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"Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh City: Which City To Visit In Vietnam?"

Are you out there finding it so hard to pick a choice of the city, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, for your planned trip to Vietnam?

This piece is going to give more light and make it easier for you to make that decision. With detailed explanations and comparisons of both cities, we’ll be able to help you weigh your options and go for whichever one is most suitable.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, have some things in common.

Starting from the delicious street-food varieties, to the quaint traditional shops and down to the busy streets caused by the seemingly endless traffic of scooters moving around.

Despite these similarities, there are several different factors between them, especially what they look and feel like.

Let’s go into the details on these comparisons, shall we?

hanoi train street

●    The Food
Vietnam is blessed with amazing food. If you’re looking out for mouth-watering but affordable meals, the local dish, pho, is the top meal in Hanoi.

 It is a very tasty noodle soup that contains fresh veggies and meat. It is a common meal that you can get from any restaurant or local food stall.

Trust us when we tell you it is very affordable, you can get the meal for as low as a few cents.
However, meals like Bun Cha (noodles and grilled pork), Banh Mi (filled baguettes) and Goi Cuôn (fresh translucent spring rolls), are also meals that you easily get from any restaurant, as they’re very much available.

Ho Chi Minh City is wide-ranging and contemporary. Putting the street food, on one hand, the city has a strong snack-bar culture, which is as a result of the French influence. From the street-food stalls to expensive restaurants, the food scale is higher, this made the former Saigon earn the title of the food capital of Vietnam.

This gives Ho Chi Minh City an upper hand over Hanoi.

●    Weather
As much as they’re both parts of the same country, there are several differences between both cities’ climates.

 A funny fact about Vietnam is that it is so wide-ranging that the weather changes almost surprisingly in each of the zones.
Hanoi is the region located up North, on the Red River delta.

Note that you should anticipate the hot wet summers and cool dry winters, funny right? such oxymoronic weather!.

It can get exceptionally cool in the northern divisions, during winter, hence from September to November and from March to May, these are the 2 best periods to visit Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh City lies on the south of Hanoi, on the southern end of Vietnam. With a lush climate. It has only 2 defined seasons, i.e the wet and dry seasons.

 The best time to visit is during the dry season, which lasts from December to April.
As regards the weather, it is known that the warmer the better. Ho Chi Minh City takes the belt again.

●    Safety
Vietnam isn’t exactly the country that holds the award for the safest and fraud-free country in the world. As an alien to the country, a lot of people will definitely attempt to take advantage of your newness to the environment.

Vietnamese are not savage or aggressive in any harmful way, but you need to be wary of pickpocketing and the rip-off in tour agencies, hotels and shops.

You might have to carry your valuables, it can get tiring after a few days, but it’s the best and the only way to keep your stuff safe.

Fraudulent activities are very rampant in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi, there’s a high rate of overcharged prices for tours and cruises.

It is as bad as you being charged by a random person that poses with you in pictures. However, in Ho Chi Minh City, the fraud rate is more extreme.

Cases of bag snatching are on a whole new level, cases like some bikers taking people’s valuables or belongings, on the sidewalk. Do the math, with over 5 million motorbikes, it’s a thing of serious concern.

We can be allowed to agree that Hanoi is safer.

nightlife in saigon

●    Cost
Vietnam is known to be a pocket-friendly country, literally. Although there are few places where there are cases of overcharged prices, it is certain that you can get really cheap meals from street-food stalls than any other place in the west.

In Ho Chi Minh, there’s a dash of spontaneity in everything, right from the regular restaurants to the sophisticated ones.

You can get both the cheap and the expensive meals in Ho Chi Minh City, depending solely on your budget. The same applies to a variety of prices for shops and hotels.

We would implore that if you intend to travel with an exiguous budget, the best bet is Ho Chi Minh City, as it gives a wide range of amazing offers. However, you could conveniently spend up to or less than $40 daily in Hanoi, with the inclusion of accommodation.

●    Accommodation
The hotels in Hanoi are the type with real concepts and extraordinary customer service.
On the streets of the known Old Quarter, there are some exquisite colonial buildings with a variety of accommodation offers.

While in Ho Chi Minh City, there is a wider range of accommodation, like the hotels for backpackers, in Pham Ngu Lao Street and the classy hotels for the business and sophisticated tourists or travelers in District 1.

●    Sightseeing
Hanoi’s atmosphere is an extremely lovable one. Despite its flaws, the beauty of that city is mind-blowing.

Some of Hanoi’s part of the attraction:
●    Old Quarter
has captivating web-like streets to get carried away by its beauty and engage in amazing meals, wrangle in the wide range of artisan shops for anything you could ever possibly want.

Every street has its own uniqueness and is a redolence of a particular era, in which each was specialized in selling a particular type of item.

●    Temple of Literature
Vietnam‘s first national university, this quaint temple, and its environs are a brain truster escape from the distracting center.

●    Hoan Kiem Lake
The center of attention of the city. There, you’ll find people doing tai-chi classes on its brinks.
Ho Chi Minh City is more technical to get to move around.

The very famous center of attraction, the Cu Chi Tunnels are quite a distance, hence you’ll need to get a car or book an arranged tour. Regardless, there are other fun things to do.

Here are the top 3 attractions:
●    Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater
 it’s a Vietnamese puppet show that takes place underwater, weird right? but it’s very entertaining, and it’s a show you won’t want to miss.

●    Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
 Thanks to the French’s influence, a kind of place like this exists in Ho Chi Minh City. An attractive building, that is distinct from the other buildings in the city.

●    War Remnants Museum
A variety of artifacts can be found in this part of the city as a result of the Vietnam war that broke out in the Southern region of the country.

If this is your time visiting Vietnam, be sure to read the tips to guarantee yourself a safe, fun-filled and unforgettable trip to Vietnam.

Read more: Hanoi Or Ho Chi Minh City: Where Should You Visit First?

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