Talk to our local expert directly

Get free advice now

Vietnam's North-South Journey: Exploring Saigon to Hanoi

Posted By: Alison White / Vietnam Travel Guides
Saigon Hanoi Travel: Saigon, located in southern Vietnam, and Hanoi, the capital in the north, offer contrasting experiences, from bustling city life to historic landmarks. Traveling between the two cities provides an opportunity to explore Vietnam's diverse culture, cuisine, and scenery. Whether by plane, train, or bus, Saigon Hanoi travel promises an enriching journey through Vietnam's captivating landscapes.

Top 10 must-visit attractions in Saigon

saigon hanoi travel: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) City

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) City - (Source: Collected)

1. Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the heart of Saigon, is a must-visit attraction for its stunning French colonial architecture. Built in the late 19th century, the cathedral boasts twin bell towers and beautiful stained glass windows. Visitors can explore the interior and witness the blend of European and Vietnamese influences.

2. War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a sobering reminder of the Vietnam War and its impact on the country. It showcases photographs, artifacts, and military equipment, offering visitors a comprehensive understanding of the war. The museum also sheds light on the lasting effects on both Vietnam and the world.

3. Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is the largest and oldest market in Saigon. It offers a variety of goods, from fresh produce and local delicacies to clothing and souvenirs. Visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere, try local street food, and haggle for unique items.

4. Cu Chi Tunnels

A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels provides a glimpse into the underground network used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Visitors can crawl through the narrow tunnels, learn about the ingenious traps and hiding spots, and gain insight into the resilience and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people.

5. Independence Palace

The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, played a significant role in Vietnam's history. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War when a North Vietnamese tank crashed through its gates. Visitors can explore the presidential rooms, underground bunkers, and the fascinating rooftop helipad.

6. Saigon Opera House

The Saigon Opera House is a stunning architectural marvel that showcases both French and Vietnamese design influences. It hosts a variety of performances, including ballet, opera, and Vietnamese traditional music. Visitors can enjoy the grandeur of the building and experience the vibrant cultural scene in Saigon.

7. Jade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a popular religious site in Saigon. Built in 1909, it is dedicated to various gods and goddesses from Chinese mythology. Visitors can admire the intricate woodwork, ornate statues, and serene atmosphere of this spiritual sanctuary.

8. Ho Chi Minh City Museum

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum provides a comprehensive overview of the city's history. It displays artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that highlight various periods, from its origins as a fishing village to its development as a bustling metropolis. Visitors can gain insight into the city's cultural, social, and economic transformations.

9. Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck

The Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck offers panoramic views of Saigon from its observation deck on the 49th floor. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the city's skyline, including iconic landmarks such as the Saigon River and Notre Dame Cathedral. The Skydeck also features a café and souvenir shop.

10. Ho Chi Minh City Hall

The Ho Chi Minh City Hall, also known as the People's Committee Building, is a majestic French colonial building located in the city center. Visitors can admire its neoclassical architecture, stroll through the adjacent park, and capture memorable photos of this historic site.

Exploring the vibrant street food scene in Saigon

saigon hanoi travel: Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck

Bitexco Financial Tower - (Source: Collected)

1. Pho

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made with fragrant broth, rice noodles, and a selection of meat or vegetables. Saigon is renowned for its delicious pho, with many local street vendors offering their own unique variations. Visitors can savor this iconic dish and experience the flavors of Vietnam.

2. Banh Mi

Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich, is a fusion of French and Vietnamese culinary influences. It typically consists of a crusty baguette filled with various ingredients such as grilled meats, pickled vegetables, pate, and chili sauce. Saigon is known for its mouthwatering banh mi, and visitors can sample different flavors and textures from street vendors or local eateries.

3. Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo, a savory Vietnamese pancake, is a popular street food option in Saigon. It is made from a batter of rice flour, turmeric powder, and coconut milk, filled with bean sprouts, shrimp, and pork. Visitors can enjoy the crispy texture and delicious filling, often wrapped in lettuce and herbs and dipped in a tangy sauce.

4. Com Tam

Com Tam, or broken rice, is a staple dish in Saigon. It is made from fractured rice grains and served with grilled meats, pickled vegetables, and a fried egg. This affordable and flavorful dish can be found at various street food stalls around the city, providing visitors with an authentic taste of Saigon's local cuisine.

5. Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is renowned for its strong and rich flavor. Saigon has numerous coffee shops and street vendors where visitors can experience the traditional Vietnamese way of brewing coffee using a small metal filter and sweetened condensed milk. This aromatic drink is a must-try for coffee enthusiasts.

A guide to historical sites in Saigon

1. Reunification Palace

Also known as the Independence Palace, the Reunification Palace played a significant role in Vietnam's history. It was the residence and workplace of the South Vietnamese president during the Vietnam War. Visitors can explore the preserved rooms, including the warren of underground tunnels, and gain insight into the events leading to the reunification of Vietnam.

2. War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum showcases the brutal realities of the Vietnam War. It exhibits photographs, artifacts, and military vehicles that provide a firsthand account of the war's impact on both Vietnam and the world. Visitors can learn about the war's history and the lasting effects on the Vietnamese people.

3. Ho Chi Minh City Museum

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum offers a captivating journey through the city's past. It houses exhibits that chronicle the development of Saigon from its humble beginnings to its transformation into a thriving metropolis. Visitors can explore artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that showcase the city's diverse cultural heritage.

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh - (Source: Collected)

4. Cu Chi Tunnels

A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels provides a unique look into the underground network used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Visitors can crawl through the narrow tunnels, discover hidden traps, and witness the resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people. This historical site offers a glimpse into the challenges faced by soldiers during this tumultuous period.

5. Jade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a religious site with historical significance. Built in 1909, it is dedicated to various gods and goddesses from Chinese mythology. Visitors can marvel at the intricate wood carvings, statues, and serene atmosphere of this spiritual sanctuary. It offers a glimpse into Vietnam's cultural and religious practices.

Best museums to visit in Saigon

1. War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a must-visit for its extensive collection of artifacts and photographs that depict the horrors of the Vietnam War. It provides educational and thought-provoking exhibits that shed light on the brutality and lasting effects of the conflict. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the war's impact on Vietnam and its people.

2. Ho Chi Minh City Museum

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum offers a comprehensive overview of the city's rich history and cultural heritage. It showcases exhibits that trace the city's evolution from its origins as a fishing village to its present-day status as a bustling metropolis. Visitors can explore thematic displays, artifacts, and photographs that provide insights into the city's past.

3. Museum of Vietnamese History

The Museum of Vietnamese History houses a diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits that illustrate Vietnam's ancient and imperial history. Visitors can admire precious artifacts, such as ancient pottery, sculptures, and traditional costumes. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's vibrant cultural heritage.

4. Fine Arts Museum

The Fine Arts Museum showcases a wide range of Vietnamese art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. It features both traditional and contemporary works from renowned Vietnamese artists. Visitors can appreciate the talent and creativity that has flourished throughout Vietnam's history and contemporary art scene.

5. Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts houses a collection of Vietnamese and international artworks. It features a diverse range of art styles and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant art scene of Saigon and appreciate the cultural significance of the works exhibited.

Top 5 hidden gems in Saigon for travelers

1. Giac Lam Pagoda

The Giac Lam Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Saigon, dating back to the 18th century. It is known for its beautiful architecture, tranquil gardens, and ornate statues. Visitors can experience a sense of serenity and explore the pagoda's hidden corners away from the bustling city streets.

2. Ba Thien Hau Temple

The Ba Thien Hau Temple is a hidden gem nestled within the vibrant streets of Saigon's Chinatown. Dedicated to the goddess of the sea, the temple is a cultural and religious landmark. Visitors can admire the intricate decorations and immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of this hidden gem.

3. Phu My Hung Sky Garden

The Phu My Hung Sky Garden is a tranquil oasis in the midst of the bustling city. It features lush greenery, scenic walking paths, and a variety of plant species. Visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of Saigon and enjoy a peaceful retreat amidst nature.

4. Binh Quoi Village

Binh Quoi Village offers a glimpse into rural life in Vietnam. It is a peaceful riverside retreat with traditional thatched-roof houses, lush gardens, and charming cottages. Visitors can enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine, cultural performances, and boat rides along the river.

