Some small comparisons about Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh to choose the best destination

Nga Do
Vietnam may not the easiest destination in this world to travel but we can make sure that it is one of the most rewarding and fascinating places for an unforgettable journey.

Your big Vietnam trip has been in the initial stage, you had the time schedule, got the budget, invited your companion, bought new tropical pattern clothes etc. The next more difficult step is coming: selecting the destinations. 

And in case you still can’t make up your mind between Hanoi vs. Ho Chi Minh City, two big symbols of the north and the south of Vietnam, Some small comparisons about Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh below will help you choose the destination that suits you best.

As two unmissable traveler choices of Vietnam, Hanoi- the capital and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)- the metropolis are still very similar in some aspects. The flavorful street food options, the quaint traditional shops and surely the hyperactive pace led by the endless hectic traffic of scooters crossing the streets. However, the look and the feel of these two guys are also not the same in some significant points, which is one main reason creating the interesting diversity in Vietnam.

Some small comparisons about Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh to choose the best destination
Photo by David Berkowitz


Hanoi is located on the Red river delta, up North. Expect hot wet summers and cool dry winters. It can get quite cold here during northern hemisphere winter so from September to November and from March to May are 2 best periods to visit Hanoi.

HCMC, on the other hand, is a “100%-authentic” tropical city, with no winter at all. Instead of this, HCMC offers travelers two reasons: rain and dry one. The best time to go is obviously during the dry season, from December to April. And don’t know it is right or not, but somehow you will see the relationship between the temperature and lifestyle. As a warmer city, the speed of life in HCMC is more vibrant than Hanoi a lil’ bit, which is really suitable for party lovers.


Now moving to a really inspiring part: Food- the true gem of Vietnam. You are a foodie? So congratulation, Vietnam will treat you more than well. Actually, just like the song “Treat you better”,  of Shawn Mendes- Vietnam is able to treat you better than any places in this entire world.

The national dish, Pho, is king in Hanoi. This delicious hearty noodle soup with meat and fresh greens is available in virtually every restaurant and street food stall. There is no shortage of other local delicacies though like Banh Mi (filled baguettes), Bun Cha (grilled prk and noodle) and gỏi cuốn (fresh translucid spring rolls).

Foods in Hanoi is really… “Hanoi”, which means unique and hard-to-forget. Once you get addicted to Hanoi food style, we are afraid that there is no solution for you to overcome the problem, excepting coming back to this city.

HCMC is a bit more ecletic and modern. Apart from street food options at least as solid as its northern counterpart, it has a strong cafe culture thanks to tthe French influence and a huge variety of international restaurant. From the local stall to fine-dining experiences, the food spectrum is wider, earning former Saigon the title of food capital of Vietnam.

Some small comparisons about Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh to choose the best destination 1
Photo by internet


Both cities provide various choices of super-lovely hotels with excellent value in term of money ratio. Hotels in Hanoi often follow original concepts with extremely personalized services, and you can find many “élégant” ancient buildings from French colonial time now turning to hotels. In HCMC, the backpacker’s hostels are located in Pham Ngu Lao Street and fancy hotels targeting business and high-end travelers can be found in District 1- the central district.

Sights & things to do

Sightseeing in Hanoi: temples & history

– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– The One Pillar Pagoda, an important symbol for Hanoians
– Huu Tiep Lake and the Downed B-52
– History Museum, formerly home to the École Française d’Extrême Orient in Vietnam
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
– Hoa Lo prison (known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the American war)

From Hanoi, you can make day trips to the famous Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh etc. Check out the best day trips from Hanoi at:

Sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh city: War & colonial buildings

– The Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace), where the war officially ended on April 30th, 1975 when tank 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of the home of the President of the Republic of Vietnam
– The War Remnants Museum, highlighting the suffering of the Vietnamese people during recent conflicts – not entirely unbiased
– The Notre Dame Cathedral, considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Vietnam. It was built in the period 1877 – 1880 by the French architect Bourad.
– The General Post Office (GPO), noted for its neoclassical architecture, designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel

From HCMC, you can make day trips to Cu Chi tunnels, Mekong Delta, etc.

If you have a plan for your upcoming trip to Vietnam, this article will definitely help you a lot. Or you can send any questions about Vietnam tourism to email: for answers. Wish you have a happy holiday in Vietnam!

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