The pretty city of Hanoi is located in the north of Vietnam and is one of the main destinations for visitors to the country. Offering a mixture of Eastern, Colonial and French styles, Hanoi is a fascinating place to explore and there are plenty of good places to drink, shop and dine here.
Those on a tight budget will want to base themselves in the Old Quarter as most of Hanoi's budget accommodation can be found here as well as plenty of cheap places to eat. Visitors with more cash to splash will be able to choose from an excellent range of five-star hotels, most of which are located in the center of the city.
Full of attractions such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Hanoi Water Puppet Theater, it is easy to see why many tourists find it difficult to leave Hanoi.
The Old Quarter features a number of buildings that date back more than 2,000 years such as St Joseph's Cathedral and Huyen Thien Pagoda. This is a good neighborhood for sightseeing and exploring on foot.
Meaning Lake of the Restored Sword, this district is situated around the large and lovely Hoan Kiem Lake, and a large number of Hanoi's most prominent attractions are located in Central Hanoi. Visitors can visit temples and museums in the daytime, before relaxing at Central Hanoi's theaters, restaurants and bars in the evening.
Located to the north of Hoan Kiem, West Lake is popular with expats as this district features some excellent restaurants and bars. There are also some interesting tourist attractions located here such as the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Museum of Ethnology.
Visitors who venture south of West Lake will find the neighborhood of Ba Dinh, which is Hanoi's old French administrative center. There are also some interesting places to explore including the One Pillar Pagoda, the Botanical Gardens and the Temple of Literature.
Although it features few tourist attractions, the neighborhood of Hai Ba Trung is a good place to see traditional Vietnamese life. This is also a good place for shopping as there are some great traditional markets and shops here as well as restaurants and places to relax such as Lenin Park and Thien Quang Lake.
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