Vietnam, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia, offers some of the region’s most stunning natural wonders. While many of these places have become hot tourist attractions, they still retain their natural beauty, providing places to enjoy the tranquility and magnificence of mother earth.
Here are Vietnam’s 8 most beautiful natural wonders to explore:
1. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the park is considered to be a cave explorer’s paradise: with hundreds of cave systems, and being home to Asia’s oldest karst mountains formed around 400 million years ago. Epic caves with underground rivers, enchanting stone formations, and large areas to explore, the park is truly a sight to behold, even if you’re not a cave enthusiast.
Fast becoming a tourist destination, the park’s nearest village, which is the main center, is Son Trach village, home to a population of about 3000 people, with growing tourist infrastructure such as a rising number of eating options, accommodation, ATM, and transport links.
2. Sa Pa
The Sa Pa region of Vietnam is surrounded by the country’s highest mountains, and its landscapes are breathtaking. Trekking or hiking its hills and mountains are the perfect way to enjoy the region, with its picturesque rice paddies that change color by the season. During the rainy season, the paddies are green and lush, while at harvest time around September, the fields turn a bright gold.
3. Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is a city in northern Vietnam that has become a popular tourist destination with many attractions. Its most famous nickname is “Halong Bay on Land,” due to the hundreds of limestone karsts that resemble those at the legendary Halong Bay, only these karsts sprout across the city’s countryside.
One of its natural attractions and things to do is a boat ride through Trang An. A small rowing boat takes tourists around the water systems: through underground rivers, caves, and lakes – encompassing a 2-hour tranquil journey around the rural part of the province.
Considered to be “The Roof of Indochina,” Fansipan is Vietnam’s highest peak, as well as that of Laos and Cambodia (comprising Indochina). The mountain is situated on the border of Vietnam and China and can be reached from Hanoi on an overnight train.
Trekking the stunning mountain takes about two to three days, but a cable car can bring tourists to the summit in 15 to 20 minutes, where a complex of food shops awaits.
Best enjoyed on a trek, you will encounter hill-tribe villages on your first day on the path, while forests, wildlife, and mountain vistas are yours to enjoy on your second day as you near the peak.
5. Giang Dien Waterfall
One of the best places to cool down in nature from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s city life, the Giang Dien Waterfall tourist area has plenty to offer for young travelers, as well as those who are traveling as families. You can swim in the gorgeous twin waterfalls, which you can reach via a suspension bridge, and a camping area is available if you want to spend the night at the park.
Other things to enjoy include fishing, having a picnic in the park, as well as exploring the abundant flora and fauna that grow and live in the area.
6. Halong Bay
Probably the most visited and the most popular tourist attraction in all of Vietnam, the Halong Bay is a spectacular bay with thousands of limestone karsts that sprout from the blue-green bay like massive pillars. Boat tours can range from day trips to overnight trips where you get to sleep on the boat over water and witness spectacular sunrises and sunsets aboard. A trip to Vietnam is never complete without a visit to Halong Bay – it merely is a must to experience.
7. Hoan Kiem Lake
The lake itself is not that majestic, but the fact that it’s found in the center of busy Hanoi is spectacular in itself. Along the banks of the lake are some of the city’s most beautiful shopping centers, as well as picture-perfect temples and pagodas. The most popular of all is the Turtle Tower, which was built in the 18th hundreds to commemorate Le Loi, a famed warrior, and the magical turtle that legend says lived in the lake and meant to protect the warrior’s sword.
8. Phu Quoc
Vietnam is not exactly famous for its beaches, well, not as well-known as Phuket in Thailand or Bali in Indonesia, that is, but the country does have some impressive islands and beaches found on the southern coast. Phu Quoc island is one example – it has some of the countries’ best beach destination, with its white sand and tropical rain forests which are virtually untapped.
Aside from the beautiful culture, delicious cuisine, and undoubtedly stunning art that define Vietnam, its natural wonders are more than worthy to be explored, treasured, and relished – these 8 natural wonders are a certain must in your Vietnam itinerary.