While Thailand and Indonesia may get the lion’s share of attention, Vietnam definitely has its fair share of beautiful photography spots that are “Instagram Worthy”. Whether it’s natural wonders or gorgeous temples and pagodas, this country packs in epic spot after epic spot.
Happily they are all located in the best places to visit in Vietnam so they should be easy to fit into your Vietnam itinerary.
Here are our favourite Instagrammable places in Vietnam.
15 Instagram worthy places in Vietnam
Train Street - Hanoi
Train Street is an Instagram favourite, a narrow residential street with a train line running through the middle of it. The train itself comes within inches of the walls and it’s a great spot to come and explore a bit of local life.
The classic shot is just walking on or beside the tracks, you can come at any time of day but we’d recommend coinciding your visit with the train times as it is a unique experience to watch. Read this post for more details on Train Street.
The exact location of this spot can be found on the map below, it’s a long street so you want to come to this section as it’s the most photogenic.
Lotte Tower - Hanoi
The Lotte Tower certainly has its cheesy sections, pose with the giant love hearts anyone? But its glass bottom section is undeniably photogenic, despite Hanoi not actually being the most pretty city to look at from above.
The smog creates a soft effect and standing on the glass was a fun experience too, especially as we went early morning and there was no one else around.
The trick is to go before 10.30am as the entry price is 50% off and you’ll likely have the place to yourself. Alternatively you could go late at night for the same discount, but it would be more difficult to get the shots.
Entry is 230,000 dong per person (about $10 USD) at full price. Half price is offered between 8.30am - 10.30am and 10pm - 11pm.
Mua Caves View 1 - Ninh Binh
Just two hours south of Hanoi is the beautiful area of Ninh Binh, a place characterised by stunning limestone mountains, rivers and rice paddies. At the heart of the area is Mua Caves which has two epic viewpoints.
The first is to the left of the path up the mountain and looks over to a river that weaves between the nearby mountains.
It is particularly good in the early morning when no one else is around. As you can see we had no sunrise and pretty gloomy conditions but we still loved this spot.
Read next: Sapa - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Mua Caves - Pagoda view
Mua Caves’ second epic Instagram spot is just across from the first up the righthand staircase, and offers views in the other direction. From the top, there is a beautiful pagoda that has been built facing north across to the rice paddies.
The views are more expansive than the first and contrast the countryside with the urban centre of Ninh Binh in the distance.
Bich Dong Pagoda - Ninh Binh
A short distance from Mua Caves is Bich Dong Pagoda, tucked away at the far end of Tam Coc. The highlight of the pagoda is the stunning entrance. There are fewer prettier spots to start your day than this. This spot is literally beside the car park so it’s an easy win!
In the spring and summer, the lilly pads are at their best and the whole scene is peaceful and serene - sadly we were there in Autumn, just as the lilies were dying but it was still pretty.
Bich Dong is free to enter, but you’ll have to pay 10,000 dong (50c) for parking a motorbike. We’ve been told tour groups arrive at 9am, so you’ll want to head here before then to avoid the crowds.
Ngu Lam Peak - Cat Ba Island
Ngu Lam Peak requires the most effort to reach out of all of the places on this list, but the views are well worth it! Tucked in the heart of Cat Ba Island (two hours east of Hanoi) is a trail to the top of a mountain that offers panoramic views across the jungle.
The walk is short (3.6km return), but the humidity will take it out of you - we were sweating more than we have in years on this trail. This spot is in-between the first and second lookouts at the end of the trail, you can’t miss it. We were chuffed as no one else went to this spot and we had it to ourselves for the whole time - so much nicer than the man made platform that constitutes the official lookout.
Ngu Peak is in the heart of Cat Ba National Park and costs 40,000 dong per person (just under $2 USD) for entry. You’ll need a motorbike or taxi to get to the entrance as there’s no public transport.
Read next: 7 Amazing things to do on Cat Ba Island
The majestic Halong Bay is a wonder of the world and there’s countless places to get the perfect shot. It is is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.
For us though, it was from the top of our ship at sunset. Looking over the thousands of karsts with the golden light was perfect. All overnight cruises to Halong Bay dock at the same place (frustrating but true) so you will have this sunset view of the karsts from any of them. Some of the day cruises stayed until sunset too, but not all of them so check with the company if catching a sunset is important to you.
There are a million and one ways to see Halong Bay, but all are by ship. You can choose to do a day trip or overnight trip in either Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay.
Mooc Springs - Phong Nha-Ke Bang
The dazzling blue water of Mooc Springs was one of the must sees in Phong Nha for us. This small jetty is just off the main area where you walk down into the springs. Unfortunately life jackets are mandatory here so getting gorgeous shots in the water is a bit tricky.
Again, you’ll want to time your visit to Mooc Springs as it is a popular spot and even when we visited late in the day there were loads of people who loved nothing more than screaming, splashing and paddling their kayaks directly into you! (yes they allow kayaks in the same area as the swimmers!) If you go early (and definitely avoid weekends) then you may have a chance at having it to yourself.
Entry is a hefty 180,000 dong per person (just under $8 USD) if you swim and 80,000 dong per person (about $4 USD) if you don’t swim.
