8 UNESCO Destinations in Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country that hugs the borders of Laos and Cambodia in an elongated “S” shape. Each area of the country has its own charm: The north is famous for traditional food, the center stands out with white sand beaches, and the south boasts a modern and lively lifestyle. Vietnam is home to a total of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that draw visitors from all over the world.

1. Ha Long Bay is one of the most popular spots for international visitors. Thousands of limestone islets in different sizes jut out of the water in verticals cliffs topped with rainforests. They stand in stark contrast to the smooth, serene water. The best time to visit is from March to May when you can expect hot but manageable temperatures, and a greater chance of sunshine. Many people say that visiting the bay feels like getting lost in a fairytale land.

  • Address: Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 1994

2.Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is renowned for several reasons. Here is where you’ll find the world’s largest cave, Son Doong, which was discovered by a local farmer. The park also has the longest underground river. With an area of over 85,000 hectares, it’s also home to dense tropical forests and a diversity of animal habitats where you’ll have a chance to catch a glimpse of primates like macaques, gibbons and langurs as well as large endangered animals like the serow and saola.

  • Address: Quang Binh Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 2003

3.Imperial City, Hue

Hue was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, and the cultural, political and religious center under the Nguyen Dynasty. The Imperial City is a walled palace ringed by a moat inside the citadel of Hué. The city features impressive gates, temples, courts and pavilions that showcase grand imperial architecture.

  • Address: Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 1993

4.Hoi An Ancient Town

No trip to the central part of the country is complete without a visit to the Hoi An Ancient Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes over 800 historic buildings that have been preserved, so the whole town looks much the same as it would have done several centuries ago. You’ll find a unique mixing of architectural styles including influences from Japan, China, and of course the French colonial style. Hoi An is known for its affordable tailor made clothing like custom suits, dresses and shoes. Even if you only have a few days to explore, tailors work amazingly quickly here so it’s worth looking into. One of the best times to come is during the lantern festival which is held during the full moon on one night each month. Electricity is shut off and streets closed to traffic as the town is illuminated with lanterns; it’s a magical experience.

  • Address: Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 1999

5.My Son Sanctuary

Dating from the 4th to 13th century, My Son Sanctuary was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 for its spectacular Hindu temples and monuments. This site was the political and religious capital of the Champa Kingdom. The ruins of these buildings and monuments are made from fired brick, stunningly decorated with sandstone bas-reliefs that depict several scenes from Hindu mythology. The site is very reminiscent of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

  • Address: Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 1999

6.Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

As the Dai Viet kingdom got its victory and independence from China under the Ly Dynasty, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was then built as a political center for 13 centuries. Located in Hanoi, this marvelous citadel used to be the living place of several royal families in Vietnam spanning the Tran Dynasty, Ly Dynasty, Le Dynasty, and Nguyen Dynasty.

  • Address: Hanoi Capital, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 2010

7.Citadel of the Ho Dynasty

The Citadel of the Ho Dynasty was built in 1397 by Ho Quy Ly, surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. The citadel was built according to feng shui principles which shows how neo-Confucianism thrived in the late 14th century in Vietnam. Within the citadel today you’ll find farmland (rice fields) and an authentic taste of rural life in Vietnam.

  • Address: Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 2011

8.Trang An Landscape Complex

The Trang An Landscape Complex should be added to your bucket list during your trip to Vietnam. The landscape here is similar to that of Ha Long Bay, where huge limestone karst peaks seem to erupt out of the lush valleys around the Red River Delta. According to many archaeologists, traces of human activity that date back about 30,000 years can be found in the area’s caves. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, the area has an array of temples, pagodas, villages, and paddy fields to explore.

  • Address: Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam
  • UNESCO designation: 2014

Click Plan your trip to pick your favorite destinations and let Viet Tix create your own special tour