Three Vietnam tourist cities among world's 100 greatest places: Time
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The Notre Dame Cathedral, an icon of HCMC, is lit up at night, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Ngoc Dung.
Hanoi, HCMC and Phu Quoc have made it onto the global list of 100 greatest places to explore on Earth as voted by Time magazine.
Time recommended travelers to explore Hanoi where they can enjoy a renewed life in the Old Quarter.
"Vietnam’s 1,000-year-old capital is embracing change while maintaining a strong sense of identity," Time wrote.
The new Capella Hanoi on Le Phung Hieu Street in Hoan Kiem District, a 47-room hotel designed by world famous architect Bill Bensley, and Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, a 25-floor hotel in Ba Dinh District, billed as the world’s first gold-plated hotel, add their charm to the vibrancy of Hanoi.
"Hanoi's incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride," Time noted.
The magazine suggested visitors try pho, the city’s signature dish, at Bat Dan Restaurant on the eponymous street, which has been serving this dish for more than 70 years. The restaurant offers both traditional and stir-fried pho, with prices ranging from VND45,000-75,000 ($2-3.27).
A bowl of pho at Bat Dan Restaurant in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ha Thanh.
Time defined Ho Chi Minh City as "tastes of Vietnam" where a collection of famous restaurants converge.
Among them is Anan Restaurant, which became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 best restaurants in the 2021 annual ranking published by William Reed Business Media, a British business magazine and digital media company.
Located inside an old market on Ton That Dam Street in District 1 near Bitexco Financial Tower, Anan specializes in street food-inspired dishes created by Vietnamese-American chef Peter Cuong Franklin.
"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 modern Asian eatery with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pate to veal sweetbreads," according to Time.
The U.S. magazine called Phu Quoc island city an "idyllic paradise."
Known as the "jewel of Vietnam," Phu Quoc Island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations in Southeast Asia as it attracted five million visitors in 2019, a 30 percent increase from the year before.
The island is planning to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists back from this October.
It boasts luxury beach resorts and modern entertainment complexes by conglomerate Vingroup.
Time magazine said its third annual World’s Greatest Places list is "curated from editor and expert nominations from around the world" and that "the list recognizes 100 unique destinations that are offering visitors an extraordinary experience that's unlike any other."
Other Asian destinations in the Time list include Bangkok, Beijing, Malaysia's Desaru Coast, Dubai, South Korea's Gyeongju, Thailand's Khao Yai National Park and Cambodia's Siem Reap.
The list features 21 U.S. destinations while Europe is well-represented on the list as well, accounting for 28.