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Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which one is the ideal destination

Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Sai Gon) in Southern Vietnam and Hanoi (capital of Vietnam) in Northern Vietnam, which one is the ideal destination for the first stop when you’re coming to Vietnam.


Vietnam is an interesting destination on the Asian tourist map. Because of this country has many places to go to.  Big question for tourists is whether  to choose Hanoi or Saigon the first city to land off. Because almost all international and domestic flights come from these two cities. Choosing Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh first always makes many visitors headache. Here we’d like to bring out  some of our opinions about these two destinations in different aspects. Hopefully, you guys  will have a good choice for your trip to Vietnam.



#1 About time




The first thing I want to mention is the duration   for the trip. It is not that you choose the place and just go, it is that you need to preview how long is a perfect duration for your visit to Vietnam. I offer the following periods: 1 month, 15 days and 1 week. 3 days up.

If you have more than 15 days to 1 month for a trip to Vietnam, you do not need to confuse between visiting Hanoi or Saigon, because with these days you have enough time to go from the north to the south of Vietnam and you can also visit many famous places in Vietnam.

If you only have about 3 days to 1 week for this trip. You should only choose either Hanoi or Saigon , shouldn’t take both with this little short time, because it will crumble your trip and it will turn to a race with time, come just to see, not to explore, experience or enjoy…


► See more: Best time to visit Vietnam



#2 About weather


You can see the weather forecast via web: accuweather.com


The climate of Hanoi is characterized by a humid tropical monsoon climate, with hot summer, heavy rains (called rainy season), and cold winter with less rain (called dry season). In addition, Hanoi has two intervals between rainy season and dry season, thus, forming spring and autumn. Meanwhile, the climate of Saigon is in the equatorial region so the temperature is high, stable and in the only two seasons are rainy season and dry season.

From May to September, Hanoi is into the summer. In the summer, Hanoi has a golden sun like honey. In the autumn, Hanoi has stable temperature, light sun. Since October, there has been some cold air, which made the daily temperature down to 24-25 ° C. In the morning and in the afternoon, on the suburban fields, the mist began to melt down, looks so mysterious. From November to March of the following year, Hanoi turns to the winter. The temperature can be down to 9-10 degree C. Because of this low temperature, Hanoians have to wear warm clothes (thick sweatshirts, jackets, thick coats). From the winter to the summer there will be the spring in the middle. Spring in Hanoi does not clearly, Hanoians believe that spring concept began from the traditional New Year (Tet), but it is actually spring only in April, when the flowers began to bloom.

Meanwhile, in Saigon, from May to November is the rainy season, the rain comes and goes very fast. It’s rainy in the morning but sunny in the afternoon. Sometimes, it rains for a whole day. From December to April of next year, Saigon is into the dry season. The temperature is so high and the sun is also very hot. The heat in Saigon is as dry as burning. Saigon does not have winter season, Saigonans often go to the North to enjoy the cold air and avoid the heat.

Differences in each region’s season have contributed to the diversity of the climate, the Hanoian want to avoid the cold, they can go to Saigon, and vice versa, the Saigonan want to avoid the hot, they can go to Ha Noi.


#3 Food



More about: 10 top delicious dishes must try when coming to Hanoi


The favorite dish in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh is Pho.  People often eat it  in the morning and there are also many kinds of noodles. When travelling here,you definitely have to try this. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are paradise of great dishes with a cheap price for peole who travelling on budget. If you want to explore the food of these  two places,it would take months.

However, there are some differences in the cuisine between these two places. Taste of the food is the most obvious difference when comparing South and North cuisine.

The dishes in Sai Gon are a little bit sweetener. If you are not familiar then it is way too much sweet. Unlike the South, Northern cuisine is frugal,slightly sour from the raw materials such as vinegar, sesame ...

Hanoi’s cuisine is featured in traditional food preservation. The old dishes must be processed in the old way, remain the taste of old time, such as how to cook pho. Pho - noodle soup is always from beef bones, beef, grilled onion,grilled herbal...It’s served with chili sauce, some lemon slices. Seasoning vegetable is also a MUST in the way of cooking food.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh’s cuisine is famous for its varied flavors of food. In Saigon, you can find specialties of all three main regions in Vietnam, but almost all are tailored to the taste of people here. Pho here although still using cow bone but using more seasoning to make a stronger flavor. Saigonan like to eat pho with vegetables,bean sprouts, chili. Not too strict keeping the original or variant, for Saigonan, to taste well is enough.

