Vietnam is a country of contrasts, where ancient traditions coexist with modern developments, where natural beauty is juxtaposed with urban chaos, and where diverse cultures and cuisines blend together. Vietnam is also a country of surprises, where you can find hidden gems and unexpected delights in every corner. If you have been to Vietnam’s two most well-known cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you may believe that you are familiar with the country.
However, did you know that Vietnam has a large number of other cities that provide a variety of experiences and viewpoints? Are you aware that certain cities are centers of invention and creativity, have been around for more than a millennium, and are encircled by breathtaking scenery? What if I told you that certain cities are home to ethnic minorities, some are inspired by foreign cultures, and some are becoming popular tourism destinations?
It may come as a surprise to hear that some of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam are essentially unheard-of locations. Some of the cities you have been oblivious to may surprise you by showing you how rich in culture, history, and charm they truly are. It may surprise you to learn that some of the places you have overlooked are actually teeming with opportunity, excitement, and possibility. The top 5 cities in Vietnam that you should visit are included in this post.
Top cities in Vietnam 2023
There are many places to visit in Vietnam in 2023, depending on your preferences and interests. Here are some top cities in Vietnam 2023
- Explore the blend of old and new, traditional and modern.
- Visit historical landmarks like Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.
- Dive into local cuisine with dishes like pho and egg coffee.
- Experience cultural activities like water puppet shows and festivals.
2. Ha Long Bay:
- UNESCO World Heritage Site with thousands of limestone islands.
- Ideal for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and photographers.
- Enjoy activities such as cruising, kayaking, and visiting floating villages.
- Discover the unique lifestyle of local fishermen.
3. Hoi An:
- UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving 15th to 19th-century architecture.
- Known for colorful lanterns, wooden houses, and tailor-made clothes.
- Culinary destination offering dishes like cao lau and banh xeo.
- Proximity to beautiful beaches like An Bang and Cua Dai.
4. Da Nang:
- Modern city with stunning bridges, including the Dragon Bridge.
- Home to Marble Mountains, Son Tra Peninsula, and Ba Na Hills.
- Gateway to central Vietnam attractions like Hue and Phong Nha-Ke Bang.
- Dynamic urban atmosphere attracting domestic and international tourists.
5. Ho Chi Minh City:
- Largest and most populous city with a rich history and culture.
- Landmarks include Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and Reunification Palace.
- Explore the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Shopping and dining paradise with options ranging from luxury malls to street food.
Discover the diverse facets of Vietnam in 2023, ranging from historical elegance to modern dynamism. Enjoy your exploration of this captivating country!
How to plan a trip to Vietnam in 2023 with a budget?
Planning a trip to Vietnam in 2023 with a budget can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some steps and tips to help you plan your trip:
- Pick the right time and place for your Vietnam trip. The country has diverse climates and attractions. For beach experiences, choose the south or central coast from December to April. If you prefer mountains and ethnic encounters, visit the north or northwest from September to November. Key destinations include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, and Phu Quoc Island.
- Set a budget and book your flights and accommodation. Depending on your travel style and preferences, you may have different options and costs for your flights and accommodation.
- Plan your itinerary and activities. Once you have decided where and when to go, and booked your flights and accommodation, you can start planning your itinerary and activities
What are the best hotels and resorts in Vietnam in 2023?
Vietnam offers diverse accommodation, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. In 2023, top-rated options include:
1. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort:
- Location: Da Nang
- Highlights: Secluded five-star resort with ocean and mountain views. Features villas, a spa, fitness center, kids club, and private beach. Ideal for a luxurious getaway.
2. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi:
- Location: Hanoi
- Highlights: Historic hotel since 1901, blending French colonial elegance with modern amenities. Offers rooms, a spa, pool, fitness center, and various dining options. Perfect for a classic and elegant stay in the capital.
3. La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc – MGallery:
- Location: Phu Quoc Island
- Highlights: Boutique resort with colonial and tropical-style rooms, surrounded by gardens and beaches. Facilities include a spa, pool, fitness center, yoga studio, and a restaurant/bar. Ideal for a relaxing and romantic island escape.
4. Anantara Hoi An Resort:
- Location: Near Hoi An
- Highlights: Four-star riverside resort with rooms blending Vietnamese, French, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Offers a spa, pool, fitness center, cooking class, and a restaurant/bar. Perfect for a cultural and historical experience.
5. The Reverie Saigon:
- Location: Ho Chi Minh City
- Highlights: Six-star hotel in the city center with lavish rooms and extravagant design. Facilities include a spa, pool, fitness center, business center, and helipad. Multiple dining options are available. Suitable for a glamorous and extravagant stay in Vietnam’s largest city.
What is the best time and season to visit Vietnam in 2023?
Plan your 2023 Vietnam trip based on your preferences and the region’s climate. Vietnam has four distinct seasons: spring (February to April), summer (May to August), autumn (September to November), and winter (December to January).
1. North Vietnam:
- Best time: spring or autumn for pleasant weather and vibrant scenery.
- Highlights: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh.
2. South Vietnam:
- Best time: Winter or early spring for dry, sunny weather.
- Avoid: Rainy season (May to November) and intense heat (April and May).
- Highlights: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Island, Da Lat.
3. Central Vietnam:
- Best time: Winter or early spring for mild, dry weather.
- Avoid: Typhoon season (September to November) and hot, humid season (May to August).
- Highlights: Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang.
Tailor your visit to enjoy the best of Vietnam’s climate and explore popular attractions in each region.
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What are the best food and drinks to try in Vietnam in 2023?
Indulge in Vietnam’s rich culinary scene with these must-try dishes and drinks in 2023:
- Vietnam’s national dish, a delectable noodle soup with rice noodles, broth, herbs, and meat (typically beef or chicken).
- Enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with regional variations like pho Hanoi and pho Saigon.
2. Banh Mi:
- A fusion sandwich combining French and Vietnamese flavors, featuring a baguette filled with a variety of ingredients such as pate, ham, cheese, grilled pork, and pickled vegetables.
- An affordable and satisfying snack available throughout the day.
3. Bun Cha:
- Originating in Hanoi, bun cha is a grilled pork and noodle dish with pork patties, slices, rice vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a tangy dipping sauce.
- Often served with nem (fried spring rolls) and cha ca (fried fish cakes).
4. Ca Phe Sua Da:
- A strong and sweet Vietnamese iced coffee made with dark roast coffee, condensed milk, and ice.
- A refreshing beverage enjoyed at any time, particularly popular in the hot and humid southern regions.
5. Bia Hoi:
- Fresh draught beer brewed daily, sold at street stalls and local pubs.
- Light, crisp, and low in alcohol, it’s an affordable social drink often paired with snacks like peanuts, dried squid, or grilled meat.
Savor these culinary delights to experience the diverse flavors and cultural richness of Vietnam.
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