Asia’s Prime Holiday Getaways: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Domestic and international travelers alike flock to the captivating cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which boast both a rich cultural history and a remarkable pace of life.

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Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia, is gaining popularity as a tourist destination in Asia, according to The Independent newspaper. It offers beautiful scenery, a rich culture, and delicious food.

A flower vendor in Hanoi. Photo: Tu Pham

In an article titled “The best Vietnam holiday destinations: When to travel and where to stay,” Natalie Wilson writes that Vietnam offers striking scenery, including places like Ha Long Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wilson highlights Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as two of the most interesting tourist destinations in Vietnam.

St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Photo: Tu Pham

Hanoi, Vietnam’s cosmopolitan capital in the north, is described by Wilson as a city with buzzing night markets, Buddhist temples, and a fusion of historical and modern sights.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is particularly highlighted as a “gem” of the city, with its 79 streets and numerous temples, pagodas, and shrines. The quarter is a living heritage of the city’s culture, history, and architecture.

A corner of Hanoi. Photo: Tu Pham

Historic sites such as the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, The National Museum of History, Hoa Lo Prison, and the Temple of Literature are also recommended for history enthusiasts.

The vibrant nightlife in Ta Hien Street in Hoan Kiem Lake Pedestrian Street. File Photo

For those who enjoy the nightlife, Ta Hien Street in Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian street is recommended, offering a variety of local draft beers and street food.

The Independent suggests visiting Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, which is Vietnam’s economic capital. The city offers a mix of tradition and modernity, with landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

The nightlife in District One, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Caravelle Saigon

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season, which falls from December to March. Visitors have a range of accommodation options in the downtown area, from affordable homestays to luxurious five-star hotels.

The funky atmosphere in Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, HCMC. Photo: Pho di bo Bui Vien

The Bui Vien Walking Street is recommended for entertainment in Ho Chi Minh City, with its many restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, pubs, and bars.

The Independent also suggests visiting other destinations in Vietnam, including Halong Bay, Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Hue Imperial Citadel.