Beside food, just make sure not to skip the drinks. And the most impressive drink in both city is coffee. In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are a lot of cafes from the luxury to the popular one, or simply the small shop which is 1m2. The difference may be that coffee in Hanoi often includes milk and lot of coffee , meanwhile in Saigon coffee often added a lot of ice.

Tip: If you are a food explorer, exploring the street food of these two places is an unique experience. Look for the shop or restaurant that a lot of local people come to eat and don’t forget to take a look on how much they paid because somehow if you’re tourist, there will be a different price.


#4 Price




The price in Vietnam is not expensive compared to many countries in the west or other Asian countries. Saigon is more developing than Hanoi. In Saigon, there are many forms of entertainment to burn off your wallet from the restaurants to the bars. If you are a shopper, then Saigon is a good choice. The tour around Saigon is also very cheap.

Hanoi is a bit different. The price for food and drinks is good but the tour surrounding is a bit more expensive, the most expensive is price of tours to Ha Long Bay. If you go during the day, it’s okay, but if you choose to sleep at least $ 100 for a trip 2 days 1 night. But also, these places have beautiful scenery and a long time history.


#5 Sight Seeing in Hanoi


Hanoi is a developing city but still retains its ancient features.Such as all the temple, pagoda and Hanoi old quarter. We would like to suggest the following points:


1. Ba Dinh Square - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum



 If you have ever come to the land of thousand years of civilization, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - Ba DinhSquare is a tourist destination in Hanoi that you can not ignore. This is the political center of Vietnam with the House of Parliament, Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Museum, ... Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the place where the body of the beloved first president of Vietnam. Outside the tomb are green bamboo forest. The mausoleum is open in the morning of weekdays except from Monday and Friday. When visiting Uncle Ho's mausoleum, you need to care about what to wear  , do not carry electronic devices to record and keep silent  in the mausoleum. Ba Dinh Square is the largest square in Vietnam, located on Hung Vuong Street and in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This square is also a plae where held many history events in Vietnam. In particular, on September 2, 1945, the President of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam , Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. This is also the place where parades take place on the occasion of the great holidays of Vietnam, and also a place of sightseeing, having fun of both locals and  tourists and the people of Hanoi.


2. Ho Guom Lake (Hoa Kiem lake)



Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the places to visit in Hanoi when traveling to this capital. Located in the middle of the center, Hoan Kiem Lake is like the heart of this thousand year old city .. The lake is like a large mirror shining over the old trees, the hairy willows, the ancient temple roofs , the old tower, even the new buildings rise up to the sky. An interesting experience for tourists is walking around Hoan Kiem lake, you will see an ancient Hanoi but still full of modern. Beside the lake, there are many architectural works such as But tower, Nghien tower, The Huc bridge leading to Ngoc Son temple, Le Thai To King temple, Hoa Phong tower…


3. Hanoi Old Quarter



A tourist attraction To find out about Trang An's life ( an ancient name of Hanoi) , its culture and people, do not miss the old town - one of the interesting tourist attractions in Hanoi. lead with visitors. Hanoi Old Quarter is located in the west and north of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is home to a large population of 36 streets. Each street here mainly focuses on selling a certain type of goods. Wander around the streets and enjoy the old town cuisine such as Pho Bat Dan, La Vong fishball, Fried rice noodles, Dinh Liet noodles, ... will make your trip even more memorable.


4. Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam



If you ask about  the tourist sites in Hanoi which is the most ancient , probably everyone will think of Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam. This is a  leading cultural complex and also the pride of Hanoian when referring to the traditional culture of Thang Long - Dong Do - Hanoi. Temple of Literature is considered a symbol of knowledge, of Vietnamese education. This is the place of worship of the God, the teacher of Confucianism and Chu Van An - the typical teacher of the education in Vietnam.


5. Hanoi Cathedral



Located at 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong Ward, the Cathedral is one of the interesting destinations in Hanoi, which is frequented by not only people who belong to Catholism but also the familiar place belonging to the youth, the travelers.

 The church is designed in the style of medieval Gothic architecture with high walls, dome and many windows. Inside the church, the sanctuary carved wooden lacquer with gold paint combined with stained glass system. Feeling like standing in an ancient castle with classical music, you must be very eager to try it!


6. Tran Quoc Pagoda



Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi and Vietnam, located on a peninsula south of West Lake. , near the end of Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Formerly the Buddhist center of the Thang Long citadel in the Ly and Tran dynasties with historical and architectural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda is known as the sacred Buddha gate, which attracts many Buddhists. , visitors, domestic and foreign tourists. In the beginning of 2017, Tran Quoc Pagoda was listed as one of the 16 most beautiful temples in the world by the Daily Mail (England) voted. Come to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, ensure you will be amazed by the quiet space, poetic beauty of the "lotus" floating on the West Lake.


