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Phu Quoc, Hanoi, HCM City among world’s 100 greatest places

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc island have been listed among the world’s 100 greatest places to explore on Earth in 2021 as voted by US-based Time Magazine (Time).

Time said that Phu Quoc island of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang will be an ideal destination for foreign tourists to explore after it becomes the first tourist site in Vietnam to re-open for those who have COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Known as the “jewel of Vietnam,” this teardrop-shaped resort and fishing island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations in Southeast Asia.

The island is expected to reopen to international travelers with vaccine passports for six months beginning in October this year, and continues to entice tourists with visa-free stays for up to 30 days.

Hanoi - the 1,000-year-old capital of Vietnam is embracing changes while maintaining a strong sense of identity”, the newspaper wrote.

This character is evident at Capella Hanoi, a 47-room hotel where architect Bill Bensley recreates the heyday of opera art.

Hanoi is one of the most ancient cities in Asia, offering great examples of both contemporary and classical architecture right in the city centre.

According to the magazine, Hanoi’s incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride.

“Lovers of pho, the city’s signature dish, were gratified when Pho Gia Truyen - one of Hanoi’s most legendary vendors - was recognised in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants “Essence of Asia” list in 2020, a collection of storied venues that represent the spirit of gastronomy in the region”, it wrote.

Meanwhile, HCM City is described as a centre of incredible foods that have never been short of admirers.

“Even so, it felt like a watershed moment when Anan—helmed by Vietnamese-­American chef Peter Cuong Franklin—became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”, it said.

Franklin’s inspired take on classics like pho and banh nhung is indicative of the culinary creativity at play in the city.

Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a self-described “modern Asian eatery” with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pâté to veal sweetbreads, it added./.