Where you should pay a visit: Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City?

Water puppet show

Located at the southern and northern extremes of this thin and long country of Vietnam, the two biggest cities lie more than a thousand kilometers apart. Yet both cities can at times seem extremely active, and you will have to need your wits to navigate their surprisingly crazy traffic. Too much information but still cannot choose which city to visit? Let’s see the lowdown on how they differ. Vietnam tour packages

Which is better for culture?

Water puppet show

Water puppet show -source: internet

Neither city is short of impressive colonial architecture, pagodas, temples and museums. Both have highly entertaining traditional water-puppet performances and a cathedral – relics of the French occupation.

If rollercoasters are your thing, head south as Ho Chi Minh City has several more theme parks than Hanoi capital city. As Hanoi pips the post for both fine and contemporary art, Hanoi will be a better bet if you are more at home in a gallery than doing loop-the-loops.

Hanoians are famous for sometimes being more standoffish than their counterparts in the Southern Vietnam, with more formal manners and traditional values. More influenced by international cultures than Hanoi – particularly French and American, Ho Chi Minh City has a much more open and spontaneous feel to it.

Which is better for food?

Market scene in Ho Chi Minh City

Market scene in Ho Chi Minh City -source: internet

In both Hanoi and HCMC, you will not have to struggle to find local culinary delights at reasonable price. On the whole, in both cities, street food is mouthwatering and ubiquitous. Coming to Hanoi, you will easily get Vietnam’s national dish-pho (noodle soup) on just about any street corner for as little as $1.

Hanoi’s culinary delights

Hanoi’s culinary delights -source: internet

As readily available as up north, but the street food in HCMC tends to be slightly sweeter. Walking through the side streets of both these foodie-heaven cities, you will be attracted by fantastic smells and rather than just pho and banh mi (Vietnamese baguettes), there is a lot more to tempt your palate.

Even though HCMC trumps Hanoi on the breadth together with quality of choices and upmarket restaurants, both cities have an astounding range of international cuisine.

What about nightlife?

Which is better for nightlife

Which is better for nightlife -source: internet

Some establishments close earlier than they used to as the Vietnam’s government is cracking down on venues opening after midnight.

Although a handful of Hanoi bars still manage to stay open until the last punter leaves, HCMC has managed to maintain much more late-night options than its northern friend. With thousands of not only locals but also travelers flooding the alleyways, snacking on fried chicken feet and steaming plates of BBQ pork while consuming cheap drinks on tiny plastic stools, the narrow streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter come to life at night.

Having live music at the weekend, many of the bars in HCMC are definitely suitable spots for classy cocktail lounges. HCMC is the best bet for those who are looking for a club with air conditioning where you can party till the small hours or a refined evening out. centre Vietnam tours

Which one should you visit?

Peaceful life of Vietnamese people

Peaceful life of Vietnamese people -source: internet

Depending on what you are looking for, you can choose which city to visit. Erring on the less glitzy side and the more historical, Hanoi offers travelers an ample chance to see the best of Vietnam’s artistic and creative offerings while appreciating the low-key street life as well as a closer glimpse of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Being the commercial centre of the country, HCMC inevitably has an exclusive nightlife scene, many smarter restaurants and more investment, fancier hotels.

However, both these metropolises have superb food, plenty of tranquil places to unwind, cultural sights, excellent museums together with day-trips to some of the most interesting destinations in Vietnam. Make your own decision!

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