tourists love Hanoi

I’m not sure exactly why.

But everyone I spoke with over 5 days found the city interesting and entertaining.

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Most backpackers stay in the Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake. Me at Little Hanoi Diamond Hostel.

Walking the streets of Hanoi is not for the faint of heart. As is the case everywhere in Vietnam, traffic in Hanoi is dominated by an incredible number of motorbikes, all of which seem to be making a mad, desperate dash for something just out of reach, all of the time. The simple act of walking can be intimidating for visitors, especially in the narrow streets around the Old Quarter.

There is no such thing as one-directional traffic in Vietnam. When you leave the curb, look not only left and right, but to the front and back. Even up and down would not be amiss. Take each step deliberately but resolutely. Patiently allow the motorbikes to pass. Don’t rush. Do not make any erratic movements. This way the drivers are aware of you, and can anticipate your vector (along with all of the other motorbikes). It may look chaotic, but be patient and pay attention when you’re crossing any street, large or small, and you will be fine. …

wikivoyage

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The fastest growing city in the world has (surprisingly) aged well. Monuments and colonial architecture have been preserved, if many times off limits to tourists.

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Lakes, parks, shady boulevards and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal.

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Here are the rest of my Hanoi photos.

West Lake, Hanoi

West Lake … in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km (about 10.6 miles), this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. …

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I couldn’t resist a high end coffee on the lake. Hanging with chic Vietnamese and ex-pats.

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Men in parks play different kinds of games, some for money.

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more West Lake photos

St Joseph Cathedral, Hanoi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral … on Nha Tho (Church) Street in the Hoàn Kiếm District of Hanoi, Vietnam.

The late 19th-century Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic style) church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.

Construction began in 1886, with the architectural style described as resembling Notre Dame de Paris. …

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high resolution photos

Long Biên bridge, Hanoi

Trip Advisor advised me to check it out.

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Long Biên Bridge is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River in Hanoi, Vietnam. …

2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi) in length …

Today trains, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians use the dilapidated bridge …

No cars. :-)

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Some say Gustave Eiffel was one of the designers. If so, none of the rust has been removed since he was here.

Down in the flood plain, things look very lush. I wonder how often these plantations are under water?

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more photos