Vietnam Cities to Visit
Cities in Vietnam are chaotic and charming all at once. Hanoi, the capital, has a maze of alleyways ripe for exploring. Hoi An, the country's cultural gem, has some of the best preserved colonial architecture in the country and streets lined with glowing lanterns. Ho Chi Minh City, the giant metropolis in the south, is Vietnam's most modern and international city with plenty of history too.
Vietnam's capital is chaotic and charming all at once. The chaos certainly comes first and then it often takes a few days for the city's charm to get under your skin. Something about the crumbling ochre buildings steeped in history, the tiny streetside cafés and restaurants full of delicious smells, and the on the go attitude of the locals is captivating.
The city's Old Quarter is the traveler's hub and boasts many of Hanoi's top sights. You could spend days getting lost in the myriad alleys, coming back time and again to Hoan Kiem Lake, and the peaceful temple and pagoda at its center.
Hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops are in abundance in Hanoi, offering all kinds of luxuries and experiences for all kinds of travelers. You can be eating a local meal on a tiny plastic stool one day and then fine dining in historic, luxury hotels the next.
While much of Southern Vietnam is rural, quiet, and traditional, the city of Ho Chi Minh is racing into the future. A spattering of skyscrapers tower above boulevards and imposing colonial buildings built by the French over a decade ago. Art centers, trendy restaurants, and craft breweries are breathing new life into districts outside the busy city center, and young Vietnamese are flocking here for work from all over the country.
Vietnam's most cosmopolitan city is the place to come to experience modern Vietnam while also soaking in history and culture. Spend a morning in the bustling food markets, an afternoon in grand palaces and informative museums, and evenings sipping cocktails in fancy bars.
For all its charms, Saigon is a chaotic city, but thankfully, there are plenty of beautiful hotels to relax in when the motorbike filled streets become too much. In this busy city, time is best spent with plenty of relaxing breaks in coffee shops and hotel bars.