Singapore vs Vietnam: Exploring the Differences

If Singapore is an Island Country with a small area and modern urban life, then Vietnam is larger with all the clear distinguishing elements between urban and rural regions.

This basic factor shows differences in culture, human personality, natural landscape, as well as food and accommodation issues. Therefore, the excitement that each place brings to tourists is not the same.

The article will compare basic features to point out the similarities and differences between these two countries.

1. Accommodations in Singapore vs Vietnam

Accommodation is always a priority when planning an abroad trip. In which the criteria of price, service quality, and safety of the accommodation facility are always the top choices. So what is the difference in this field between Vietnam and Singapore?

If you try to do a few searches in prices between hotels in Vietnam and Singapore through Google or an online hotel booking such as or, you can see a certain difference.

hotel in singapore
A 2-star hotel in Singapore has a price higher than a 3-star hotel in Vietnam.

The rate at a 3-star hotel in Vietnam ranges from 25USD to 55USD for 2 adults/1 room of 18-25m2. Meanwhile, for a one-night stay at a 3-star hotel in Singapore, you spend a much higher amount of money. It ranges from 90 USD to 150 USD for 2 adults/1 room of 12-20 square meters.

Not only are prices cheaper, but most hotels in Vietnam also have room sizes and better surrounding spaces that are much more spacious, airy, and friendly than those in Singapore.

In the homestay segment, compared to the Lion Island nation, this overnight form in Vietnam is also much cheaper. The room quality, including the area and accompanying amenities, is highly appreciated. The price for one night of staying at a homestay in Vietnam ranges from 15USD to 25USD/a double room, which is quite spacious and fully equipped.

High-end resorts in Vietnam are also considered more diverse than Singapore, in terms of quantity, service quality, form, and aesthetics. Almost all hotels at this level with airy space have more competitive prices than the Lion Island.

famous hotel in vietnam
One famous hotel in Vietnam. ©Vietnamdrive

Famous Vietnamese resorts regularly appear in world rankings, such as Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai (the top 5-star resort in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province), Six Senses Ninh Van Bay (Khanh Hoa Province), InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort (Da Nang City), Park Hyatt Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), and The Reverie Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

In terms of safety, whether the hotels in Singapore are expensive or the hotels in Vietnam are cheap and beautiful, the owners and staff at each accommodation facility always strive to make visitors feel as comfortable and safe as possible. This factor is not much different between Vietnam and Singapore.

2. Cuisine

Vietnamdrive’s team divides cuisine into two types, including culinary belonging to the high-end restaurant system and popular cuisine, which gives a complete and easier comparison.

At the high-end culinary level, it can be said that Singapore is the leading country in Southeast Asia with plenty of high-quality restaurants in terms of ingredients, chef’s cooking skills, and stability of dishes on the whole menu and time.

high level restaurant in singapore
One of the high-level restaurants in Singapore. ©Vietnamdrive

By 2023, Singapore will have 52 restaurants with Michelin stars – a prestigious and top honor for the restaurant industry. Meanwhile, there are only 4 restaurants in Vietnam receiving this honor. This comparison has shown that the quality of Singapore’s high-class cuisine is worth choosing.

At the popular cuisine level, both Singapore and Vietnam have diversity in dishes and processing methods. You can easily find delicious dishes with unforgettable flavors in both of these hospitable Southeast Asian countries. If in Singapore, there is Chicken Rice, Spicy Crab, and Shaved Ice Soup, then Vietnam is no less competitive with famous delicacies, such as Hue Beef Noodles, Pho, and Banh Mi.

The biggest difference between Vietnamese street food and Singaporian popular dishes comes in the layout and organization of restaurants, food courts, and management issues.

The Singaporean street food is mainly planned into concentrated areas under the strict management of the operators. Restaurant owners need to severely comply with all regulations on business rules as well as food hygiene and safety.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the presence of centralized food courts is not many. Most of them only appear in a few shopping areas in big Vietnamese cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. However, the food sold in these centralized food courts is not highly appreciated by the locals for its deliciousness and variety.

quang noodle in hoian
Quang Noodle is one of tasty street food in Vietnam. ©Vietnamdrive

To enjoy Vietnamese street food with the most authentic flavor, you can go to small restaurants located throughout the streets and alleys. Some prominent names that are sought after include Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An, Pho Bat Dan in Hanoi, Bun Bo Hue Ly Thuong Kiet, and Banh Xeo Dinh Cong Trang in Ho Chi Minh City.

Prices of street food in Vietnam are also ranked among the cheapest in the world. Full topping noodles only cost from 0.5 USD to 1 USD for a bowl, and a glass of sugarcane juice at the same price, then you have enough energy for a tasty lunch.

This comparison also shows that if you choose convenience and impeccable cleanliness, go to Singapore’s centralized food courts. On the contrary, if you choose tasty, cheap, and interesting discoveries, come with Vietnamese street food.

3. Traffic in Singapore vs Vietnam

Traffic is one of the most obvious and prominent differences between Vietnam and Singapore that you can easily recognize.

With a small area, the public transportation network in Singapore covers the entire country. The bus and subway system (MRT) will take you everywhere in this island nation. Your job is to own a magnetic card loaded with enough money to travel.

road traffic in singapore
Road traffic in Singapore is neat. ©Vietnamdrive

In addition, traffic participation in Singapore is also quite orderly according to strict regulations of the law. Nearly no motorbikes are on the road instead there are bicycles. You can rent a bike and ride on beautiful streets.

