30 of Vietnam’s most beautiful places

CNN  — 

Thanks in part to its serpentine shape and lengthy coastline, Vietnam is home to wildly diverse landscapes.

As you travel around the Southeast Asian country, you’ll be surrounded by photogenic scenery – from lush rice terraces in northern Sapa to the white sandy beaches of Phu Quoc.

Vietnam’s architecture is particularly notable, too.

As a French colony from 1887 to 1954, the country is also peppered with historic government buildings and merchant houses along crucial trade routes – such as Hoi An, in central Vietnam.

The first thing you'll notice about Bún riêu -- a meat or seafood vermicelli soup -- is its deep red color. The soup gets its hue from tomato paste and annatto seed -- from achiote tree seeds. The flavor is just as enticing, featuring chunks of crabmeat, fried tofu, tamarind paste, and light vermicelli noodles.
Ready to graduate from pho?
00:51 - Source: CNN

The mighty Mekong adds to the diverse scenery, rushing through the southern lowlands and branching off into tiny canals that fuel agriculture in rural communities.

That’s not to mention the various national parks, floating markets, scenic mountain roads, farming villages, cemeteries, ancient volcanic geological formations and the world’s largest cave system.

Here, we’ve curated 30 of our favorite corners. It’s by no means the final word, but it should take you on a travel adventure through beautiful Vietnam.