Not one, not two, but three Vietnamese cities are on the list of the 2022 10 best cities in Southeast Asia, ranked by New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia. The list, which was published last week, was compiled based on votes from the magazine’s global readers from January to April this year.
The city of bridges Da Nang came in third, the capital Hanoi landed fifth, and the southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City got the eighth spot. Thailand’s Bangkok made it on top. The other best cities in Southeast Asia are Singapore, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, Thailand’s Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, and Indonesia’s Jakarta.
Vietnam is the only country with three entries and if you’re wondering why. Here are a few details about these cities.
The coastal city in central Vietnam boasts stunning beaches, colorful festivals, timeless charm, and friendly locals. Da Nang’s now considered a modern tourist magnet for its world-class theme parks and high-end resorts, all while still keeping the majestic natural sights and local street food. Just recently, Da Nang hosted Routes Asia 2022 where hundreds of travel and airline operators from around the globe gathered and witnessed the beauty of the city.
As for the top 5 Hanoi, whether you’re all about reliving history or seeking adventures, don’t underestimate this charming capital city. If you’re up for a weekend trip or can stay for longer holidays, traveling alone or with friends, you shouldn’t miss this city when visiting the country.
Lastly, the business district of Vietnam and where the old meets the new, Ho Chi Minh City. Landed at the eighth spot, HCMC is where you can feast your eyes on modern architecture, and also its glorious past through a myriad of monuments and colonial structures.
“The gates have been flung wide open and Vietnam’s up and away,” reads the Travel & Leisure article about Vietnam’s tourism revival. “Who would’ve thought in lockdown last year this country would be in a position now to say ‘xin chao’ to international tourists? While the plan to welcome five million visitors by year’s end might be ambitious, the Vietnamese are sure going to give it a try, with quarantine-free travel and no COVID-19 test requirements for entry.”
Meanwhile, the beach islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao are among the Best Islands in Southeast Asia, respectively standing at the fourth and 10th places. Phuket, still of Thailand’s, tops this list.
The awards also cover outstanding tourism brands in each country. For Vietnam, there are lists of the best restaurants, hotels, bars, pizza, hotel pools, and beach/upcountry resorts.
When Vietnam’s international borders reopened in mid-March this year, the expectations for tourism are high. After all, Vietnam emerged as Asia’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards for Asia and Oceania 2021, besting eight other countries including Singapore, China and Korea. Surely, there’s more to come.