Unlike certain places you might visit around the world, Vietnam’s capital still lives up to the hype, be it the postcards, the Instagram images, the Youtube videos or the TV travel shows.
With its scenic inner-city lakes and ponds, its pocket-sized temples billowing incense into tiny cobbled backstreets, and of course its ultra-modern skyscrapers and shopping malls, Hanoi is a metropolis that’s about as enthralling as they come.
Just a two-hour flight from Hong Kong or Bangkok, or four hours from Shanghai or Singapore, a trip to Hanoi makes for an affordable and time-efficient weekend getaway.
For those with a few more days to spare, perhaps as they embark on a north-to-south exploration of Vietnam as a whole, Hanoi’s endless backstreets hold enough secrets to warrant a week’s stay or more.
P.s. Click here to read our guide to travel in Vietnam (visas, tours, money, etcetera).
Here’s our guide on how to make your visit a success, including travel tips, sightseeing recommendations, eating and drinking suggestions in Hanoi, and ideas for your onward journey.