Vietnam Unesco World Heritage Sites
Vietnam is a country of rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, which is reflected in its eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites range from ancient towns and temples to breathtaking natural landscapes, and they represent some of Vietnam’s most treasured landmarks.
List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam:
- Halong Bay
- Hoian Ancient Town
- My Son Sanctuary
- Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
- Trang An Landscape Complex
- Group of Monuments of Hue
- Central Sector of the Imperial City of Thang Long – Hanoi
1. Halong Bay
The karst seascape of Halong Bay is one of the best places to visit in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are thousands of limestone islands and plenty of caves in the bay that can be entered including Sung Sot cave, with three mammoth caverns, and Dao Go cave.
Halong bay is attracting millions of visitors each year, perhaps the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam. Everyone should have at least once in their lifetime to experience 1 night or 2 nights on an overnight cruise, there are many activities waiting for you to explore like kayaking, sunbathe, swimming, cooking class, taichi in early morning, squid catching… or simply grab your drinks and enjoy the magnificent view of the bay in the different time of the day.
Location: Halong Bay is located in the northeastern part of Vietnam, around 170 kilometers east of Hanoi.
Year of recognition: Halong Bay was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
2. Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town is a well-preserved trading port that dates back to the 15th century. The town is characterized by its narrow streets, architecture, and unique cultural influences.
You can get a taste of these times as many of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public. One of the most popular is 17th-century Tan Ky House, with fascinating architectural and decorative elements. At the western end of Tran Phu Street is the delightful Japanese Bridge, Hoi An’s major symbol, while nearby is the old town’s most highly decorated temple – Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation.
Hoi An is a dreamy Lantern Town as the place becomes illuminated in the warm amber hues of candle-lit lanterns at night. Through the test of time, the lively spirit of Hoi An still remains and it is attracting millions of people who come to visit and they are coming back after the first time because they couldn’t have enough of its charm.
Location: Hoi An Ancient Town is located in central Vietnam, around 30 kilometers south of Danang.
Year of recognition: Hoi An Ancient Town was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
3. My Son Sanctuary
Approximately 1h-drive away from Hoi An, a trip to the My Son Sanctuary will take you into a historic period like no other in Vietnam. Built during the Champa civilization between the 4th to 13th century, this Vietnamese World Heritage Site is a striking architectural ensemble of more than 70 tower structures that are believed to be temples and tombs to worship Hindu Gods. My Son Sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.
Location: Duy Phu, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Around 70 kilometers southwest of Hoi An.
Year of recognition: My Son Sanctuary was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Opening hours: My Son Sanctuary is open to visitors from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm daily.
4. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a natural wonderland that is home to some of the world’s most stunning limestone cave systems. The park is characterized by its towering karst formations, underground rivers, and lush tropical forests. It covers an area of 885 square kilometres and is home to some of the largest and most spectacular cave systems in the world, including Hang Son Doong, the largest cave in the world. The park is named after the two limestone mountain ranges that dominate the landscape: Phong Nha and Ke Bang. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a popular destination for adventure travelers and nature enthusiasts.
Location: Phong Nha, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, around 500 kilometers south of Hanoi.
Opening hours: The opening hours of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park vary depending on the season, but generally, the park is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Year of recognition: Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
5. Trang An Landscape Complex
Trang An Landscape Complex is a breathtaking landscape of limestone karst formations, rivers, and caves. The complex is characterized by its natural beauty and unique cultural and historical significance.
Vietnam’s latest attraction to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the first mixed heritage for both its natural and cultural significance.
Enjoy a relaxing boat ride as you float along the mellow water to discover hidden caves and visit temples and pagodas. The waterway gracefully curls around perching mountain peaks to reveal open valleys filled with lush rice paddies on the river banks.
Location: Located in Ninh Binh, around 100 kilometers south of Hanoi.
Opening hours: The opening hours of Trang An Landscape Complex vary depending on the season, but generally, the complex is open from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Year of recognition: Trang An Landscape Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
6. Monuments of Hue
which was the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty. The monuments include palaces, temples, and tombs that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Hue is packed with 19th-century Nguyen emperors relics and is one of Vietnam’s most historic towns. The Imperial Enclosure, sitting along the banks of the beautiful Perfume River, is a massive 2.5 kilometres site. Check out the Dien Tho Residence where the Queen Mother would have lived, the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, or the Thai Hoa Palace with its finely lacquered interiors and the preserved ceiling murals in the Halls of Mandarins. A visit to the site will bring visitors into an exploration of the historical, cultural and spiritual essences of Vietnam.
Location: The Group of Monuments of Hue is located in the city of Hue
Opening hours: 8 AM to 5:30 PM daily except for Thursday (opening from 8 AM to 10 PM)
Year of recognition: The Group of Monuments of Hue was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
7. Central Sector of the Imperial City of Thang Long – Hanoi
The site includes the ancient citadel, palaces, and temples that date back to the 11th century. Being the only World Heritage Site in Vietnam to be located in the capital city.
Built in the 11th Century of the Imperial Era 1967, the Citadel has since transformed and evolved numerous times throughout its long-standing history. During the Vietnam War, the headquarter of the Communist Party was situated in the site with an underground bunker and an impenetrable war room in case of American bombings.
Location: 19C Hoang Dieu, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi
Opening hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily except for Mondays
Year of recognition: The Central Sector of the Imperial City of Thang Long – Hanoi was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
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