 7. West Lake 



A popular tourist attraction in West Lake One of the most famous landmarks of Hanoi capital, this is considered as a "giant stage clouds reflecting city skyline". The scenery along West Lake is very poetic and romantic. Surrounding the lake are a lot of green trees , then the flowers, green grass shade around the surrounding vegetation created a special scenery for West Lake. What makes West Lake distinctive, distinguishing it from other lakes in Hanoi is not only the scenery but also the water quality. Water every season has a miraculous and spectacular change in weather. , blue, gray, and dark at night ... And the scenery of Westlake becomes the most sublime perhaps at the end of the day - when the sunset falls on the landscape, the virtual blur The light of the road down the water creates an extremely romantic, romantic scene.


8. Hanoi Opera House



Located at No. 1 Trang Tien,  HanoiOpera House is one of the beautiful tourist sites in Hanoi with many historical landmarks. This is the venue of the great art programs of many famous singers and artists in Vietnam. You can admire the great architecture of the Opera House or buy tickets to see one of the regular performances held to see firsthand the magnificent interior of the theater.


9. Hoa Lo Prison

The Hoa Lo Prison was built in 1896 by the French colonialists as "Maison Central," where revolutionary soldiers were fought against colonial rule. This is one of the most permanent structures in Indochina at that time. After the liberation of the capital, the prison was placed under the authority of the revolutionary government. From 1963 to 1975, this place was also used as a place to detain American pilots shot down by the Vietnamese during the war of the North. Today, Hoa Lo Prison has become a special historical monument with many valuable documents displayed and carefully preserved, attracting thousands of domestic and foreign visitors to visit each year.


10. Thang Long Imperial Citadel



Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a relic complex associated with the development of Thang Long - Hanoi, the dynasty built in many historical periods. This is also the most important relic in the system of historical relics of Vietnam. To Thang Long Royal Citadel, tourists can visit the outstanding places such as 18 Hoang Dieu, Doan Mon, Sung Thien, Bac Mon (Cua Bac) archeological sites ...


11. Hanoi Flag Tower



Or better known as the Flag of Hanoi located in the premises of the military museum of Vietnam. Considered to be the most intact and magnificent building in the vestiges of Thang Long Imperial Citadel, the Flag tower is a tourist attraction in Hanoi that visitors can not ignore in the journey of discovering Hanoi.


12. One Pillar Pagoda



 One Pillar Pagoda was built in 1049 under the Ly dynasty, is one of the symbols of the capital Hanoi along with the turtle tower and Khue Van. Beside spiritual significance, One Pillar Pagoda is a unique architectural work with a high aesthetic, represented by the art of sculpture on the water, sculpture, painting ... reflects the ancient cultural values. as well as the national character.


 13. Long Bien Bridge



To mention the tourist sites in Hanoi , we have to mention Long Bien Bridge, which was built in 1898 by French, known as the first steel bridge across the Red River. Long Bien Bridge was associated with the two was which is against the French and  the American, is considered the symbol of Hanoi in those difficult years. The values in the past are still being there in each bridge, so in the hearts of many Hanoi people, Long Bien bridge is a part of indelible memories.


 14. Hanoi Railway Station



Hanoi Railway Station, originally called Hang Co Railway Station, was built by the French in 1902. Over the past century, Hanoi Railway Station has always been an important traffic hub of the whole country as well as the capital.


15. Dong Xuan Market 



The place you must  visit in Hanoi,  can not ignore Dong Xuan Market -  one of the largest market in Hanoi. It sells a wide variety of products from food, clothing to consumer goods to suit many interests as well as various objects. As a wholesale market, so the goods here are also cheaper than other places. Do not forget to pick up some souvenirs when visiting here.


16. My Dinh National Stadium

My Dinh National Stadium is Vietnam's second largest stadium with a capacity of over 40,000 seats. This is the place where priority is given to organizing major national and international events such as football tournaments, lively music festivals ... My Dinh Stadium is also home to the fireworks display. Ordinary days in the evening is also a place of fun, entertainment is popular.


 17. Vietnam - Soviet Friendship Cultural Palace The Vietnam

Soviet Friendship Cultural Palace is a project which was started on the foundation of Dau Xao old house from the French time which was destroyed. The total area of ​​the cultural palace is 3.2 hectares including 3 main houses: performance house, study house, technical house. It is an architectural and cultural site for art performances, exhibitions, scientific seminars, rallies or major cultural events. In addition, it is also a place of fun. , entertainment of many young capitals in the evenings of the week.


18. Government Guest House



 Government Guest House - 12 Ngo Quyen was formerly the Unification Government of North Vietnam, where the government of North Vietnam was located. When the August Revolution broke out, the Viet Minh and Hanoi people moved in and took over the building. The building was later renamed to the North, which was also the workplace of President Ho Chi Minh and the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam until the day of national resistance. After the end of the Indochina War, it was repaired to become the guest house of the government. In 2005, the city was seized by the city authorities.


19. Quan Thanh Temple



Located beside the West Lake and the North Gate of Hanoi, this is the most impressive spiritual place in the capital. Quan Thanh Temple is one of the "four towns" of the ancient Thang Long. In the temple of Tran Huyen Tran Vu, the god of the North. Throughout the dynasties, Quan Thanh Temple was also restored many times, but still basically did not change much in architecture. Not only contribute to the adornment of the ancient and romantic scenery of the West Lake Resort, Quan Thanh Temple is also a valuable relic of culture, art, architecture and sculpture, an impressive tourist destination. 


20. Hang Dau water tower



 Hang Dau water tower is a water supply project for Hanoians from the French colonial era. The project is located at 6 Hang Dau Street, Quan Thanh, Hang Than, Hang Luoc, Hang Giay, Phan Dinh Phung. Because the tower has the same architecture as the core that many people mistakenly call, and the name "Bot Hang Dau" has also become familiar since then.


 21. Ham Long Church



 Ham Long Church is one of the largest and most beautiful churches in Hanoi. The church’s architecture featured by the bell tower is in the center of the façade decorated simply and harmoniously. Especially around the church is decorated by many statues carved extremely animated.


22. Lenin Park



 Located between four large streets in Hanoi Tran Phu - Nguyen Tri Phuong - Hoang Dieu - Dien Bien Phu, Lenin Park is not only a beautiful but beautiful capital of the capital but also led many people by the resounding sound of the nation. Today the park is a place of entertainment and entertainment of people as well as tourists to visit the capital. 23. Ceramic Road Ceramic Road was built in 2008 on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long - Hanoi is

one of the unique tourist destinations can not be ignored when coming to the capital. It has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest ceramic pottery in the world.


Contrary to history of Hanoi, Saigon is a vibrant city. However, it also has some interesting places you can visit as the following.


1. Ben Thanh Market



Can not fail to mention this place first when it has been considered a symbol of Saigon for decades. This market is located in the central district 1 of the city, next to Quach Thi Trang Square and 23/9 park. Location is the reason why this market is bustling, crowded. Ben Thanh Market was completed in the early years of the 20th century and has been operating continuously since then.

With more than 3,000 stalls in the market, there are a wide variety of wholesale and retail goods, from affordable to luxury, so you can say that the products here are extremely diverse. From 8-9 am is the time when the stalls and counters open all the time, so from this time on, the market is always busy with buyers, sellers, space really bustling.


2. Notre Dame Cathedral



Author: Trungydang


If you are a fan of French classic literature, Victor Hugo must have envisioned the context of the story - where the passionate but grim love story takes place, it is a church, hugely in the heart of Paris, ancient. And even in Saigon, there is such a house, not the context of the love story , but it seems to be a replica which called Saigon Notre Dame or the full name of Wang the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the impressive French classical architecture and Christian culture. At every weekend, the church is the place for celebrations.


3. Saigon Central Post Office



Author: Diego Delso


Is a place for young people love taking pictures . The city post office is a typical French architectural design designed by a combination of Asian and Asian luxury.

Outside the building is decorated with rectangular tiles, on the box with the male laurel wreath. In the center, where the arch has a large clock home. In the evenings, both the glittering post office and the glittering light of the post lighted up the surface, humming in the center.


4. The Opera House



Author: TomW712


Inaugurated in 1900, SaigonOpera House is one of the oldest opera houses of Western architecture, considered to be a counterpoint to the Hanoi Opera House. Over the past 100 years, it can be said that this is a witness of a historic line of resistance to the nation's great resistance until the liberation of the South, unification of the country. Similar to the Saigon Central Post Office, this work also influenced French art of the late 19th century, from the relief to the interior decoration.


5. Saigon Square

For those who are in love with shopping, it is impossible not to know Saigon Square - a very famous "shopping paradise" with 3 establishments located in District 1. Visit this shopping center you will be overwhelmed. In the past, there was a lot of stalls with various kinds of items such as skirts, clothes, handbags ... The price of fashion goods here fluctuated quite large, mainly export goods, so you You need to bargain quite strongly when visiting this shopping mall. It is not difficult to find your favorite item when coming to Sai Gon Square.

