Vietnam's Breathtaking Natural Wonders

By Michelle Yastremsky

Vietnam's cities may be full of history, one-of-a-kind architecture, and savory food worth traveling for, but the magic doesn't stop there. Just a short ride outside of your favorite Vietnamese city is a breathtaking natural wonder waiting to be explored. So power up with a bowl of pho and get adventuring!

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Mekong Delta

Closest city: Ho Chi Minh City

For those looking to maneuver through wetlands, explore floating villages, and be greeted by flower nurseries, a trip to Vietnam's mighty Mekong is a must. This region is also Vietnam's agricultural center, providing over 1/4 of the country's total crops.

Trang An Grottoes

Closest city: Ninh Binh

Described by locals as the “dry Halong Bay,” the grottoes of Trang An are a commonly overlooked location, but should be added to every Vietnam itinerary! The closest city to this site is Ninh Binh, but this limestone scenery can also be visited as a day trip from Hanoi.

Halong Bay

Closest City: Hanoi

Massive limestone glaciers and vibrantly colored waters greet you as you enter the vast landscape of Halong Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to traditional floating villages, over 1,000 islands, and was also the filming location for Kong: Skull Island.

Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne

Closest City: Ho Chi Minh City

How about a bit of bold desert in Vietnam? Head to the seaside town of Mui Ne and embark upon the heated journey. You'll find both white and red sand dunes in this vast desert region - don't forget your water bottle!

Rice Fields

Closest city: varies

Lush rice-paddy ridges hug the landscape in some of the country's most photogenic places. The time of year greatly affects the colors of the rice paddy fields. For vivid greens consider a trip in the spring, or wait until fall (harvest time) to see the terraces dotted with greens and yellows. You'll find rice fields scattered throughout some of Vietnam's various regions, but the best places to see these beauties are in Sapa, Mu Cang Chai, Y Tai, and the Bac Son Valley.

Giang Dien Waterfall

Closest City: Ho Chi Minh City

Looking for a peaceful escape from the bustle of Vietnam's capital? Hop on a taxi or bus from Ben Thanh market and soak up the beauty at the beautiful Giang Dien waterfall. Spend the day splashing away in the cool waters, picnicing under the sun, or exploring the nearby rainforest.

Phong Nha National Park

Closest city: Dong Hoi

In 1990, an explorer made a massive discovery in Vietnam: the world’s largest cave. The cave has only been open to the public since 2013, so few have made the several-day journey through its labyrinth. For more moderate adventurers, you can still spend the day in the national park hiking through the jungle or visiting one of the other many caves, including a mud spa cave and the world’s second largest dry cave.

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