Vietnam: Western visitors tell the difference between the South and the North

Western visitors tell the difference between the South and the North

In HCMC, many bars and nightclubs are open until morning. But to Hanoi, foreign guests have to search if you want to party all night.

Here are what Matthew Pike, a pen from Canada, observed during the discovery of the S-shaped land.


Vietnamese is the main language throughout Vietnam but varies from region to region. Northern and Southern people use different words, phrases, phonetics, so sometimes they cannot understand each other. Perhaps you will be confused when someone tries to remind you to "turn right" but say "cheap". It is also the reaction of the Vietnamese people themselves when talking to someone from other regions.


The rainy season in Vietnam lasts from May to November. In the South, the rain comes very quickly with cold winds, heavy rain rarely lasts more than a few hours. However, in the North, it can rain all day long.

The rainy season is not an ideal time to travel to Vietnam. Photo: Staffan Scherz / Flickr.

Dry season

The South is always hot, and temperatures rarely fall below 20 ° C in Ho Chi Minh City, even at night. In the North, the temperature can drop to 17 ° C from January to March. That's when people in the North wear thick coats, it is especially cold in the morning, even temperatures can drop below 10 ° C. Going north in the winter, you can see snow or ice in the high mountains.

The coffee

Iced coffee is a popular beverage in the South. Condensed milk and Robusta coffee or black coffee, adding a little sugar will ease the heat here. In the North, fewer cafes and more people prefer to drink tea.

Daily meals

Northern people prefer noodle soup. Familiar specialties such as Paste Vermicelli Soup, Kebab rice noodles, and Rice noodle soup with beef are sourced from the North. The South, meanwhile, produces many animals, rice and fruits thanks to its warm climate. The Southern people like broken rice to eat with pork, eggs, seafood ...


With countless shops and foreign brands, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's fashion capital. Thanks to the booming economy, Vietnamese fashion designers also thrived. When a new brand appears in Ho Chi Minh City, the news spread quickly and young people will wait for hours to hunt for the latest models. Meanwhile, fashion in the North seems more classic.


Young people in the South love American fast food. You will find a wide range of brands such as KFC, Popeye, Lotteria, Burger King, McDonald's in Ho Chi Minh City. Similar fast food chains exist in the North, but in smaller numbers.

Streets cuisine

Street food shops are an indispensable part of daily life in Vietnam, with delicious, cheap food serving millions of people every day. In the South, street vendors are usually aluminum trolleys while street vendors in the North are more traditional, still using bamboo frame.
A noodle vendor in Hanoi. Photo: Rachel BlackFlickr.


In Ho Chi Minh City, many bars and nightclubs are open until morning, especially in the West Bui Vien neighborhood. However, when you come to Hanoi, you will have to search and create a little if you want to party all night. Hanoians often meet more after work and end the fun in a "responsible" time frame.


Southerners often easily laugh with strangers for a few seconds, while Northern people seem more distant in the eyes of foreign visitors, although there are certainly exceptions. From the experience of Matthew, the staff at hotels and restaurants in the North are very polite and industrial manner. They may not laugh much, but visitors can trust them for their help. If exposed long enough, you will be able to break the distance and talk closer to them.
Ta Hien Beer Street in Hanoi. Photo: Texx1978 / Flickr.

Tourist attraction

Tourists come to the North because of the natural and historical beauty. From Ha Long Bay to endless curves through the mountains. Northern Vietnam has many beautiful landscapes and many ancient relics. The South has high-class beaches and resorts. Foreign visitors from all over the world come to rest on the pristine beaches of the South, and most of them can enjoy the beautiful scenery just a short drive from Ho Chi Minh City or a short, affordable flight.




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