We could not help but compare Ho Chi Minh City (a/k/a Saigon) with Hanoi. The first thing we noticed was the heat! It regularly hit the high 90s in Saigon, whereas we were in long sleeves and jackets in Hanoi. But more interesting was the feel of the two cities. Saigon is a big commercial city with wide avenues, flagship stores for Western brands, and skyscrapers housing big international companies. Hanoi felt small in comparison. It has narrower, crowded streets with an outdoor-market feel and much more government/Communist Party influence. Most of the stately buildings house government functions. Its infrastructure does not compare with that of Saigon. Hanoi seems stuck in the past, whereas we could envision Saigon growing to become a Singapore if the government to the north stays out of the way.