Many travelers find Hanoi to be the most beautiful capital in Asia. With a marvelous combination of tree-lined boulevards, small intimate streets, low rise buildings, open spaces, busy trade, great street food, pagodas, churches, and temples - it a wonderful treasure waiting to be discovered.
The most important thing to see in Hanoi is the daily life that passes you by. Sit on the sidewalk, enjoy the world's best Pho Bo (noodle soup), and observe all that is happening around you. In doing so, you will experience chaos and harmony side by side. To get a sense of Vietnam today, take a walk around the old city center, either to the slightly modernized and “trendy" west side of Hoan Kiem or to the more busy and authentic parts to the north and north west. There are many temples, pagodas and markets to see in and around Hanoi, but we also suggest that you simply spend time taking in the city.
There are many beautiful temples, pagodas, and markets in and around Hanoi. You also should not miss out on an excursion to the neighboring town of Bat Trang, where you can see the production of traditional Vietnamese pottery up close.
Around Hanoi, we highly recommend a trip to the beautiful Ha Long Bay with its characteristic vertical rock formations. If you travel south of Hanoi, you might want to visit Tam Coc, which is located approximately 100 kilometers south of the capital city. Tam Coc is called "Ha Long Bay on land", since the area is filled with similar limestone formations. Explore Tam Coc by renting a bicycle or taking a ride on a riverboat.
There are plenty of hostels and hotels in Hanoi at reasonable prices, even though prices have gone up in recent years. The city should be explored on foot, so we recommend that you stay somewhere that is near Hoan Kiem Lake. It is best to stay either on the north or the west sides of the lake. From there, the best places can be reached on foot.
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