Readers of Travel + Leisure have pronounced Hoi An, Vietnam, the world’s best city of 2019.
Located on Vietnam’s central coast, Hoi An managed to knock defending, two-time chart-topper San Miguel de Allende in Mexico down to second spot in this year’s Top Cities in the World list. Rounding out the podium is Chiang Mai, Thailand.
For the ranking, readers were asked to rate cities based on criteria like sights, landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value — all categories that scored high among visitors to Hoi An.
In recent years, the port city has experienced a resurgence and revitalisation, editors note, thanks to young and worldly locals who are opening regionally-focused restaurants, experimental cocktail bars, and trendy boutiques.
In a sign of the area’s growing popularity as a beach resort area, Four Seasons spearheaded a major renovation of its Nam Hai hotel in 2016, in anticipation of wealthier visitors.
Readers also laud the city for its friendly locals, rich culture and heritage, and food scene.
Between November 5, 2018 and March 4, 2019, readers were invited to rate cities, airlines, airports, cruise lines, spas, and hotels in online surveys.
Final scores (on 100-point scales) are indexed averages of overall responses. Hoi An, for example, received a score of 90.39.
Here are Travel + Leisure’s Top 15 Cities in the World 2019: