A holiday in Hanoi invites visitors to see beyond the Vietnam of recent history, and delve instead into the country’s French colonial past, the ancient Chinese ancestry, and time-honoured way of life which pervades today. Strikingly different to Saigon, Hanoi retains a real poise and elegance amidst the mêlée, which is owed largely to its heritage. Walking down the tree-lined boulevards, visitors will see the canary yellow colonial architecture, and the famous Hoan Kiem Lake which provides a barometer for the mood of the city.
The lake is the place where many Hanoi holidays begin, with the chance to cross the iconic red-painted ‘Morning Sunlight Bridge;’ see locals performing tai chi on the shores, and elderly men playing checkers beneath picturesque pagodas, before entering the considered chaos of steaming creperies, entire market streets devoted to single wares, and bicycles piled high with every implausible good from fine china to bags of gold-fish.
Points of Interest