Vietnam is a rapidly developing country that has been attracting plenty of visitors of late. The diversity of culture, delicious food, and warm hospitality make Vietnam an ideal destination, especially for tourists in Southeast Asia. The fact that travelling in Vietnam is relatively affordable plays an important part too.

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Many first time visitors tend to contain their trips to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh since these are the two most popular destinations and the largest cities. Ho Chi Minh, in particular, is known for its historic buildings in the French style as well as pagodas and temples. If you’ve tasted the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh, here are some other places to explore in Vietnam.

1. Da Nang

Da Nang, Vietnam
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The coastal city of Da Nang is often neglected by tourists and used only as a stopover. However, choosing to stay here has its own rewards. For starters, you can visit the crystal clear waters of Lang Co beach. Additionally, there’s also My Khe beach that’s equally enticing. Both these beaches are full of resorts where you can look out directly onto the ocean.

The city is also near to some natural attractions like the Marble Mountains and Son Tra Mountain. If you would like to visit historical sites, don’t forget the French Cathedral in Da Nang itself, as well as Phap Lam Pagoda.

  • Getting there: There are daily flights to Da Nang airport, most notably by Vietnam Airlines. If you’re also visiting nearby cities, there are daily buses from Hoi An and Hue.

2. Hue

Hue imperial city
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Hue is situated in the north of Vietnam, along the Perfume River. This fascinating town used to be the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty for more than a century before they were overthrown. Hue is therefore filled with a lot of historical buildings, including the massive Imperial City that houses the ancient Nguyen imperial palace, temples, shrines and other royal buildings.

Other ancient Nguyen dynasty attractions here include the Thien Mu pagoda, the Princess Huyen Tran temple and the tombs of ancient emperors like the Tomb of Tu Duc, the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Tomb of Khai Dinh.

  • Getting there: The Phu Bai International airport is only 15Km south of Hue so you can fly directly there via Vietnam Airlines. A flight from Ho Chi Minh will take about an hour and a half.

3. Hoi An

Hoi An Vietnam
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Hoi An is a riverside town known for its peace, quiet and tranquillity. Unlike fast-paced cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An is a place where you can take your time. There are no modern traffic jams here, Hoi An is full of colourful old buildings and riverside restaurants. If you visit, make sure to take an evening stroll along the old part of town along the river, and have dinner while you’re at it.

Ho An is also known for its traditional crafts, and you’ll find many shops selling hand made pottery, fabrics and more which you can take home.

  • Getting there: There are no direct flights to Hoi An so you will have to land in Da Nang first and take a bus or taxi to Hoi An. This trip will take about 45 minutes to an hour.

4. Ha Long Bay

Ha Long bay
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Ha Long Bay has some of the most picturesque scenes you’ll see in Vietnam. Relaxing turquoise waters frame limestone cliffs that rise up from their depths to give you the impression you’re in a dream. Ha Long Bay in the north is a collection of more than 2000 limestone islands and all of them have a unique story to tell and exciting natural features to explore, including caves, grottoes, lakes, sinkholes and more.

  • Getting there: Ha Long Bay is about 165 km from Hanoi and can be reached by bus or taxi which usually takes about 3-4 hours. There are also direct transfers from Hanoi airport

5. My Son

My Son sanctuary
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My Son is an archaeological site dating back to the Champa kingdom that existed between the 4th and 14th century AD. This cluster of Hindu temples is worth a visit as you’ll also be able to enjoy cultural performances and guided tours on Champa culture. The My Son sanctuary doesn’t have hotels so you’ll have to make a day trip here from either Da Nang or Hoi An.

  • Getting there: There are daily buses to My Son Sanctuary from both Hoi An and Da Nang. A one-way trip takes about an hour but it’s advisable to go early and reach before 9am so that you can catch the cultural performance.

6. Sa Pa

Sa Pa Vietnam
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Sa Pa is a highland region in northwestern Vietnam full of terraced paddy fields, hill tribes, breathtaking waterfalls, and forest treks. Take your time to trek around Sa Pa and meet the ethnic tribes at Cat Cat village. Visit the Silver Falls and Love Waterfalls, take a cable car to Fansipan, see the rice terraces at Muong Hao Valley and more.

  • Getting there: The best way to get to Sapa is by train from Hanoi. This trip takes about 8 hours so you’ll want to book a comfy seat or cabin ( if you’re going by overnight train). Another option is to take a bus here from Hanoi which will take slightly longer. However, you might want to skip this mode of transport if you’re prone to motion sickness as the mountain roads are pretty winding.

Vietnam is diverse in what it can offer. If you’re planning a trip here, make sure you use these travel promo vouchers to get yourself better discounts and deals on hotels, flights and more.