Should I go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city?

Hanoi is a Vietnam's capital but Hochiminh City is a largest city in Vietnam. Yes, I probably understand what you're thinking and your mind. If this is the first time you go to Vietnam, you will wonder with question: Should I go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city?

Should I go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city
Hanoi in the winter. Photo: Cao Anh Tuan

This is my sincere advices for you: You should choose Hanoi is your destination if you want to discover the beauty of Vietnam.

Why should you choose Hanoi to visit?

Because Hanoi is a destination has many special places to visit, as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the historical museums, Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Hanoi Temple of Literature), Hanoi's Old Quarter... Hanoi is also city that has many lakes as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Tay (West Lake)...

And more importantly, from Hanoi, you can move to Halong Bay with very close distance, just 200km, and then come back Hanoi to visit Van Long, Tam Coc Bich Dong, Trang An, Hoa Lu ancient capital (Ninh Binh) with 90km from Hanoi.

Should I go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city 2
The image of small street Ta Hien in Hanoi Old Quarter

From Hanoi, you also can move to Sapa (Lao Cai) with only 300km long way by train. I want to say that Halong Bay, Hoa Lu, Sapa... are the "satellite" destinations of Hanoi to help you expanding journey of discovery with short distances and most economical.

In my eyes, Hanoi is beautiful more than Saigon. But Saigon is where there is more vibrant life. Hanoi is home to many cultural and historical monuments, containing the values of the culture and identity of Vietnam.

If you choose Hanoi, you will have many places to discover. Of course, you can visit both of two places: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city if you like.

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A hawkers on Hanoi street. Photo: Cao Anh Tuan
If you arrived in Saigon, you should also go to Hanoi. This is how to go to Hanoi from Ho Chi Minh city

I am a Vietnamese. I have live in my homeland from I was born. I also have traveling to everywhere in Vietnam, from Dong Van Rocky Plateau (Ha Giang) - Vietnam's northernmost point and Fansipan to Ca Mau, Ha Tien (Kien Giang) - Vietnam's southernmost point... So that, I think what I say here is right and it is useful for you. Yes, wellcome to Hanoi and Vietnam.

Now, whether have you been able to decide where you should visiting, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city?

The weather is a very important thing to travel to Vietnam. Do you know when the best time to visit Hanoi is?