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Hanoi

 

Hanoi is located in the northern part of Vietnam and is also the capital of Vietnam. I lived 2 years in Hanoi and I stayed in the expat area of Tay Ho, near Westlake, which is a little north of Hanoi centre towards the airport. Hanoi is a government city and you will find all big companies, embassies and government offices in Hanoi, so you therefore also find that living standard is quite high in Hanoi compared to the rest of Vietnam. Hanoi has therefore plenty of good hotels and fabulous cafes and restaurants to offer. 

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The Huc Bridge - Hoan Kiem Lake

For tourists Hanoi is a city that can be seen in a few days, you can visit the eg. one pillar temple, Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the President Palace and Museum of Ethnology all can be seen in a few days. More interesting though, is the old town and it’s vibrant life, sitting in the café’s near Hoan Kiem lake on a sunny day reminds me of Paris. It is truly fantastic and the local coffee they serve tastes wonderful in that environment, I could spend many more days there, just watching the chaotic traffic and the people on bicycle in the Paris fashion inspired traditional costumes called “Au dai”. 
 

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Childen learn to draw at Hoan Kiem Lake
 
At night there is a market in old town, there everything is up for barging, and this is an excellent place to buy souvenirs’ instead of buying overpriced items at places where you are taken by busses and taxies. A gentle warning: At the old market you should watch your belongings very carefully; The Hanoian pickpockets are world leading experts in their field and works in groups, so find a clever way to conceal your belongings.

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Night market

I would recommend tourists to spend around 4 days in Hanoi to get a full picture of what the city has to offer and it is a fantastic city to live in.

 

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