Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc island have been listed among the world’s 100 greatest places to explore on Earth in 2021 as voted by US-based Time Magazine (Time).

Phu Quoc island: Idyllic paradise

Phu Quoc island of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang will be an ideal destination for foreign tourists to explore after it becomes the first tourist site in Vietnam to re-open for those who have COVID-19 vaccination certificates, Time said.

Known as the “jewel of Vietnam,” this teardrop-shaped resort and fishing island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations in Southeast Asia, the magazine said.

In 2019, Phu Quoc attracted 5 million visitors, a 30-percent increase from the year before. The island is expected to reopen to international travelers with vaccine passports for six months beginning in October this year, and continues to entice tourists with visa-free stays for up to 30 days.

Under the scheme, Phu Quoc set to welcome 2,000 to 3,000 visitors per month via charter flights in a limited number of locations during the first phase, which will last three months. In the second phase, also lasting for three months, the island will host 5,000 to 10,000 visitors per month.

Visiting Phu Quoc, holiday-makers will have many accommodation options with a series of hotels and resorts, especially the New World Phu Quoc Resort – the first resort of New World brand in Vietnam, which boasts a private stretch of beach and lush landscaped gardens.

This place is known as a tropical natural treasure, which awakens the senses of all visitors with the blue sea and white sand, and rustic and simple features.

Visitors can also stay at the 2.8-billion-USD Phu Quoc United Centre, a massive entertainment complex featuring a theme park, golf course and casino – in addition to a series of hotels.

Nearby, the Regent Phu Quoc, a new ultra-luxury hotel with five swimming pools and floor-to-ceiling beach-facing windows, is expected to welcome its first guests by December.

Ho Chi Minh City: Tastes of Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City’s incredible food has never been short of admirers.

Even so, it felt like a watershed moment when Anan—helmed by Vietnamese–American chef Peter Cuong Franklin—became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the magazine said.

Franklin’s inspired take on classics like pho and banh nhung is indicative of the culinary creativity at play in the city.

Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a self-described “modern Asian eatery” with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pâté to veal sweetbreads.

Both inspiring and delicious is Ivoire, a bakery that specializes in picture-perfect Vietnamese interpretations of classic French pastries, including small cakes and macarons.

Hanoi: Renewed life in the Old Quarter

“Vietnam’s 1,000-year-old capital is embracing changes while maintaining a strong sense of identity”, the newspaper wrote.

This character is evident at Capella Hanoi, a 47-room hotel where architect Bill Bensley recreates the heyday of opera art.

Pronounced the capital of Vietnam in 1010, Hanoi is one of the most ancient cities in Asia, offering great examples of both contemporary and classical architecture right in the city centre.

The city is famous for its vivid yellow colonial villas and an enchanting busy life in the Old Quarter Area. Lakes, parks, green boulevards, and more than 600 temples and pagodas also add to the appeal of Hanoi, according to Time.

The iconic Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful enchanting body of water right in the heart of the capital. Next to the lake is the Old Quarter Area – a highlight for most visitors to Hanoi.

As soon as Vietnam’s capital was moved to Hanoi more than 1,000 years ago, the Old Quarter became a commercial area with various trade streets. It then became the city’s center in the 15th century.

Another dazzling landmark of Hanoi is the Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, a glittering building billed as the world’s first gold-plated hotel.

According to TIME, Hanoi’s incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride.

“Lovers of pho, the city’s signature dish, were gratified when Pho Gia Truyen – one of Hanoi’s most legendary vendors – was recognised in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants “Essence of Asia” list in 2020, a collection of storied venues that represent the spirit of gastronomy in the region”, the magazine wrote./.