Vietnam is a popular tourist destination for many people around the world looking to experience incredible food and breathtaking beaches. Located in Southeast Asia, this country is known for its hospitality and provides endless opportunities for unique experiences. For those who want a real adventure, the Mekong Delta is home to a vast array of floating markets that are quite a sight to behold.
In 2022, Vietnam had just over 98 million people living throughout the country. Even though more than 15% of citizens live in the two biggest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are a total of 63 provinces and municipal cities that make up the 329,247 km² country. In the following sections, we’ll explore both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as we look closer at the top 10 largest cities in Vietnam based on land size.
10. Kon Tum
Area: 432.12 km²
Kon Tum is located in the Central Highlands region of the country and acts as the capital of Kon Tum Province. Many travelers love to stop at the warm, tropical city and immerse themselves in the beautiful nature of the surrounding mountains, rainforests, and lakes. However, nature isn’t the only thing to experience in Kon Tum.
The city also has several historical landmarks that make for interesting sightseeing. One of the most popular places to visit is the “Wooden Church.” The locals hold the church in high regard and see it as a symbol of their heritage. There are other fascinating spots to take in, like the Kok K’lor house and Kon K’lor suspension bridge.
9. Cẩm Phả
Area: 486.45 km²
Cẩm Phả isn’t your typical Vietnamese tourist destination with endless beaches and wildlife. However, the industrial port city is closely located to several natural and historical locations that many people say are “must dos” if you’re traveling through the area. For instance, the coal mining and export town is only a short drive away from the famous Ha Long Bay.
Travelers who pass through Cẩm Phả can also experience other destinations, such as the Cua Ông Temple and Vàng Island, while staying in the city. For explorers looking for more of a historical day trip, the Vung Duc Historical Site is nearby. The location allows guests to view historical relics and traverse a breathtaking cave system full of stalactite formations.
8. Móng Cái
Area: 516.6 km²
Móng Cái is situated along the China-Vietnam border and acts as a thriving trade town between the two countries. While many border cities are often used as pass-through points for trade, Móng Cái has earned a reputation as being a popular destination for tourists from China and other parts of Vietnam.
The prosperity from trade has allowed Móng Cái to become a leisure destination with luxurious offerings. The landscape of the town is full of high-end resorts, sprawling golf courses, and beautiful beaches. The must-visit locations include Tra Co Beach, Cai Chien Island, and Tran Phu Walking Street.
7. Phú Quốc
Area: 589.27 km²
Phú Quốc is referred to as “The Pearl Island” for good reason. The island city is home to sparkly white sandy beaches and 150 kilometers of coastline. However, the beautiful waves aren’t the only items that draw travelers to the picturesque location. Phú Quốc also has an evergreen forest full of waterfalls, caves, and rock pools to explore.
Travelers looking to soak in the culture of the town can do so in multiple ways. Many visitors enjoy spending the day exploring the Cay Dua Prison or the Cao Dai Temples. For a truly unique experience, tourists can tour a fish sauce factory.
6. Ha Long
Area: 1,119.12 km²
One of the most visited locations throughout Vietnam is Ha Long Bay. The emerald-green waters that make up the waterways around the city are visited by cruise ships and tourists every day. As travelers explore the beautiful waterways, there is a captivating cave system that is almost as astonishing as the water.
Many tourists enjoy exploring the water and visiting the local floating villages. These fishing communities have been around for centuries, and getting the opportunity to visit with locals and learn about their heritage is a one-of-a-kind experience.
5. Da Nang
Area: 1,285.4 km²
Many cities have beautiful beaches and opportunities to explore the natural wonders of Vietnam, but Da Nang has an additional element of fun — street food. Many food enthusiasts make it a point to visit Da Nang when visiting the country with a host of seafood restaurants and street food options.
For those still wanting to experience nature, the Son Tra Peninsula is easily accessible from Da Nang. In addition, it provides visitors with the chance to see the endangered red-shanked douc langur.
4. Cần Thơ
Area: 1,439.2 km²
For many, Cần Thơ provides the perfect opportunity to see a thriving floating marketing environment. However, the city offers much more than just a bustling trade scene. For instance, community-based tours provide travelers with a chance to visit rice paper villages or enjoy lunch with a local family.
Cần Thơ is also the perfect place to simply recharge your batteries. With a wealth of options available along the riverside, travelers can choose whether they want an authentic experience at Mekong Rustic or enjoy a luxurious retreat at the Azerai Can Tho.
Area: 1,527.4 km²
Even though Haiphong is the third largest city in Vietnam, travelers often love the quiet and relaxing feel of the location. While many people use Haiphong as a launching point to get to Cat Ba Island, there is enough to do in the city that you should spend a day or two there before moving on.
For instance, the architecture and feel of the city itself provide endless possibilities for exploring. With an abundance of vibrant wet markets and buzzing street merchants, a stroll through the city center is an adventure in itself. Other items to explore while in Haiphong include the Haiphong City Museum, Du Hang Pagoda, and the Haiphong Opera House.
2. Ho Chi Minh City
Area: 2,095.5 km²
It’s hard to find another city in Vietnam that boasts the same historical and cultural significance as Ho Chi Minh City. This vibrant and energetic city was once known as Saigon and currently operates as the country’s economic powerhouse. Whether you’re looking to explore historic locations or participate in the area’s active nightlife, Ho Chi Minh City has something for everyone.
One of the most popular areas to visit is the Chinese Quarter. The neighborhood of Cho Lon is home to many interesting sights and experiences, like the enormous wholesale trading center and Binh Tay Market. Visitors can also explore the Thien Hau Pagoda to learn more about the goddess of the sea.
Area: 3,324.5 km²
Hanoi is one of the oldest cities in Vietnam and currently serves as the country’s capital. Parts of the historic city, like the Old Quarter, date back to the 14th century. Even though Hanoi is seen as a historic place, the community and feel of the city are turning more modern with the inclusion of art galleries and incredible dining experiences.
Active travelers looking for a different way to enjoy Hanoi can visit Hoan Kiem Lake, where they can interact with locals. In addition, the area is often full of different classes that offer aerobics, yoga, and community events.
Summary of the 10 Largest Cities in Vietnam
Here’s a recap of Vietnam’s ten biggest cities:
|Ho Chi Minh City
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