5. Saigon Opera House

The Saigon Opera House, also known as the Municipal Theatre, is a hidden gem for lovers of performing arts. It hosts a variety of performances, including ballet, opera, and Vietnamese traditional music. Visitors can indulge in the grandeur of the building and experience the vibrant cultural scene in Saigon.

Exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter: A cultural journey

saigon hanoi travel - The Best Way To Discover Ha Nois Highlights

The Best Way To Discover Ha Noi’s Highlights - (Source: Collected)

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood that showcases the rich history and culture of Vietnam. With its narrow streets, traditional architecture, and bustling markets, it offers a unique glimpse into the city's past. Here are some highlights of exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter:

Historical landmarks

One of the must-visit landmarks in Hanoi's Old Quarter is the Hoan Kiem Lake. Surrounded by charming pagodas and bustling streets, this lake is not only a beautiful sight but also holds great historical significance. Another iconic site is the Bach Ma Temple, a Confucian temple that dates back to the 11th century. Its stunning architecture and serene atmosphere make it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Traditional markets

Hanoi's Old Quarter is famous for its traditional markets, which are a treat for all the senses. The Dong Xuan Market is the largest and oldest market in Hanoi, offering a wide range of goods including clothing, souvenirs, and local food. Another popular market is the Hang Be Market, known for its fresh produce and local delicacies. Exploring these markets is a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

Religious sites

Hanoi's Old Quarter is home to several beautiful temples and pagodas that are worth a visit. The Ngoc Son Temple, located on a picturesque island in the Hoan Kiem Lake, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Its intricate architecture and serene atmosphere provide a peaceful escape from the bustling streets. Another notable religious site is the Quan Su Pagoda, which is the headquarters of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha. It offers a glimpse into the country's religious practices and traditions.

Traditional crafts

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is known for its traditional crafts, passed down through generations. One of the most famous craft streets in the area is Hang Gai Street, also known as Silk Street. Here, you can find a wide array of silk products, from clothing to home decorations. Another craft street worth visiting is Hang Quat Street, where you can witness the art of making traditional Vietnamese fans. Exploring these streets and interacting with local artisans is a unique cultural experience.

Must-try street food in Hanoi

saigon hanoi travel: Hanoi Street Food Tour

Hanoi Street Food Tour - (Source: Collected)

Hanoi is renowned for its delicious street food, which offers a tantalizing blend of flavors and aromas. Here are some must-try street food dishes when visiting the city:

Pho

No visit to Vietnam would be complete without trying the iconic dish of pho. This traditional Vietnamese noodle soup is made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, and a flavorful broth. It is often garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime. Pho is a staple in Hanoi's culinary scene and can be found at street food stalls throughout the city.

Banh mi

Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that combines French and Vietnamese flavors. It typically consists of a crispy baguette filled with various ingredients such as grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a delightful street food option in Hanoi.

Bun cha

Bun cha is a popular dish in Hanoi, made of grilled pork patties and rice noodles served with a flavorful dipping sauce. It is often accompanied by fresh herbs, lettuce, and green papaya. This dish showcases the balance of flavors that Vietnamese cuisine is known for.

Egg coffee

Hanoi is famous for its unique egg coffee, a sweet and creamy beverage made with egg yolks, condensed milk, and Vietnamese coffee. This unusual combination creates a rich and indulgent drink that is a must-try for coffee lovers.

One day itinerary for Hanoi city tour

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a city steeped in history and culture. With its charming old quarter, historical landmarks, and vibrant street life, it offers plenty to explore. Here is a suggested one day itinerary for a city tour in Hanoi:

Morning: Exploring the Old Quarter

Start your day by immersing yourself in the bustling streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Wander through the narrow alleyways and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Visit the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple, taking in the beauty of these historical landmarks. Explore the traditional markets, such as the Dong Xuan Market, and sample some local street food along the way.

Afternoon: Historical and cultural sites

In the afternoon, delve into Hanoi's rich history by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This imposing structure houses the preserved body of Vietnam's revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh. Next, explore the Temple of Literature, a significant historical site that dates back to the 11th century. It was Vietnam's first university and is dedicated to Confucius.

Evening: Water puppet show and street food

End your day with some entertainment and delicious food. Watch a traditional water puppet show, a unique art form that originated in the villages of the Red River Delta. Afterward, indulge in Hanoi's vibrant street food scene. Visit the bustling night markets and try some street food favorites such as banh mi, pho, or bun cha.

