Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi?

Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi?

Is it worth flying three and a half hour from Singapore to Hanoi, compared to just two hours to Ho Chi Minh when visiting Vietnam?

When visiting large countries, the flight duration and cost can vary significantly when flying into different cities within the country. Take China for instance, a direct flight from Singapore to Beijing takes around 6 hours while a direct flight to Hainan takes just around 3 and a half hour.

For Vietnam, a direct flight to Ho Chi Minh takes around two hours from Singapore as compared to around three and a half hour to get to Hanoi from Singapore.

Is it worth spending the extra money and time to fly to Hanoi versus Ho Chi Minh?

Yes; for a few reasons.

First, it is a different city altogether, with different culture, history and experiences.

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, was the US base during the Vietnam War and had evolved into a modern, thriving metropolis following the country’s unification.

Hanoi on the hand, is the capitol of Vietnam. It is less modernised and less influenced by foreign countries than Hanoi, but therein lies it’s old world charm and heritage.

Second, you will find many Singaporeans might have visited Ho Chi Minh City, but not Hanoi. As the former is nearer to Singapore, many would just take it that a travel to Ho Chi Minh City is the equivalent of having been to the whole of Vietnam.

This is where you differentiate the seasoned travellers versus those who are just touch-and-go kinds.

Why just fly to common destinations? Sometime, choosing off the beaten track might lead to something more exciting.

When traveling to Indonesia, why stick to just Jakarta and Bali? Why not Yogyakarta or even Papua?

When traveling to Thailand, why just Bangkok and Phuket?

I have a good friend who worked in China for two years and he made an effort to explore a different city every weekend. After his two years posting was up, he told me he still have not seen the whole country and would need a few more years to do so.

The point is, the world is much bigger and more diverse than we think it is. There is so much to explore if you look beyond the first tier cities in every countries.

I am writing this while resting in bed in my hotel located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

My travel buddy, Yongwei with new friends we made in Hanoi

My travel buddy, Yongwei with new friends we made in Hanoi

I have done many trips to Ho Chi Minh City for work previously. This is my first trip to Hanoi and I am looking forward to enjoying it. My travel companion, Yong Wei, will be sharing more details on the trip soon on this site, complete with travel recommendations. Stay tuned!

We made our flight and hotels bookings for this trip via ZUJI. We booked return flights with Vietnam Airlines and chose two hotels to stay in different locations for our 5D4N trip. We got pretty awesome discounts for the two hotels, the Hanoi Old Centre Hotel and The Hanoi Club Hotel, exclusive on ZUJI:


If you haven’t heard of ZUJI, they are a reputed online travel booking platform that has been in Singapore for many years.

Why book with ZUJI versus other travel booking platforms?

ZUJI offers a slew of travel services from flights to hotels to car hires and insurances. You can get everything in one place:



More importantly, ZUJI constantly have exclusive promotions and offers that you can only find when booking through them:



For instance, American Express cardholders get to enjoy travel deals all year long on ZUJI, including 12% hotel code plus 2% flight rebate!

I think I would consider getting an America Express credit card just to make use of the discount privileges. If you make all your travel bookings through ZUJI with that card, the savings can be pretty huge if you travel a lot.


We are giving away 5 x S$100 ZUJI vouchers Alvinology readers!

For a chance to win, simply:

  1. ‘Like’ the Alvinology Facebook page and ZUJI Singapore Facebook page.
  2.  ‘Like’ and share this post on Facebook and tag at least three friends on your post where you would like to travel to. Make your post public so we can find it.
  3.  Tell us why you wish to win the vouchers by commenting below or on our Facebook post.
  4. Contest ends at 11.59 pm on 15 July 2016. The winner will be notified via Facebook, and must be able to collect the prize in Singapore.

Note – Prizes of 5 x S$100 ZUJI travel vouchers is shared across 4 x #ZUJIgarangexplorer posts on Alvinology.