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What Vietnam is Known for

sapa-terraced-rice-fields-what-is-vietnam-known-for Sa Pa's terraced fileds

There are many things Vietnam is famous for besides it being a Southeast Asian country and a top worth-visiting place due to its ancient history, diverse culture and quintessential natural landscapes. Check out our list of What Vietnam is Known for and our suggestions for your Vietnam travel.

1. Vietnam War

what vietnam is known for vietnam war

Vietnamese soldiers in the Vietnam War

Also known as the Second Indochina War, Vietnam War was a fight between the North Vietnam, which was supported by communist allies including the Soviet Union and China, and the government of South Vietnam, which was supported by anti-communist allies including the United States. To most Vietnamese, it was a resistance war against American with the aim of defending themselves and the country.

The Vietnam War is a significant milestone in thousands of years of Vietnam history with several war artifacts remained. Historical landmarks, therefore, have always been a top attractive part, which must be included in your Vietnam travel plan. There are many historical locations related to the Vietnam War that you should pay a visit. Some top attractions include Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, and Reunification Palace.

Read more on Worthy Vietnam Tours to Understand the Vietnam War.

2. The Capital Hanoi


Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Located in the North of Vietnam, Hanoi is one of the best cities in Vietnam home to the Old Quarter and many historical attractions. While Ho Chi Minh City is known as a bustling modern city, Hanoi is considered an ancient capital city, which could bring you nostalgic feeling and an interesting view of Vietnamese culture. As it used to be the citadel of several previous dynasties from Hung Kings Period to the end of Trinh - Nguyen Lord civil war, Hanoi has been chosen to become the cultural and social center of the country.

Where to Go in Hanoi

Historical Attractions

  • Hoan Kiem Lake, the Red Bridge, and Ngoc Son Temple
  • Hanoi Military History Museum
  • Temple of Literature
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • Long Bien Bridge

Local Markets

  • Dong Xuan Market
  • Long Bien Night Market
  • Quang Ba Flower Night Market

Cultural and Religious Sites

  • The Perfume Pagoda
  • Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Hanoi Opera House
  • One Pillar Pagoda
  • St. Joseph's Cathedral
  • Water Puppet Theatre

Hanoi's Dishes

  • Pho
  • Bun Dau Mam Tom
  • Bun Cha
  • Banh cuon Thanh Tri
  • Cha Ca La Vong

Read more on What to Eat in Northern Vietnam and the Capital of Vietnam.

3. Motorbike Madness

what vietnam is known for motorbike madness

Ho Chi Minh City in rush hours

As a developing country, the motorbike is the main transportation in Vietnam. Almost all Vietnamese adults have their own motorbike, scooting on to their destinations on a daily basis. Thousands of motorbike are on the streets in rush hours somehow have become an emblem of Vietnamese hustle. In other words, Vietnamese life which moves on two wheels has always given foreigners an amusing anecdote when coming to the country. According to the statistics in 2016, there are around 7.43 million motorbikes over the population of 8.3 million in Ho Chi Minh City. Also, there are over 1 million motorbikes which are brought in the city by migrants, making the total number of motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City become the highest in the country.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!


4. Ao Dai

what vietnam is known for ao dai

Vietnamese high-school girls wearing Ao Dai

Ao Dai is the most well-known Vietnamese traditional garment, which can be worn by both men and women. Despite being a traditional costume, the Ao Dai is quite popular in Vietnam today’s society. Coming to Vietnam, you can often catch sight of high-school girls wearing white Ao Dai and walking along the street after school. The Ao Dai has become the required uniform for many female teachers and high-school students. It is also compulsory for female staff in some companies including banks, hotels, and travel agencies to wear this kind of clothes. Besides, Ao Dai is always a standard for weddings and other formal occasions. Vietnamese especially show a strong preference for Ao Dai for celebrating Tet and important meetings.

5. Vietnamese Coffee

what vietnam is known for coffee

Vietnamese black coffee and white coffee

Coffee is not only one of the most important parts of Vietnamese culture, but it has also been taking part in building up Vietnam's reputation among coffee-producing countries. Vietnamese coffee is widely known for its unique strong flavor due to the special preparation process, in which the ground roast coffee beans will go into a small filter with a small amount of boiled water added in order to release dark flavored coffee. Some common types of Vietnamese coffee that you can find in any part of the country include Black Coffee (Ca Phe Den) and Milk Coffee (Ca Phe Sua).

Read more on A Guide to Drinking Vietnamese Coffee.


6. Pho and Vietnamese Rice Dishes

what vietnam is known for vietnamese rice

Pho Vietnam, rice noodle soup with slices of beef

Being one of the top agricultural regions, Vietnam is one of the largest rice exporter in the world. Rice, therefore, has always been an integral part of every Vietnamese generation’s life. As rice is the staple diet in Vietnam, almost every meal of a day of a Vietnamese is based on rice.

what vietnam is known for spring roll

Bun Cha - Hanoi's favorite rice vermicelli dish

A normal day of a Vietnamese often starts with a bowl of Pho - soup with rice noodles and ends with a dinner including white rice with some meat and vegetable. There is a wide variety of rice dish including Bun Cha, Banh canh, Bun Bo Hue, Bun Thit NuongBanh Khot, Banh Xeo, Banh Cuon, and Vietnamese spring roll.