Best attractions for history buffs in Hanoi

saigon hanoi travel: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - (Source: Collected)

Hanoi is a treasure trove of historical attractions, offering a glimpse into Vietnam's rich history. Here are some of the best attractions for history buffs to explore:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It is the final resting place of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and houses his preserved body. The mausoleum is an impressive structure and a symbol of Vietnam's revolutionary history.

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the "Hanoi Hilton," is a historical site that served as a prison during the French colonial period and later during the Vietnam War. It offers a chilling insight into the harsh realities faced by Vietnamese revolutionaries and American prisoners of war.

Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is a significant historical and cultural site in Hanoi. Built in 1070, it was Vietnam's first university and is dedicated to Confucius. The temple and its beautiful gardens provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city streets.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, located in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter, holds historical and cultural significance. Legend has it that King Le Loi received a magical sword from a turtle in the lake, helping him drive out the Chinese invaders. Visitors can explore the surrounding area and spot the iconic Turtle Tower.

5 off-the-beaten-path spots in Hanoi

While Hanoi's popular attractions are worth a visit, the city also offers some hidden gems for those looking to explore off the beaten path. Here are five spots to consider:

Long Bien Bridge

The Long Bien Bridge is an iconic landmark in Hanoi that offers panoramic views of the Red River. Built during the French colonial period, it has become a symbol of resilience for the Vietnamese people. Walking or cycling across the bridge provides a unique perspective of the city.

West Lake

West Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi and offers a tranquil retreat from the busy city. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake, visit the nearby Tran Quoc Pagoda, or enjoy a boat ride to explore the surrounding area.

Ba Vi National Park

If you're looking to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature, head to Ba Vi National Park. Located just outside Hanoi, this park is known for its lush landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and stunning viewpoints. Hiking trails offer the opportunity to explore the park's natural beauty.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

While the water puppet show is a popular tourist attraction, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is worth a visit for its traditional performances and cultural significance. The puppeteers masterfully control the puppets on the water stage, bringing traditional stories to life.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

The Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century. Located on a small island in West Lake, it offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The pagoda's architecture and beautiful setting make it a hidden gem worth exploring.

Conclusion

When it comes to traveling from Saigon to Hanoi or vice versa, Vietnam offers a plethora of options for tourists to explore. Whether you are interested in vibrant city life, historical landmarks, or breathtaking natural beauty, a Saigon Hanoi travel experience will not disappoint.

One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in this journey is by opting for a Vietnam tours package. These packages are designed to provide an all-inclusive experience, taking care of accommodation, transportation, and guided tours. With a Vietnam tours package, you can have peace of mind and focus on enjoying the beautiful landscapes and vibrant culture that Saigon and Hanoi have to offer.

From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Saigon to the enchanting old quarter of Hanoi, each city has its unique charm and attractions. Exploring the local markets, indulging in delicious Vietnamese cuisine, and walking through the historic sites such as the Cu Chi Tunnels or the Hoan Kiem Lake are just a few highlights of the Saigon Hanoi travel itinerary.

If you have extra time during your trip, consider embarking on a Hanoi to Hoi An itinerary. This picturesque journey will take you through stunning landscapes and ancient towns, such as the imperial city of Hue and the ancient town of Hoi An. With its well-preserved architecture and rich cultural heritage, Hoi An is a must-visit destination in Vietnam.

For travelers on a budget, fear not, as Saigon Hanoi travel can also be done without breaking the bank. By opting for budget-friendly accommodations, enjoying street food, and using public transportation, you can experience the wonders of Vietnam without compromising your finances. With careful planning and research, a budget trip to Vietnam can be just as rewarding as a luxury vacation.

Overall, Saigon Hanoi travel offers a diverse range of experiences and attractions that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you are looking for a luxurious escape, a cultural immersion, or an adventurous journey, Vietnam has it all. So pack your bags, book your Vietnam tours package, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this captivating country.

There are 0 comments, reviews about Vietnam's North-South Journey: Exploring Saigon to Hanoi

AAdminAdmin

Welcome, honored guests. Please leave a comment, we will respond soon

Reply.
Thông tin người gửi
Comment
Click here to rate
Information
0.11935 sec| 1076.805 kb