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dperry Aug 7th, 2004 02:56 PM

Hanoi or HCMC?
I will be in SE asia in fall, and plan to spend about 5 days in Vietnam. Should i visit Hanoi and surrounding area or HCMC and surrounding area?

Kathie Aug 7th, 2004 04:38 PM

HCMC is mostly just a large, modern Asian city these days. Hanoi still has some charm, wide shady streets with huge trees, and more cultural institutions like the Temple of Literature. The Old Quarter is also very interesting. I'd vote for Hanoi, no question.

USNR Aug 7th, 2004 05:05 PM

We have traveled throughout Vietnam and have visited both Hanoi and HCMC (Saigon).

We agree wholeheartedly with Kathie; Hanoi wins hands down. Make sure you do the "touristy" things such as seeing the Water Puppet Theater for one of the charming performances. See the prison of Hoa Lo (otherwise known as The Hanoi Hilton), there's not much left but what there is is chilling. Lots of museums and temples. Wonderful shopping at very reasonable prices in the Old Quarter. Tailor-made silk outfits delivered and fitted at your hotel. Take a day trip down to Ha Long Bay. See the silk embroidery school, porcelain factories, and by all means stuff yourself with glorious VN food. Too bad you don't have time to take the train northwest overnight to Lao Cai, into the mountains and go on to a real Shangri-la, the mountain villages around Sapa.

dperry Aug 8th, 2004 05:16 AM

Thanks very much for your responses-I'm glad you both agree!

glorialf Aug 8th, 2004 06:31 AM

Hanoi absolutely. It is a fabulous city and the surrounding area is both interesting and beautiful.

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