The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is the country’s second largest city with a population of around 8 million inhabitants. It is located in the north of the country along the banks of the Red River. The modern, growing city still has many French colonial era buildings.

Hanoi is a city of contrasts. The busy streets full of mopeds and street side markets to the tranquility of Hoan Kiem Lake where the locals can be seen in the morning practicing their Tai Chi to the Old Quarter which gives a real feel for Hanoian culture.

For history lovers, there is the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, originally built by the Ly dynasty in 1010 which was later expanded and remained the seat of the Vietnamese court until 1810. There is also the Ho Chi Minh Complex with botanical gardens and pagodas as well as Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, a site of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese.

As the capital of Vietnam, there are of course numerous fine cafes and restaurants where one can relax sipping the delicious Vietnamese coffee or tasting the numerous delicious dishes that make up Vietnamese cuisine. There is also an extensive nightlife scene with numerous bars and nightclubs.