Hanoi has shaken off its
hostile attitude to travelers to become one of the most beguiling cities in
Southeast Asia. It's slow-paced and pleasant, with a lovely landscape of
lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and French-colonial
Hanoi personifies the spirit
of historic Vietnam in the temples, monuments and pockets of ancient culture
along the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, yet perfectly reflects the
rapid changes sweeping the country as Hanoian yuppies sip cappuccinos in
roadside cafés and compare cell phones.
When To Go
There is really no bad season
to visit Hanoi. The city offers countless attractions that can be seen
year-round, and the climate is generally agreeable.
Tourist season runs from late
June through August and October through Tet, the New Year's celebration that
takes place in late January or early February. Though accommodations and
transportation are bound to be booked around Tet, it's worth making the
effort to see Hanoi dressed up for the festivities.
Vietnamese tend to travel in
the summer and around Tet, making public transportation that much more
difficult to book.