese cities, as well as food products and handicrafts. You will be able to purchase local food, clothing, souvenirs, and jewelry, but beware of a fixed price versus a bargaining opportunity.

For a truly authentic visit, it is recommended that you visit Sapa, Mai Chau, or the Ha Giang Loop, all located in the north of the country. Sapa is home to Fansipan Mountain and five ethnic minority tribes. Guests will have the option to do a day trek or use the Fansipan Cable Car for breathtaking views. Mai Chau is closer to Hanoi, giving guests a comfortable round-day trip or more luxurious options for an overnight experience. The Ha Giang Loop is an approximately five-day motorcycle journey perfect for adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts. Check the weather forecast to ensure you'll have clear visibility and there are no warnings for mudslides on your journey.


You will need a guide for translation when interacting with Khmer or ethnic minorities. While they do know basic conversation, to understand their lifestyle and the nuances, a fluent speaker is mandatory. Also, keep in mind there are over fifty ethnic minorities living in North Vietnam, so guests and tourists will have a variety of options.

Useful links:

Vietnam UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 8 gems worth exploring

Suoi Tien Theme Park

Leisure in Vietnam

8 best islands & beaches in the Mekong Delta | Local Vietnam

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