6 differences between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in the eyes of visitors

For foreigners, the traffic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at first glance looks equally crazy.

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6 differences between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in the eyes of visitors
Hanoi and Sai Gon have interesting different things in the foreigners' eyes. Photo: festa-de-casamento.


Many people think that Hanoi people are "more cold" than southern people. I think a regular tourist will feel this. Saigon people are especially welcoming and hospitable.

However, friends who have been or are living in the capital reveal that once you get closer to the people of Hanoi, the way they show will be different. Often, people who talk less will become really good friends when they open up. Although I cannot stay longer every time I come to Hanoi, I always have reliable friends. And I have never had any trouble with Vietnamese people anywhere.


Most people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City use motorcycles. The street looks crazy, but actually, you can walk very easily. Most foreigners who have just come to Vietnam never imagined one day they would ride on a motorbike, but only a few weeks later they could master driving around the city.

Public buses are cheap, but you'll have to try it out to see if it works for you.
The road from the airport to the center of Hanoi is longer than Ho Chi Minh City, but it's convenient, just a taxi ride. But you should only use taxis of reputable car companies to make sure you don't pay higher.


For me, Ho Chi Minh City has more places to play than Hanoi, with countless bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, many addresses that can operate all night. In addition, sports or leisure activities are also very diverse.
Ho Chi Minh City views from above.
Ho Chi Minh City views from above. Photo: Cao Anh Tuan.
Meanwhile, Hanoi at night looks thoughtful and quieter. Famous for the lakes, Hanoi has many ideal walking spaces right in the city or the romantic bars and romantic coffee overlooking the West Lake.


Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City give impressive shopping experiences to tourists, from high-end brands from around the world to affordable, or handicrafts ...

Close by in the old streets of Hanoi are shops selling souvenirs in hundreds-year-old houses. Meanwhile, the shopping addresses in Ho Chi Minh City look more modern. In addition, new shopping malls are constantly growing in these two big cities.


Eating in two major cities of Vietnam is an exciting experience, with dishes that combine both local and foreign cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine differs by region, for example, pho - which is considered as a Northern land dish - is everywhere. Diverse street food with thousands of sidewalk BBQ bars, where diners can grill their own meat or vegetables on coals or hot plates on the dining table.
6 differences between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in the eyes of visitors
Grilled street stalls are always the favorite addresses of Hanoi diners when it is cool. Photo: Almost Landing.


Among the places I've visited in Southeast Asia, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are two cities that bring the most memorable experiences for visitors.

Hanoi is the center for connecting beautiful destinations, from Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh), Trang An (Ninh Binh), to Sa Pa (Lao Cai) ... Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO recognized heritage site and Voted as one of the 10 greatest natural wonders in the world. While Trang An is called Ha Long on land, Sa Pa is famous for its hiking, walking and outdoor activities among the Northwestern mountains.

If you come to the South, from Ho Chi Minh City you can go to the Mekong, Mui Ne ... There is no other place in Vietnam that fascinates me like the Mekong Delta, I can't even count all the times to visit this land.

* This is the opinion of Keith Hancock, blogger of Inseasia. The article reflects the personal views of this blogger.

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