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From the green rice fields in the north to the tropical island of Phu Quoc in the south, Vietnam’s natural landscapes are truly breathtaking.

by Thea Gillingham

From the misty mountains and terraced rice fields in northern Vietnam, to the emerald waters and towering limestone islands of Halong Bay, and the pristine white-sand beaches of Phu Quoc Island in the south, Vietnam is a stunning country.

Here are our top 6 most beautiful places to visit in Vietnam:

1. Sapa and the Tonkinese Alps

The remote northwest of Vietnam offers some of the most spectacular landscape in the country, with high rolling mountains, steep valleys and magnificent rice paddies creating a patchwork of contours.

Located in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains, overlooking the bright green terraced rice fields of the Muong Hoa Valley, the small French hill station of Sapa is the perfect base to explore this beautiful and culturally rich region.

We recommend doing a 3 day trek from village to village as this will provide an opportunity to admire the breathtaking scenery and gain an insight into the traditional hill tribe culture and lifestyle.

2. Halong Bay

Located in northeast Vietnam, approximately four hours drive from Hanoi is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay, famous for its serene, emerald waters and towering limestone islands topped by rainforests.

An overnight cruise on a traditional junk boat is likely to be the highlight of your Vietnam holiday. Take in the spectacular natural scenery as you float gently on the tranquil waters, and look out for floating villages such as Cua Van, Vung Vieng, and Cong Dam. There will be opportunities to jump in to the clear, calm water for a swim, or you can try kayaking which is undoubtedly the best way to explore the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay.

3. Nha Trang

With a stunning mountain backdrop, sweeping crescent beach and beautiful turquoise bay dotted with tropical islands, it is easy to see why Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most famous beach resort. If you’re seeking sun, sea and sand during your Vietnam holiday this 6km stretch of spectacular coastline with pristine beaches and crystal clear waters is the perfect destination.

The town itself is home to Cham ruins, Buddhist temples and gothic-style Catholic churches. We recommend that you visit Long Son Pagoda (also known as White Buddha Temple) to see a 14m-high white Buddha sitting on a lotus blossom. The platform around the huge figure has impressive views of Nha Trang and the surrounding rural areas and offers fantastic photo opportunities.

If you’re looking for adventure we suggest that you travel 20km north of Nha Trang to the beautiful Ba Ho Falls where you’ll find three natural waterfalls and a clear lake surrounded by dense rainforest. The waterfalls are a 40-minute drive from Nha Trang along a picturesque stretch of coastline with views of the ocean on one side and lush mountains on the other.

4.Hoi An

With its cobblestoned streets, narrow canals, Chinese-style shophouses, and French-colonial buildings, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An, on the central coast is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam.

This former trading port is famous for its historic and picturesque Old Town. Even though many of the old shops within the cobblestoned centre have been converted to modern businesses aimed at tourists, including countless tailors, art galleries, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafés, it has retained its old-fashioned charm and atmosphere. At night all of the electricity in the Old Town is switched off and colourful traditional silk lanterns are hung from every shop front, lighting up the narrow streets and casting a romantic shimmer over the Thu Bon River. In our opinion Hoi An is a ‘must-see’ town during a holiday to Vietnam and we recommend spending at least 2-3 days here.

Wayfairer Top Tip: Hire a bicycle and spend the day exploring the small villages in the beautiful countryside around Hoi An to get an insight into rural Vietnamese life.

5. Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc is a quiet, undeveloped and low-key island located in southern Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand. With palm-fringed beaches, dense jungles and mountain waterfalls, this tropical paradise is the perfect place to spend the last few days of your Vietnam tailor-made holiday.

This laid-back island has more than a dozen beautiful beaches and its small enough that you can explore them all by bicycle or scooter. We recommend that you head to the west coast for pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise sea, and spectacular sunsets.

Wayfairer Top Tip: Discover the highlights of Vietnam from Hanoi to Saigon on a Wayfairer tailor-made holiday and ask your Fair Travel Specialist to include a few days on Phu Quoc at the end of your itinerary.

6. Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta - known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Vietnam’ - is one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of Vietnam. It is a land of winding waterways, mangrove forests, floating markets, and lush green paddy fields, where life is governed by the ebb and flow of Vietnam’s most iconic river.

With the mighty Mekong River flowing through its veins, daily floating markets keep the Mekong Delta alive and create a very distinctive way of life here. The most famous floating market is Chau Doc which draws traders and farmers from the surrounding countryside who buy and sell fruit, vegetables and fish. The sleepy riverside town of Chau Doc is the perfect place to escape modern life and discover the authentic Mekong Delta at its very best and we recommend that you spend 1-2 nights here. During your visit to the Mekong Delta we also recommend that you cycle out along the quiet dirt tracks and through villages where life has changed little over the decades. You’ll see children riding on the backs of water buffaloes and farmers tending to their rice paddy fields, and you’ll soon understand why this region is famous for rice farming and fishing.

Wayfairer Top Tip: Travel through the Mekong Delta to Cambodia by boat - it's a wonderful way to experience the amazing Delta region.

Read our month-by-month guide to Vietnam’s weather to help you plan when to go – When To Travel To Vietnam

If you’d like to speak to someone who’s been to Vietnam, call our Luxury Travel Specialist on 0203 143 4293 or send an online enquiry to start your journey.

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