Destinations, Travel Guide,

Explore Hanoi and Saigon culture to find out the distinction


Saigon and Hanoi are the two biggest cities in Vietnam, representing two domains of Vietnam. Exploring Hanoi culture and Saigon culture in a Vietnam culture tour, you will find that Hanoi and Saigon are different to some extents, including food, transportation, weather, scenery, etc. Take some Saigon and Hanoi day tours to explore the distinct beauty of each city.

1. Food Culture

The first difference is the appetite. The northern people usually eat salty foods. They tend to add salt and fish sauce to almost foods. In contrast, the appetite of the southern people is likely to be sweet and a little peppery. They often mix the fish sauce with sugar and hot chili.


[Pho Hanoi]

In Hanoi, people eat breakfast with pho, vermicelli, bread, etc. while people in Saigon eat a plate rice and pork rib, small char siu dumplings, noodle with seasoned and saute beef, etc. Some other favorite and popular foods for breakfast in Hanoi are vermicelli with chopped pork, vermicelli with fried fish, vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste. In Saigon, people prefer hot girdle cake, vermicelli with fried pork, chicken rice, and pha lau.


[Char siu dumplings in Saigon]

2. Ice Tea – Coffee Culture

It’s not difficult to find ice tea street vendors on the pavement. Hanoi people usually gather together in these vendors, have a glass of ice tea, a plate of dried sunflower seeds and chat all day long. Another favorite street drink is Artemisia with gentle sweet and cool taste. Besides, Hanoi people also have street iced lemon tea. Every weekend or late afternoon, they gather with friends around small tables, have a glass of iced lemon tea and share interesting stories. It can be said that ice tea chatting is a must-try thing in a Hanoi tour.


[Hanoi ice tea]

Visiting Saigon, you can see coffee shops everywhere. Street coffee, flat coffee or wandering coffee can be seen in every corner of Saigon. It seems that Saigon people cannot live without coffee. It’s because the weather in Saigon is hot throughout the year, so, they need a refresher to make them concentrate. Iced milk coffee is the most popular and favorite drink in Saigon. You can buy this drink in every corner of Saigon with a surprisingly low price, only 10.000 VND for a small size and 15.000 VND for a big size.


[Saigon coffee]

In addition, most of the coffee shops in Saigon are decorated beautifully. You should visit some pretty shops like Du Mien, Da Lap Pho, Huyen Thoai café, etc.

3. Weather

Hanoi has 4 distinct seasons, including spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In the spring, it’s often wet with drizzling rain. In the summer, it’s always hot and sometimes rainy. And, in the winter, it’s really cold, so, it would be very wonderful to eat a hot sweet potato or boiled corn. Hanoi is most beautiful in the autumn when it’s airy, cool, gently sunny and windy.


[The autumn in Hanoi]

In Saigon, however, there are only two seasons, namely dry season and rainy season. It’s always hot and burning. In the dry season, it’s really hot all the day, and you can hardly see a rain in this season. But in the rainy season, it rains days and nights. Rain makes the life in this city more lively and bustling.


[Rainy season in Saigon]

4. Scenery

Hanoi is famous for picturesque lakes, like Guom Lake, West Lake, Bay Mau Lake, Thanh Cong Lake, etc. This city has a bit few parks. There are some large parks you can visit in your Hanoi day tours are Thong Nhat Park, Hoa Binh Park, and Yen So Park. Besides, Hanoi has a lot of pagodas and temples in Chinese architecture while pagodas in Saigon are constructed in Champa style.


[Guom Lake in Hanoi]

On the contrary, Saigon doesn’t have many lakes while there are many parks and rivers in this city. Wandering around this city, you can see many large, green and beautiful parks in Saigon. This city has a lot of rivers and canals. Saigon River flows along the city, and the most beautiful part of this river is located in District 1, along Ton Duc Thang Street.


[Saigon River]

5. Lifestyle

Hanoi people, and northern people, in general, are usually formal and closed. They often save for the future, especially our parent generations. They usually work hard and save money to give their children the most comfortable life.


[Hanoi people]

In contrast, southern people are more generous and liberal. They tend to use their earnings to enjoy the life. They are more open and straight in their personal opinions and less formal in communication like people in the North.


[Saigon life]

These are something you should know about the difference in culture between people in Hanoi and Saigon. These distinct features create unique attractions for each city.



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