Vietnam is known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and vibrant history. While it's famous for its bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring sights in Vietnam can be found in its natural wonders. From lush jungles to towering limestone karsts, Vietnam offers a diverse range of natural beauty that will leave you in awe. Here are the top seven natural wonders in Vietnam you should visit.
Ha Long Bay, situated in the northeastern part of Vietnam, is one of the most renowned natural wonders of the country. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its emerald-green waters, thousands of limestone karsts, and islets that jut out of the sea. The bay comprises over 2,000 different islands. It's a well-liked destination for cruising, kayaking, and exploring stunning caves like the Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave). The nearby Lan Ha Bay is equally stunning, with much rougher terrain.
Special Feature: The native people of Halong Bay live on boats since many of these islands are uninhabitable. Entire villages and communities live in floating villages, which you shouldn't miss.
Central Vietnam boasts a national park renowned for its karst landscapes and vast cave systems. This UNESCO World Heritage Site safeguards over 104 km of underground rivers and caves, making it one of the most remarkable limestone karst ecosystems globally. The most notable cave in the park is the Hang Son Doong, which is the world's largest cave, known for its grand cathedral-like chambers. Other caves within the park, such as the awe-inspiring Paradise and Phong Nha Caves, are also worth exploring due to their magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can enjoy thrilling activities in Hang Toi or Dark Cave, such as ziplining and kayaking.
Special Feature: The cave system here in Southeast Asia is the oldest and is often called the "Kingdom of Caves."
Sapa, located in northern Vietnam, is renowned for its picturesque terraced rice fields. These vibrant green terraces are so stunning that they resemble Van Gogh's artwork and are essential to the region's agricultural heritage. They are at their most beautiful during the rice planting and harvesting seasons. The villages from which you can enjoy these extensive terraces are Y Ty, Ta Van, Ta Phin, and Ban Ho, among others.
Special Feature: Travellers can travel up to Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam located over the Hoang Lien Range. It is also known as the Roof of Indo-China.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, is a tropical paradise located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is well-known for its white sandy beaches, clear waters, and lush rainforests. Tourists can explore Phu Quoc National Park, dive or snorkel in the surrounding coral reefs, and appreciate the island's peaceful beauty. The place is perfect for slowing down, sipping a seaside cocktail, and toasting to the blood-orange sun as it sets over the sea.
Special Feature: Phu Quoc is renowned for its fish sauce production, with around 100 factories producing the best fish sauce using rich anchovy catches, resulting in 10 million litres of sauce annually.
The Tonkinese Alps are a striking mountain range in northern Vietnam. Rugged peaks, deep valleys, and lush forests characterise the picturesque region. It extends across several northern provinces, including Lào Cai, Lai Châu, Yên Bái, and Sơn La. The place is home to ethnic minority villages of Hmong, Red Dzao and Giay peoples. They offer great trekking opportunities, with Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak, as a highlight.
Special Feature: Travellers can enjoy mountain biking in the region.
The Mui Ne Sand Dunes are a fascinating natural attraction in the coastal town of Mui Ne, Vietnam. These unique dunes are known as the White Dunes and the Red Dunes, displaying contrasting landscapes with their golden sands. The White Dunes showcase large and pristine white sandbanks, while the Red Dunes are characterised by their reddish-brown hue. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery by sandboarding or simply taking in the surreal views at sunrise or sunset. This destination provides a desert-like experience by the sea, making it a popular spot for adventure seekers and photographers.
Special Feature: Mui Ne is famous for its beautiful white sand dunes, which are home to lakes and swamps nestled in the sandy terrain.
Ba Be Lake is Vietnam's largest natural freshwater lake in Bac Kan Province in the northeast. Lush forests and limestone mountains surround it, and is famous for its serene and picturesque beauty. Visitors can enjoy boat trips to explore the pristine waters, lush greenery, and fascinating cave systems, all surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. In addition to these activities, Ba Be Lake provides opportunities for trekking, hiking, and cultural encounters with local ethnic minority communities living in the area, making it a peaceful and culturally rich destination for nature enthusiasts.
Special Feature: The Ba Be National Park is nearby and protects the region's diverse wildlife. Activities such as trekking and cycling are popular.