New tourists are often choosing big areas for their first time in any country, for Vietnam, it is Hanoi and Saigon. Even though they both are the economic centres of Vietnam, Hanoi and Saigon differentiate themselves for the geographical and cultural features. So here a few things that separate the travelling experience between Hanoi and Saigon.
First thing first. Morning routines! While Saigonees would love to start a new day with a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper in a quiet corner café, Hanoians enjoy early morning in the parks or by the lakes doing exercises.
Speaking of breakfast, to some of Saigonese, coffee is the breakfast. They rarely have food, but when they do, it must be served in a fancy or well-known restaurant. Hanoians’ breakfast is far more scattered and simpler. They can eat anything at any restaurant as long as the food worths their visit. In fact, the actual good breakfast is often served by traditional street vendors/small restaurants set in small lanes or at narrow sidewalks.
At weekends, a traditional Saigonese family enjoy their weekend routine by going to a restaurant before watching plays at theatres or cinemas, while the Hanoians prefer home-cooked meals, walking parks (the Walking Street surrounding Ho Guom) and big supermarkets (Big C, Aeon Marts, etc.).
When you happen to visit a friend in his/her meal time, generally, Saigonese will ask you to join for the meal with all of their heart. Hanoians give the same invitation this situation but the offer doesn’t really mean what it means. It can be understood as the way to show politeness, therefore, in most cases, the guests will refuse and quickly leave to return privacy to the host.
Saigonese people are very straightforward in social relationships. If they propose to eat out without mentioning who pays the meal, it means you will split the bill. In the same situation but happens in Hanoi, it is understood that either you or the friend will pay for both. In most cases, it should be a friend.
Saigoneses usually hang out after work. The popular place of meetings is restaurants, where they can eat, drink and have a laugh. They will not come home till late evening or even midnight depending on the atmosphere of the party. On the contrary, Hanoian people prefer a night out with friends after dinner at café or street tea shop till 10 pm or 11 pm.
What if two Saigonese girls are interested in the same dress in a shop? The answer is just one of them will buy that dress and the other girl will be happy to take another one. They have a strong vibrant personality so it is unacceptable if they are identical to someone else. However, Hanoian girls do not mind about that. They are willing to buy the same dress as long as it is beautiful and suitable for them.
Hanoian and Saigonese have a different perception of wealth. The Hanoians believe money and property you have will say you are rich or not. On the other hand, Saigoneses assume the amount of money you spend will determine that.
Vehicle selection is partly affected by the different perception of wealth in the two cities. To Saigoneses, the vehicle is simply a mean of transport. Thus, they don’t waste money on expensive motorbikes. The old motorbikes are seen everywhere in here. About Hanoians, the motorbike is not merely a vehicle. It is regarded as a decorative object to expose your wealth. For this reason, they don’t mind investing a lot of money on it.