- Flight Time: 12 Hours
- Time Zone: UTC +7:00
- Best Time to Travel: October - April
Vietnam's capital is described by almost all who go there as "an old-fashioned city". Old-fashioned in style, it is a city of lakes, parks, trees, villas, mansions and an area called the Old French Quarter where crumbling houses are crammed into narrow alleyways that are still named after the goods that were traded there - Silk, Gold and even Fish Street!
Old-fashioned in atmosphere, Hanoi has sidewalk cafes, pavement barbers, less traffic than Saigon, less frenetic rushing about, less noise, simply less people. Wide tree-lined bicycle-filled boulevards, elegant colonial French mansions, the grandeur and solemnity of Ho Chi Minh's monumental Mausoleum, the rustic simplicity of the house in which 'Uncle Ho' lived out his final years, the barely concealed misery of the Hoa Lo Prison, the 'Hanoi Hilton' where so many prisoners of war were incarcerated, the religious pride that constructed the beautiful temple of Literature compound - it's all here in Hanoi, a microcosm of the Vietnamese culture.
Hanoi is an elegant city located on the banks of the Red River with tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake at its heart. Much of the city was transformed by the French when it became a French protectorate in the 1880s and there are wide boulevards and large colonial buildings which are now home to government departments and foreign embassies.
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