Below, we take a look at the six most populous cities in Vietnam.
6. Da Nang
Da Nang is the sixth largest city in Vietnam, and the largest in central Vietnam, with a population of around 1,007,700 people. Da Nang is a independent 1st class type municipality in Vietnam and not part of a province. It was founded in 192 AD under the kingdom of Champa. During the Vietnam War Da Nang was part of South Vietnam and was the location of a major air base used during the war. The city fell to the North Vietnamese on March 30th, 1975. The city is has a key location near the Hàn River estuary and is considered one of Vietnam's most important port cities. The cities is surrounded by mountains on its east side and the South China Sea on its west side. Da Nang only has eleven rural communities, which is the fewest of any province in the country and likewise has the highest urbanization ration in all of Vietnam. Da Nang is also the leading industrial center in all of central Vietnam, with a wide variety of industry located in and around the city. A important aspect of the cities tourism industry has to do with Da Nang's close proximity to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which makes the city a key hub for people wanting to visit these locations.
5. Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa is the fifth largest city in Vietnam with a population of around 1,104,495 people. Bien Hoa is a city in the province of Đồng Nai. Little is known in regard to the founding of Bien Hoa except that the area around it was part of a small, unknown kingdom that was annexed by the Chenla kingdom (550-802 AD). During the Vietnam War Bien Hoa was part of South Vietnam and the Bien Hoa Air Base just outside the city was a key asset during the war used by the United States. The city and the air base fell to the North Vietnamese in April of 1975. The city is located in the southern part of Vietnam, only around 20 miles (30 kilometers) away from the capital city. In recent years Bien Hoa has become a big industrial center in south Vietnam, with many warehouse and factories located in and around the city. The city is also home to the Bien Hoa Military Cemetery, which as fallen into disrepair in recent years and the Văn Miếu Trấn Biên, which is a Confucian temple that was fully restored in 2002.
4. Can Tho
Can Tho is the fourth largest city in Vietnam, and the largest in the country's southernmost Mekong Delta, with a population of around 1,238,300 people. As with Da Nang, Can Tho is one of only five independent municipalities in all of Vietnam and is a 1st class type. The city and its region were part of Cambodia until the late 18th Century, when Vietnam occupied the area and took control of it. The city was part of South Vietnam during the war and the Can Tho Base Camp was used by the United States and South Vietnamese forces. The city and the base fell to the North Vietnamese in April of 1975. The city is located on the left side of the Hau Giang River and is has a large inland port that is protected from the annual flooding that happens by dikes. Can Tho is home to the Can Tho bridge, which has been the longest cable-stayed bridge in all of south east Asia since it was completed in 2010. The city is central located in the "rice basket of Vietnam," the Mekong Delta and it famous for its so called floating gardens, where merchants set up their stands on the river.
3. Hai Phong
Hai Phong is the third largest city in Vietnam with a population of around 1,946,000 million people. Hai Phong is an independent municipality and is a 1st class type. Hai Phong was developed into a modernized city starting in 1874 by the French after they started colonizing Vietnam in the mid 1800s and became French Indochina. During the Vietnam War Hai Phong was part of North Vietnam and a major city since it was their only major seaport. The city was mostly unaffected during the war, besides the mining of the harbor to seal the city's port. Hai Phong is located along the coast of north east Vietnam, right on the mouth of the Cấm River. It is a by far the most important seaport in the Northern part of Vietnam. Hai Phong is a key city in Vietnam for industry, especially in the food processing, light industries and heavy industries sectors.
2. Ha Noi
Ha Noi is the second largest city in Vietnam with a population of close to 7,379,300 people. Ha Noi was the political center of Vietnam starting in 1010 AD when it was chosen as the capital of the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225 AD). It served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902-54, the capital of North Vietnam from 1954-76 and has been the current capital of the country since Vietnam reunified in 1976. Ha Noi is a independent municipality and is a special class type. During the Vietnam War, Hanoi suffered massive damage during bombing attacks by the United States, especially in 1965, 1968 and 1972. The northern and western part of the city are very mountainous, while the southern and eastern parts are part of the Red River delta area and are flat. According to recent rankings in the past few years, Ha Noi is one of, if not the fastest growing city on Earth it terms of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. As a city that is over one thousand years old, Ha Noi has more cultural and historical sites that anywhere else in Vietnam. Besides being a main center for experiencing Vietnamese cultures, one can also see the unique imprint that the French left on the architecture and look of the city.
1. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of around 8,244,400 people. As was the case with the city of Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City was also under Cambodian control until it was annexed by Vietnam in the late 17th Century. Ho Chi Minh City was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina (1862-1949) and then later the capital of South Vietnam (1955-75). Similar to Ha Noi, Ho Chin Minh City is also a independent municipality and is a special class type city. During the Vietnam war Ho Chi Minh City was known as Saigon. The Battle of Saigon in 1968 during the Tet Offensive was a key point in the war. In April of 1975 North Vietnam captured Saigon and in 1976 when the country was officially reunified, the city was renamed after Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh City has a coast with the South China Sea to its south and is a large city, covering around 0.63% of Vietnam's land. Over 90% of Ho Chi Minh City's population are Vietnamese, but the city is the location of the largest Chinese community in the country. The city is the economic powerhouse of Vietnam, accounting for close to 20% of the entire country's GDP, and 28% of its industrial output. The city is also the biggest tourist draw in the country, with estimates that 70% of tourist visit the city due to its mix of French colonial buildings, various historical structures, museums, restaurants and more.