Shopping can not be unknown to Saigon Square - "shopping paradise"


6. Star Light Bridge



If you are a light and romantic lover, do not miss the moment in this special bridge. StarLight Bridge is located across the lake, connecting twin banks of romantic Moon Lake. At first glance, this bridge is no different from other popular bridges, but the magic only comes when the darkness falls. At this point we can see the beauty as its name. On the floor and under the bridge is designed countless light bulbs shine like the night sky. The sprinkler system installed on both sides of the bridge combined with the rainbow effect of continuous change is very virtual and eye-catching. After taking a walk and taking a picture, guests can rest at a snack bar and look at the splendor of this bridge.


7. Independence Palace



Also known as Reunification Palace, is an architectural work into the history of the country, was the working place of the Republic of Vietnam government during the anti-American resistance war. After the liberation, the Independence Palace was classified as a special national monument. Today, on every important anniversary of the Vietnamese people as 30/4, 2/9 thousands of people came here to visit as well as to review the history of the nation as well as remember the fallen heroes. because of independence.


#6 Vehicles



Transportation when traveling to Saigon

The main means of transport for tourists to Saigon are motorbikes, followed by cars, bicycles, buses, pedicabs. The cheapest public transport is only 5,000 dong / bus, followed by xe om and taxi. At present, traffic density in Ho Chi Minh City is quite crowded, many road sections in the city occurred traffic jam at the time: from 7h00 to 8h00 am and 17h00 to 18h00 pm.


Transportation when traveling in Hanoi

Like Ho Chi Minh City, vehicles are mainly motorbikes. And to tour the spots you can rent a motorbike to move. Car rent is around 150 000 vnd - 250 000 vnd / day ($ 10). Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle to explore because the attractions are not far away. But be careful because the traffic here is the same as in the very complicated south.


#7 tours around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh


Tours from Hanoi



Author:  Charith Gunarathna


The North Vietnam has a lot of places for you to visit. From Ha Long is recognized by the uneco as the natural wonder of the world. And sure when you went to Hanoi you have to visit this place once. After that, Ninh Binh is mentioned. It is like a Halong on land. and, not to mention Sapa. A place with majestic mountain scenery, beautiful terraces or colorful local villages. In addition, there are some unspoilt places, such as Ha Giang, Ba Be Lake - Ban Gioc Waterfall, Lang Son ... The problem is that you have the time and the expense to discover all these places or not. The Northern Vietnam is a place where many tourist attractions are really attractive.

⇒ See more: 24 hours escape from Hanoi


Tours from Ho Chi Minh



Author: Quangpraha


Around Ho Chi Minh City there are many interesting places that can be mentioned as Cu Chi tunnels. A historical proof for the war here. With tunnels lined and deep below the land. or a Mekong Delta with a dense river system typical of a river, where you can explore the exciting floating huts where people sell everything in a small boat. Or visit the orchards.


If you want to have a good trip to vietnam than Find the best tour in Vietnam




#8 Man and Lifestyle


If Saigon life style is liberal, fair, not important form, in Hanoi, the subtle, warm and the size is important factors.

When you go shopping or eating, it seems that men in the service more comfortable and professional. In contrast, in the north, they are a bit difficult and sometimes with attitude to visitors. On the contrary, such restaurants have very good things like fried foods. There are many cafes but the owner is very irritating but actually the food is very welcoming, sometimes you have to queue long, waiting to be eaten it.


In the south the safety is poorer than the north, you have to be careful when you travel alone, walking to explore the city because it is easy to lose things. If you wear a backpack, remember to front in order to observe, the North is much better

However, generally Vietnamese people are gentle and hospitablegenerality.


In general, whether you choose the north or south of Vietnam, each place has its own interesting things. To compare where more than where it is difficult. In order to choose your trip, you need to set the purpose, time, cost and see the things that we give above to choose a suitable tour for your trip.

In addition, there are two possible trends for your trip:

If you want to go on holiday, choose South Vietnam, you can explore a vibrant city, take some tours around or go a little further to Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang to get to the beach and relax. nourish

If you are an ancient lover, would like to explore the beautiful natural scenery, people or enjoy the experience, northern Vietnam is an appropriate choice.

Beside that, there is still a place in the middle of Vietnam that is the central place is also an interesting place that we will put the information in the following number of blog news. Wait to see.


admin Mar 05, 2018

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