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Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are both cities in Vietnam. Hanoi is the second-largest city in Vietnam and is the capital city of Vietnam with a population of over 8 million people. While Ho Chi Minh City is also known as Saigon and is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of over 9 million people.

These two cities are two very different cities with Hanoi more suited to those more interested in the traditional Vietnamese lifestyle and history. While on the other hand, Ho Chi Minh City is more a western-style city a little more suited for luxury travelers. Both cities have a good nightlife that can cater to any budget this also includes the local food.

In this post, we will go through which is better Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. So let’s get started!

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Ho Chi Minh City Or Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are both great cities to visit for a variety of reasons. Hanoi is more of a cultural traditional city which is great to visit to see how the Vietnamese live day today and learn about their history.

While Ho Chi Minh City is very much a western-style city. These two cities around 1142 km apart or it takes around a 36-hour train journey to go from one to the other.

Which One Has The Better Culture?

Both cities are considered cultural hubs in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is a very western-style city that has museums around the city explaining the Vietnam war and its time during colonial times. And Hanoi is more of a traditional Vietnamese city with museums and local markets to visit.

Ho Chi Minh City Culture

Ho Chi Minh City offers a lot to see around the Vietnamese war that ended in April 1975 and the French influence from the French colonial era time. These are things you can try to learn about Ho Chi Minh City’s history and culture.

ho chi minh city
  • Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • Mekong Delta Tour.
  • Street Food Tour.
  • Pink Crunch.
  • Reunification Palace.
  • War Remnants Museum.

Hanoi Culture

Hanoi is more of a traditional city that has plenty of museums dotted around the city. There is also the traditional puppet show and the local markets. These are things you can try to learn about Hanoi’s history and culture.

Old Quarter Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Long Water Puppet Theatre.
  • Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Dong Xuan Market.
  • Hanoi Old Quarter.
  • Hanoi Opera House.
  • Hoa Lo Prison.
  • Vietnam Military Museum.

What’s The Nightlife Like?

Vietnam is not known for its nightlife but there are some places that have good nightlife. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City both have a good nightlife with Ho Chi Minh City having its own Khao San Road.

Let’s compare the nightlife between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi Nightlife

Hanoi is a very traditional city therefore it is not as glitzy as Ho Chi Minh City but is still a great place to go out and enjoy a few drinks. The Hanoi old quarter is the place to be as it has plenty of bars, clubs, and food.

hanoi nightlife

There are 3 main areas in the old quarter.

  • Bia Hoi Junction.
  • West Lake Area.
  • The Historical Center.

Ho Chi Minh City Nightlife

Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife has something for everyone. You can enjoy the backpacker’s area of Bui Vien street in District 1 where you will find bars, food, and clubs that all have cheap beer. While all over the city you will find small bars to fancy rooftop bars and clubs.

District 1 offers the best area for nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City with Bui Vien street that is similar to Khao San Road in Bangkok that has plenty of bars to the legendary Apocalypse Now nightclub which can be found in District 1.

Accommodation In Hanoi And Ho Chi Minh City

Choosing the right accommodation is important regardless if it is in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is a little bit more basic in accommodation whereas Ho Chi Minh City is a little more developed.

Staying In Hanoi

Hanoi has a good range of hotels and hostels. It is pretty easy to find a good hotel near the old quarter with walking distance of everything, where prices can start from $12.

Staying In Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City has a good supply of good resorts, hotels, and hostels with pools and bars. The accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City is very affordable, especially in the low season.

What To Do See In Ho Chi Minh City And Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are both are blessed with amazing places to see and do from amazing temples to learning about Vietnam’s history.

Here are some of the best things to do in each city.

Things To Do In Hanoi

Hanoi has a lively nightlife bit also it is a great place to visit if you want to explore local museums and learn about Vietnams war history.

Turtle Tower in Hanoi at night
Turtle Tower in Hanoi at night

Here is our list of things to do in Hanoi Vietnam.

  • Walk Around the Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Visit the Ngoc Son Pagoda.
  • Drink Bia Hoi on the Street.
  • Take a cruise on the Mekong River.
  • Wander Around Hanoi Old Quarter.

Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is popular for the nightlife but there is also a chance to learn about the Vietnam war be able to explore the tunnels that were used during the Vietnam war.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City Hall Vietnam

Here is our list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.

  • Enjoy Bui Vien street.
  • Visit the Reunification Palace.
  • Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • Cruise Saigon River.
  • Visit Ben Thanh Market.

Read more about things to do in Ho Chi Minh City here.

Which Is Better Ho Chi Minh City Or Hanoi?

These two cities offer two very different things. Hanoi is a lot more of a traditional city therefore can be a bit of a culture shock and outside of the old quarter, English is not widely spoken. It is a very walkable city but the traffic is a nightmare.

Whereas Ho Chi Minh City is more a western type city where you can even find a McDonalds plus it has a busy nightlife and a busy commercial center. Ho Chi Minh City is very busy but great to walk around exploring.

Best Time To Travel To Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is constantly hot with temperatures range between 20°C to 35°C and it gets slightly cooler at night. Between the months of May to October in Vietnam so it gets hot and humid. It is a lot cooler between the months of November to February.

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is between December and March, which is when it is driest and a little cooler.

Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon
Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon

Best Time To Travel To Hanoi

Hanoi gets very hot between May to June with temperatures as high as 41°C. The best time to visit Hanoi is from October to December when it is sunny and drier.

The best time to visit Hanoi is between October to December.

Wrapping Up

Finally, which one to choose really depends on your personal preference. If you are looking to party and enjoy the western comforts and do a little bit of exploring then it is Ho Chi Minh City. While if it is looking for more culture and step a little out of your comfort zone then it is Hanoi.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on Hanoi Or Ho Chi Minh City, which is better was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City
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