Three Vietnamese cities among Southeast Asian best hinh anh 1An aerial view of Da Nang city (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City have been listed among the best cities in Southeast Asia in Asia’s Best Awards 2022, recently unveiled by the Travel & Leisure magazine.

Asia’s Best Awards 2022 suggests destinations, resorts and restaurants, among others, to try in the region. The lists were compiled basing on votes from readers around the world from January to April this year.

Among the three Vietnamese cities in the list, Da Nang comes third, Hanoi fifth, and HCM City eighth. Bangkok of Thailand holds the No. 1 position.

Meanwhile, Phu Quoc and Con Dao of Vietnam are among the Best Islands in Southeast Asia, respectively standing at the fourth and 10th places. Phuket of Thailand tops this list.

The awards also cover outstanding tourism brands in each country. For Vietnam, there are lists of the best restaurants, hotels, bars, pizza, hotel pools, and beach/upcountry resorts.

“The gates have been flung wide open and Vietnam’s up and away. Who would’ve thought in lockdown last year this country would be in a position now to say ‘xin chao’ to international tourists? While the plan to welcome five million visitors by year’s end might be ambitious, the Vietnamese are sure going to give it a try, with quarantine-free travel and no COVID-19 test requirements for entry,” according to Travel & Leisure.

Three Vietnamese cities among Southeast Asian best hinh anh 2Foreign tourists in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Covering 1,, Da Nang is cited as an entrance to four UNESCO-recognised World Heritage sites including the former royal capital city of Hue, Hoi An ancient city and My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam province, and Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park in Quang Binh province.

Da Nang has a total of 90 kilometres of coastline and dozens of beaches, including stunning My Khe. Meanwhile, the city’s Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain) district is renowned as a centre for stone art, with Non Nuoc craft village stands at the foot of the Marble Mountain.

Experts said those natural advantages, combined with Da Nang’s modern infrastructure, good services, safety and hospitality, create unique traits for the central coastal city.

Da Nang has emerged as a destination of leisure, media and spiritual tourism, as well as entertainment and shopping activities, and a venue of conferences.

The city was named in the top 10 holiday places in Asia by the prestigious online tourism magazine Smart Travel Asia and top 10 fresh destinations by the global online accommodation reservation provider Agoda in 2013.

In addition, the Da Nang International Airport was ranked third among the best airports in the world in 2014, according to a survey by Dragon Air.

HCM City reported 11 million domestic visitor arrivals in the first half of this year, up 43.15% year-on-year, according to the city's Department of Tourism.

Tourism spending was worth an estimated 2.15 billion USD, up 30% and meeting 73.5% of the full-year target.

It also received 478,000 foreign visitors, twice the number last year when the country was closed due to COVID.

Visitors’ top activities included sightseeing, mostly of historic sites and museums, and shopping, said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the city’s Department of Tourism.

New tourism offerings helped attract visitors, she said.

To revive tourism post-COVID, the department has been coordinating with travel firms to develop intra-city tours and river-based activities.

The city is offering incentives to boost MICE tourism (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition).

About 8.61 million tourists, including some 211,300 foreigners, visited Hanoi between January and June, nearly tripling the figure in the same period last year.

The city's total tourism revenue in the first half of 2022 amounted to approximately 25.2 trillion VND (1.08 billion USD), more than three times higher than the figure in the first six months of 2021.

Local hotels rated 1-5 stars recorded an average occupation rate of over 30% during the period, up 6.11% year-on-year.

The capital city, home to 24 recognised tourist destinations, is offering a series of enticing products to attract tourists given its reopening of the local tourism industry. These include night tours at Hoa Lo Prison and Thang Long ancient citadel; a northern mountainous wet market programme at Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay township; and Hanoi City Tour by double-decker buses. 

In addition, Hanoi has also launched many tourism exhibitions, trade fairs, and festivals.

The city eyes to welcome over 30 million visitors, including 7 million foreigners, by 2025, according to the municipal Party Committee’ draft conclusion on tourism development for 2016-2020 and following years. The visitors are expected to spend more than 130 trillion VND while in the capital./.