However, I saw many old bicycles everywhere on the sidewalks, and they did not seem to follow any unified planning or arrangement. This is probably the only dissatisfaction with traffic in Singapore.

On the contrary, many first-time visitors to Vietnam think that the traffic here is really “confusing”. Motorcycles everywhere. People on the street don’t seem to follow any particular rules, which should be in your mind to prepare before entering Vietnam.

Even if you walk on the sidewalk or cross the street on the markings, don’t expect the others to stop and give way. Some tourists humorously compare crossing the road in Vietnam to an adventurous journey.

Public transportation in Vietnam is not good enough to serve the travel needs of the locals and tourists. Besides, the tourist destinations on the Vietnamese map are spread across the country and the distances between them are far apart. Therefore, before coming to Vietnam you need to have a serious plan from the beginning about your means of transportation.

traffic on streets in vietnam
Traffic on streets in Vietnam can make you confusing. ©Vietnamdrive

However, after some initial surprises, many tourists gradually became interested in Vietnam’s “messy” traffic culture. Motorcycle tour programs are increasing to serve many tourists as an impressive experience. Of course, because of the safety factor or adaptation to traffic issues here, you should still consider choosing a reasonable means of transportation to ensure the trip is always enjoyable, and Vietnamdrive does not recommend moving on a motorcycle.

4. Tourist attractions

This is a plus point for Vietnam tourism when compared to Singapore.

beach in danang city
Danang beach is one of beautiful beaches in Vietnam. ©Vietnamdrive

Having many advantages over Singapore in terms of geographical location and area, Vietnam possesses many beautiful natural landscapes. Most of the destinations in this S-shaped country are associated with the beautiful formations that nature bestows.

>> Please see more: Where is Vietnam in the world map?

  • Many beautiful beaches in Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc.
  • Lush National Parks with rich fauna and flora, such as Cat Tien, Bach Ma, Cuc Phuong, and Phu Quoc National Park.
  • Mysterious and amazing natural caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Cave complex in Trang An – Ninh Binh, Tam Coc Bich Dong, or beautiful caves in Halong Bay.
  • Many scenic spots are mentioned on the world tourism map, such as Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Ha Giang, Hue City, Hoi An, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mekong Delta.

At the same time, with an area much larger than Singapore and a clear division between urban and rural life in Vietnam, this country has diversity in culture and people’s lives. Each various economic and geographical region will give you different experiences.

In big cities in Vietnam, life is constantly innovative, modern, and bustling. Returning to the countryside, everything becomes very gentle, quiet, and imbued with traditional culture. Traveling along three regions of Vietnam, you will certainly have many exciting discoveries and experiences.

jewel in changi singapore
Jewel is a famous artificial place in Changi Singapore. ©Vietnamdrive

In contrast, in the Island Nation of Singapore, most tourist attractions have strong artificial traces. Without natural advantages, Singaporeans choose to use modern techniques to build attractive destinations. If you are the type of person who loves orderliness, Singapore’s attractions will impress you. Everything here is clinical to become a neat, purposeful, and new architectural model.

Along with the modernity of outstanding tourist sightseeing projects in Singapore is the issue of ticket prices. You have to spend more money to enter these tourist destinations than Vietnam’s attractions, on average. For example, the entrance fee to Gardens By The Bay Singapore is about 21 USD; Tickets to Night Safari are about 26 USD; and the ticket to the S.E.A Aquarium is 22 USD.

It is a huge difference between the tourist destinations of Vietnam and Singapore. Therefore, if you choose the criteria of sightseeing, and exploring natural landscapes as the basis for choosing a trip, the answer will be Vietnam.

5. Shopping

Singapore has become the shopping paradise of Southeast Asia, where there are many large shopping centers selling thousands of products from famous brands in the world from high-end to affordable. It seems all you are looking for is here. In addition, you can also receive a tax refund for each invoice of 100 USD or more, right at the airport, before leaving the country.

bugis shopping center singapore
Bugis is one of famous shopping centers in Singapore. ©Vietnamdrive

In particular, Singapore is also famous for its non-tariff shopping malls at Changi Airport; Tanah Merah Cruise Center; and T Galleria in the heart of Orchard Road. It is truly a shopper’s dream address.

All the above make many tourists believe that when traveling to Singapore, they must spend time shopping and looking for excitement with countless stalls in many large, high-quality commercial areas.

On the other hand, although there are many supermarkets in Vietnam, they are not big enough to bring a luxury shopping experience to customers. This country is not an address that meets your expectations of finding world-famous branded items.

go shopping at hoi an night market
Tourists go shopping at Hoi An night market. ©Vietnamdrive

Thus, you should only focus on small souvenirs in Vietnam that have cultural properties or domestic advantages. For example, available garments, traditional silk scarves, lacquer products, or souvenirs made from stone. Perhaps, most of what you buy in Vietnam is only for souvenirs or to meet daily necessities. Therefore, if you choose luxury shopping tourism, Vietnam is not the destination you expect.

With the above comparisons, hopefully, Vietnamdrive answers your concerns. Of course, if possible, visiting both Vietnam and Singapore for your trip will be a great choice.

In that case, you will arrange a time to explore Vietnam, which has many incredible landscapes with deep culture. Then you have the funds ready to shop to your heart’s content in Singapore. And, plan more time to enjoy the cuisine of both these beautiful countries.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.