The Citadel - Hue
Whilst the Citadel in Hue doesn’t have quite as much to see as you might imagine for it being the ancient capital of Vietnam (sadly the bombing in the war destroyed a significant amount of it), it is still worth a visit for the few places that remain.
The most picturesque is the imaginatively named “long hallway”. This corridor has an incredible amount of ornate carvings and doors that open up to the left that allow in some glorious light.
There are two hallways opposite each other so if there are people in one you can easily choose the other, we found it was a pretty quiet spot in general.
The Citadel in Hue costs 150,000 dong per person (about $7 USD) to enter. The opening times are 8am until 5.30pm (apart from Thursday when it opens until 10pm).
The abandoned water park - Hue
Ho Thuy Tien (or the abandoned water park) has become a favourite with instagrammers for it’s post apocalyptic feel. It’s one of those places that is far more interesting because it closed than it ever would have been if it was open!
The dragon’s head is the most unique spot, especially as you can walk up the mouth and peer out for a view of the area.
There are a couple of ways into the park but if you use the front gate then the dragon is around a 10 minute motorcycle drive away (largely because the paths are a bit broken and narrow).
The abandoned water park is 8km outside of the centre of Hue and you’ll need a motorbike to get there (and around the park as well!). You’ll need to give the guard a little bribe to get in as well ;-) see our post linked above for details.
Hai Van Pass - Da Nang
The Hai Van Pass which became even more famous after being showcased on Top Gear as one of the most beautiful coastal roads was one of our favourite things to do around Danang.
The more instagrammable spot is just past the halfway point nearer to Da Nang and is known by locals as ‘the rocks’. You can’t miss it as there are a number of food and drink stalls at the side of the road as well as the rocks.
There is one main rock with stairs cut into it and from there you can see the white rock below and to the left. We prefer the white rock but the first one requires no effort and it’s a good spot too.
This requires a little more effort getting to. You’ll need to walk through the bush for a few moments but it isn’t too difficult!
Just so we don’t set you up for disappointment there is actually a rock beneath the white rock in this picture which we removed in photoshop!
If you don’t want to climb down to the white rock we think the main one is a great spot too!
Marble Mountains - Da Nang
We first stumbled upon the Marble Mountains in 2012 when we were motorbiking around Hoi An and saw them dominating the skyline. We pulled over to check out some of the cave temples but didn’t explore too throughly.
On our second trip, we returned to explore in more depth and got to the furthest cave. Huyen Khong Cave has a magnificent shaft of light that shines directly onto the temple made inside the cave. It’s a pretty amazing sight. It’s quite a busy spot in the middle of the day but most people are in and out this cave very quickly so it isn’t hard to find a gap and get your shot.
The marble mountains are open from 7.00am until 5.30pm every day. Entry is 40,000 dong per person (just under $2 USD) and you can take the lift up to the top 15,000 dong (75c) or climb 150 sweaty steps!
The night market - Hoi An
Few things are quite as iconic as the lanterns in Hoi An. Every evening the city comes alive with hundreds of multi-coloured lanterns that line the streets and hang outside every shop, restaurant and cafe.
The best place to get a shot with them are the stalls in the night market. Each seller bundles in countless lanterns to entice you in. They make for a beautiful shot. There are currently around five similar stalls so you can just pick the display you like the most.
Make sure you ask the shop owner before taking photos as it can get in the way of their business and we saw a lot of people just barge in, take ages having photos and then leave without buying. We’d recommend buying a lantern if you are going to take photos there.
Read next: The best things to do in beautiful Hoi An
Golden Bridge, Ba Na Hills - Da Nang
After opening in 2018, the Golden Hand Bridge quickly became a viral sensation. For weeks we saw this place on all the major news outlets and then discovered it wasn’t very far from one of our favourite towns in Vietnam, Hoi An, and we knew we had to go.
Set on the top of a mountain just outside of Da Nang, the Golden Hand Bridge offers stunning views across the lowlands and out to sea. On a clear day you can see Da Nang, but most of the time it’s under a cloud (especially in the morning). It’s an incredible spot and just as good as you’ve seen in pictures…. but only if you beat the crowds.
You need to go early, like opening time early (by 7.30am there were already crowds on the bridge!). Here’s our tips for beating the crowds to make the most of your trip to the Golden Hand Bridge.
The only way to get to the bridge is by getting a cable car in Sun World (this in itself is an experience as it’s the longest cable car in the world at over 5km long). Entry isn’t cheap, so you’ll have to stomach the 700,000 dong per person ($30 USD).
The rooftop cafe in Hoi An
What better place to take in Hoi An than from above? Faifo Coffee in the heart of the Old Town has one of the best rooftop terraces for taking in the view and has become an instagram worthy place in Vietnam.
It’s one of the few on the list that don’t require much effort and you can enjoy with a delicious coffee in hand. What more could you want?!
Our Camera Gear
Our brand of choice for camera gear has been Canon for many years and we love their L-Series lenses. Whilst they are heavier than some other brands, the image results are worth the additional weight. We’ve also used a few drones in our time (check out our guide to which drone to buy here) but currently own a DJI Mavic Pro.
Here’s the camera gear we use the most:
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Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? Do you know any great instagram spots that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!