7. Vietnamese Street Foods

what vietnam is known for banh trang nuong

Banh trang nuong, a famous street food in Vietnam

Like many other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam is a heaven of street food. When traveling to Vietnam, you would be surprised by the amazing culinary culture here. Every city and every province like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Nha Trang have specialties of their own, and thus, serving you a wide range of Vietnam’s popular dishes. The cheapest and most delicious places to try street food is in local markets and single-dish food stalls standing along the street. Some of the best street food that you should try includes Banh Trang Tron, Banh Mi, Balut, Papaya Salad, Snails, Banh trang nuong, Banh cuon, and Banh xeo.

Read more on 15 Vietnamese Street Food Options You Should Try.

8. Vietnamese Beer

what vietnam is known for beer

Vietnam beer culture

Since Vietnam is one of the biggest beer consumers in Asia (according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade), trying Vietnam beer culture is always an enjoyable experience you should have once in your life. Coming to Vietnam, you can feel the beer culture in every corner, on every street, and at any time. It is very common to sit on a small plastic chair along pavements, cheering, and enjoy a few beers with your friends and family in Vietnam. Also, within a reasonable range of budget, there are various types of beer offered including Bia hoi (draft beer), bottled/canned beer, and craft beer.

Read more on A Guide to Vietnamese Beers.

9. Ancient Town Hoi An

what vietnam is known for hoi an ancient town

Hoi An's Fujian Assembly Hall

Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage town, Hoi An is one of the most worth-visiting places in Vietnam. The town used to be a flourishing port during the time between the 15th and 19th centuries. In the 1990s, people started considering this town the “Venice of Vietnam” due to its picturesque landscapes, preserved French colonial architecture and peaceful vibe. Besides its beauty, Hoi An is well-known for its variety of local specialties that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Some of those are Cao Lau and White Rose Dumplings, which can offer you a pleasant taste of Vietnamese local food.

Get your travel insurance for your Vietnam trip.


10. Vietnamese Natural Landscapes

what vietnam is known for beautiful landscapes

Halong Bay, a World Heritage Site

Although Vietnam is a small Southeast Asian country, there are several picturesque and breathtaking natural landscapes that can quench the thirst of any backpackers all over the world. Traveling to Vietnam, you would be amazed by the diversity of the scenery, which ranges from white-sand beaches and beautiful natural caves to immense majestic mountainous areas. Some tourist attraction areas you should pay a visit are Nha Trang, Da Nang, Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, and Sapa. It would be incomplete without mentioning Halong Bay, which is considered the most quintessential scene of Vietnam with many sun-drenched beaches and an amazing system of floating limestone karst formations.

Read more on 12 Beautiful Places in Vietnam.

what vietnam is known for terraced rice field

Terraced rice fields in the North of Vietnam

In Vietnam, there are a great number of natural masterpieces originating from Vietnamese rice culture, in which the Vietnamese terraced rice field is considered one of the most specific delegates. Terraced rice field, which is also called the “stairway to heaven”, is located mainly in the Northern mountainous areas of Vietnam like Sapa. This special kind of field is the result of the creative work of H’mong people, an ethnic community living in the Northwest of Vietnam, a hundred years ago. The fact of living in the high mountains, they had no choice but create terraces on the slopes of such mountains in order to keep water for growing rice. This gradually becomes an incredible landscape that you must pay a visit once in a lifetime.

11. Vietnam Countryside

what vietnam is known for mekong delta

Mekong Delta is a top worth-visiting place in Vietnam

Mekong Delta, which is also called Nine Dragons river delta, is a rich and lush area in Southwestern Vietnam. The delta is a network of nine distributaries which all bring plenty of to rice fields and make the delta a rice bowl of Vietnam. Coming to the Mekong Delta, you would be impressed by the lively vibe here with colorful floating markets, beautiful rice fields, and unforgettable local specialties.

what vietnam is known for floating market

A scene of a floating market in Mekong Delta

One of the most well-known floating markets is Cai Rang, which is located in Can Tho. Visiting the market, you would be surprised by its amazing sight of hundreds of boats packed with various kinds of fruits, foods, and flowers. This interesting culture will give you valuable experience of the picturesque agricultural communities in Vietnam.

Read more on What to do at the Mekong Delta.

Summary of What Vietnam is Known for

Being a Southeast Asian country with diverse culture, tasty food, and many beautiful landscapes, Vietnam is a worth-visiting destination. Have a look at Vietnam at a Glance for more information about the country and check out our guides for Vietnam travel tips and deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture.



Guest - c on Monday, 03 February 2020 07:23
Guest - Joi Martin on Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:19

the motorbike tours are a must-do! very fun and not scary as it looks!

the motorbike tours are a must-do! very fun and not scary as it looks!
Guest - Zoey on Tuesday, 01 October 2019 18:53

I would love to experience the streets of Vietnam, please. Any advice?

I would love to experience the streets of Vietnam, please. Any advice?
Guest - Nguyễn Thị Hồng Nhung on Saturday, 02 November 2019 17:52

I'm Vietnamese, let try grilled food, "bánh tráng trộn", spring roll, bánh xèo (pancake in English, my favorite one), ... you can search more on the Internet. As different places have their own specialties.

I'm Vietnamese, let try grilled food, "bánh tráng trộn", spring roll, bánh xèo (pancake in English, my favorite one), ... you can search more on the Internet. As different places have their own specialties.
Guest - j. barrett on Friday, 26 July 2019 23:00

Jeep window regulators are a product of Vietnam!!

Jeep window regulators are a product of Vietnam!!
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