Far from a definitive guide but just our favourite 5 cities that are a MUST VISIT in the beautiful country of Vietnam.
- Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon
The residents still call it Saigon, but it was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City when The Vietnam War ended in April 1975. Today it is still the most vibrant and fun city in Vietnam, with late-night entertainment and tourist attractions aplenty. Most places to see are in “District 1”. The famous Notre Dame Cathedral is literally opposite the Saigon Post Office and both are a short walk from The Reunification/Independence Palace. The historic world famous Ben Thanh Market is a short taxi – or motorbike! – ride away. Night revellers can be found down Bui Vien or Pasteur Street where there are many bars, cafes and restaurants.
- Hue City
A city split by the beautiful Perfume River, Hue was home to the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 until 1945, and was the capital of Vietnam also until then. Unfortunately, the city was the battlefield for one of the bloodiest and longest battles of The Vietnam War in 1968 and most of the city was destroyed or damaged. The main attraction here is The Imperial City ( “ The Citadel “ ) that lies on the north side of The Perfume River. There are many Pagodas here to visit, there are beaches very nearby and the city now has a thriving nightlife for tourists, where the majority of bars and restaurants can be found down – and around – Pham Ngu Lao Street.
- Can Tho
Located 165km from Saigon, Can Tho is the largest city in The Mekong Delta and the fourth biggest city in the country. Famous for the floating markets, Can Tho offers endless boat tours where you can eat, drink, buy – and sell! – products on “The Delta” whilst watching the friendly people working and living on it. There are others things to do and see in this hot and lively city, like the bird gardens, the excellent Can Tho City Museum and the amazing Cacao Farm where you can see taste the delicious homemade chocolate wine and their fresh chocolate bars.
The Capital of Vietnam, this busy, stunning city has it all. There are many famous lakes dotted around which makes it very picturesque and there are many things to do, see and taste here. Whether it’s visiting Hanoi Opera House, shopping & drinking in The Old Quarter, tasting Egg Coffee at a pavement café or spending an evening at the Water Puppet Theatre, you will never be bored. Further afield, but by easy access, are the stunning famous Vietnamese landmarks Sapa and Halong Bay. You will see tours and excursions for these all over the city.
Named “ The City of Eternal Spring“, beautiful Dalat is located 1,500metres above sea level and is unique in Vietnam in that it has year-round cool weather. A popular tourist destination even for the Vietnamese themselves ( there a lot of honeymoons annually ) it can feel like you are in a European City here. The lovely Xuan Huong Lake is located in the middle of the city and surrounding the city are numerous hills and countryside providing spectacular views and where a variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed. Dalat also has a thriving – but quiet – nightlife based around the “Center Market” which gets very busy in the evenings.