Vietnam is home to eight natural and cultural Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. Those heritages sites represent an incredible opportunity for Vietnam to tell the world the whole story of the country and the remarkable diversity of the people and beauty of its land. Incense Travel is listing out some of the most wanted to visit, which should be an idea to build an itinerary for your vacation to Southeast Asia.
1. Halong Bay
Located in the Gulf of Tonkin in the north of Vietnam, and featuring 1969 islands and islets, Halong Bay is a naturalist’s dream. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 for the drowned limestone formations, it’s a biological interest and natural beauty.
A visit to Vietnam is not complete without exploring the spectacular scenery of Halong Bay. On our journeys in Vietnam, you will discover the splendors of Halong Bay aboard a traditional Vietnam junk which combine classic beauty with modern comfort for your luxurious experience in Halong Bay.
2. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Located in the central of the capital Hanoi, Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a very informative history complex that tell a good story of how Hanoi looked like. Built in the 11th century on the ruins of the Chinese fortress by the Ly dynasty, the imperial citadel became the political and power center of Vietnam.
At the same site, you will have chance to visit the D67 tunnel and the headquarters of the Vietnam People’s Army during 1954 and 1975. Exhibits are tools and meeting rooms that comrades in the Politburo and the General Staffs, including General Vo Nguyen Giap and Van Tien Dung used in the resistance war against the US.
3. Trang An
Located in the southern part of the Red River Basin of Ninh Binh province, some 80mi from Hanoi, Trang An is a complex of karst limestone mountains intermingled with valleys and steep cliffs. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014, Trang An is now renowned for its scenic rowing boat and cave tours.
The area is also featuring Hoa Lu ancient capital where you can visit King Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh temples, both were built thousands of years ago.
4. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
The national park derives its name from Phong Nha Cave, containing many fascinating rock formations, and Ke Bang forest. Located some 500km south of Hanoi, the park is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia.
The park is home to the world famous Son Dong Cave (Hang Son Doong), which was only discovered by a local man in 1991 and now known as the largest known cave passage cross-section in the world. Hang Son Doong is large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers. This cave comfortably surpasses Deer Cave in Malaysia, which was considered to be the previous record holder. The cave runs for approximately 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) and is punctuated by 2 large dolines, which are areas where the ceiling of the cave has collapsed.
5. Hue Imperial
Almost an hour flight from the capital Hanoi, Hue is a city in central Vietnam that was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperor and the national capital from 1802 to 1945.
Though many historical values were damaged during the Tet Offensive - one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, this ancient city now still bears the marks of its royal past, making this small city a must-see in any Vietnam tour.
6. My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of the Champa Kingdom. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is Bhadreshvara.
Recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1999, the temple complex is regarded one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. It is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur of Java in Indonesia, Angkor Wat of Cambodia, Bagan of Myanmar and Ayutthaya of Thailand.
7. Hoi An Ancient Town
Nestling at the central coast of Vietnam, Hoi An ancient town was a prominent example of a trading port of Southeast Asia in the 15th to 19th centuries, the town is a relic of time gone by.
Survive the country’s turbulent history, this well-preserved ancient town still retains remnants of its trading days, evident through a mix of eras – the styles from wooden Chinese shops, the temples to colorful French colonial buildings, the ornate Vietnamese tube houses, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. The town is now one of the key tourist attractions in central Vietnam.
By Joe Do