Why It's Worth It

For travelers and locals alike, the start of the day has its own magic in Ho Chi Minh City. Men squat on the sidewalk and tenderly bathe their gem colored pet roosters with soapy rags. Older matriarchs sashay through public parks in their floral pajamas and exercise in unspoken synchronicity. A city of contradictions, Ho Chi Minh has both towering skyscrapers and tree-lined streets with ageing villas. Haute cuisine, or humble street food, history or modernity, this city offers both in spades. —Nanna Arnadottir