Three of Time’s picks for the World’s Greatest Places of 2021 are right here in Vietnam. Those include big cities and smaller destinations that have flourished amid the pandemic.
The top 100 cities were chosen from thousands of nominations from Time’s network of correspondents and contributors as well as industry experts looking to what’s new and noteworthy and exciting, the list will inspire people to travel when they feel safe to do so.
Here are three Vietnamese cities among world’s greatest places of 2021
Ho Chi Minh City
According to Time, Ho Chi Minh City’s incredible food has never been short of admirers.
“Even so, it felt like a watershed moment when Anan – helmed by Vietnamese-American chef Peter Cuong Franklin – became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Franklin’s inspired take on classics like pho and banh nhung is indicative of the culinary creativity at play in the city,” the magazine wrote.
“Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a self-described modern Asian eatery with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pate to veal sweetbreads,” it added.
Phu Quoc Island
Known as the “jewel of Vietnam,” this teardrop-shaped resort and fishing island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations in Southeast Asia: in 2019, Phu Quoc attracted five million visitors, a 30% increase from the previous year.
The island city is planning to welcome back vaccinated international travelers in the fall, and continues to entice tourists with visa-free stays for up to 30 days.
“Lodging options abound: earlier this year, the expansive, 375-villa New World Phu Quoc Resort, which boasts a private stretch of beach and lush landscaped gardens, made its debut, as did the US$2.8 billion Phu Quoc United Centre, a massive entertainment complex featuring a theme park, golf course and casino—in addition to a series of hotels,” Time wrote.
Capital city of Hanoi
“Vietnam’s 1,000-year-old capital is embracing change while maintaining a strong sense of identity,” Time wrote, adding that such a balancing act is exemplified by the new Capella Hanoi, a 47-room hotel where architect Bill Bensley pays homage to the opera of the Roaring ’20s, while the city’s more flamboyant side is showcased in another major hotel opening: Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, a glimmering building billed as the world’s first gold-plated hotel.
“Hanoi’s incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride,” the magazine noted. It suggested visitors try pho, a local signature dish, when visiting the city, adding that Pho Gia Truyen – one of Hanoi’s most legendary vendors – was recognized in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants “Essence of Asia” list in 2020, a collection of storied venues that represent the spirit of gastronomy in the region.
There’s a ton of really interesting travel diversity in Vietnam, which are offering some truly remarkable travel experiences, especially post-pandemic.”
Check out the full list of Time’s World’s Greatest Places of 2021, and scroll through to see which American destinations made list.