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Vietnam’s capital is the beautiful and ancient city of Hanoi. Its stately presence has been influential in Southeast Asia for some few thousand years and the appealing city that stands today still reflects much of this grandeur. Hanoi's architecture is a fascinating mix. French-colonial style villas stand alongside temples dating back to the 11th century. Indeed, it is the abundance of spiritual buildings – the city has more than 600 temples – along with a calm way of life that often appeals to tourists booking flights to Hanoi. Much less brash than Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is centred around a lake and its Old Quarter, with narrow streets and large colonial buildings, is appealing to most travellers. However, the city is not just a museum. Though once it was the quiet outpost in Vietnam, today the pace of life is picking up. Businessmen proliferate and tourists are visiting in greater numbers to see the city’s attractions.
Many travellers arrive on Hanoi flights to explore the surrounding areas. The city is a great base from which to visit Ha Long Bay or as a starting point to make a journey south along the length of Vietnam.
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