Vietnam’s charismatic capital, on the Red River, may be expanding and modernizing at an extraordinary pace, but it’s a great city to explore. Surrounded by parks and tranquil lakes, the core is a medieval Old Quarter – one of the most atmospheric square kilometres in all of Asia – where traditional craftsmen ply their trade in narrow alleyways lined with antique shop-houses. For the most memorable experience, we say shed the car and enjoy the city on foot, by bicycle or motorbike and get a local’s view of the everchanging street life as you pass through at close quarters.

Uptown, colonial mansions and relaxing cafés flank the boulevards and leafy shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. Still, the prime attraction in the broader city is Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, where the Great Leader’s remains are embalmed in a sombre marble tomb. Other iconic landmarks include the 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature; a feast of medieval Vietnamese architecture erected in 1070 AD.

The ideal time to visit Hanoi is Oct-Nov and Feb-Apr. This is when you’ll get a lovely balance of temperatures with cloudless clear blue skies and golden sunshine, blooming flowers with light showers.

Tours featuring Hanoi

Classic Vietnam |14 days From £3200
Vietnam in Depth|14 days From £3200

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