If Saigon is the frenetic, commercial heartbeat of Vietnam then gentle, verdant, historic Hanoi is the sedate, intellectual soul of the country. Its leafy boulevards, serene lakes and sweeping white French colonial architecture set the scene as tourists and locals alike seem to go about their business at a pleasingly civilised pace. The city is the administrative capital of the country and its political metronome still beats to communist time, but with a distinctly modern nod towards welcoming tourists from all over the world to enjoy its rich and varied heritage.
Welcome to Vietnam
Located near the Mekong River, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most exciting city in Vietnam. With a population now almost 8 million people, it’s one of the densest urban areas in the world and it’s common to see houses where several families share the same living space. For a foreigner, visiting Ho Chi Minh is a real experience! It’s a vibrant and an ‘in transition’ city. You’ll be fascinated by its rich cultural and quite recent traumatic history, mixed in with its current modernization. Unlike other cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is also very active at night, with many bars and restaurants to entertain you!