Ha Noi has more than 6.5 million residents and is growing by 3.5% every year. Its growth is so robust, telephone companies had to add an extra digit to phone numbers in order to keep up with demand.
If anything is growing faster than Ha Noi's population, it's Ha Noi's economy. Price Waterhouse Coopers ranked Ha Noi as the world's fastest growing city terms of contribution to overall GDP growth. The same study predicted that Ha Noi will retain its number one ranking until 2025. In the meantime, the city is capitalizing on that growth by creating the largest, most modern airport in Asia and expanding its non-state economic sector by loosening their Enterprise Law and freeing independent business owners to compete in a global market.
In October 2010, Hanoi celebrated its 1000th anniversary of continuous settlement. With such a long history, it's no wonder that the city has more cultural sites than any other city in Vietnam, including; the Temple of Literature, Pen Tower, the Grand Opera House, the Presidential Palace, several museums, parks, lakes, memorials and over 600 temples and pagodas. To top it all off, the Old Quarter boasts beautiful tree lined boulevards and French Colonial architecture.
After decades of rebuilding, Ha Noi is poised to become one of Asia's predominant cultural, technological, and economic centers.
Da Nang dates back to the Champa Kingdom established by Indonesian settlers in 192 CE. Those original settlers probably recognized the potential inherent in Da Nang's location on the mouth of the Han River.
A production center with more than 4,900 factories and a population to set to exceed 1 million by 2014, Da Nang's recent vitality and growth have yet to spoil its white sand beaches. Da Nang's location, directly on the shore, has led to a booming tourist industry as well as investment in a variety of multi-million dollar beachfront resorts, including the Hyatt Regency. Perhaps the most ambitious development project, though, is the Da Phuoc International New Town, the first major land reclamation project in central Vietnam that will see an entirely new urban area constructed on reclaimed land along the north coast.
The engine of Vietnam's economic miracle and home to 8% of the population, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) needs no introduction. Ho Chi Minh city is certainly the most important economic center in Vietnam, and the energy apparent here–in the unceasing motorbike traffic and the busting storefronts lining every avenue–epitomizes the country's meteoric rise and entrepreneurial spirit.
As Vietnam's largest city, and the former capital of South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City boasts strong familial and commercial ties to the United States. Many visitors are shocked at the proliferation of English here, and the familiar way in which inhabitants talk about the United States. Indeed, among Vietnamese cities, interest in the U.S. remains highest in Ho Chi Minh City, and for young students seeking opportunities in the global economy, America is the top destination.