Hanoi: A 21st century explosion

Southwest Life

Hanoi: A 21st century explosion

Amid the Vietnamese city’s clamor, Old Quarter connects to past
A woman wearing ao dai, Vietnamese traditional dress, stands in front of a painting of Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Museum. The Communist leader died in 1969. The mausoleum with his embalmed body is just a block away.
Tourists ride in cyclos in the Old Quarter neighborhood in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Vietnamese secondary school students visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi last year on Ho Chi Minh’s 119th birthday. The massive museum west of the Old Quarter exhibits Ho’s biography in a series of displays.
Vendors sell garlic, ginger, potatoes and other varieties of root vegetables in Hanoi’s Old Quarter neighborhood.

Hanoi: A 21st century explosion

SPF
A woman wearing ao dai, Vietnamese traditional dress, stands in front of a painting of Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Museum. The Communist leader died in 1969. The mausoleum with his embalmed body is just a block away.
SPF
Tourists ride in cyclos in the Old Quarter neighborhood in Hanoi, Vietnam.
SPF
Vietnamese secondary school students visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi last year on Ho Chi Minh’s 119th birthday. The massive museum west of the Old Quarter exhibits Ho’s biography in a series of displays.
FILE
Vendors sell garlic, ginger, potatoes and other varieties of root vegetables in Hanoi’s Old Quarter neighborhood.
If you go

Vietnam Tourism: http://traveltovietnam.com or http://www.vietnamtourism.com
Getting there: No major international carriers serve Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport directly from the United States or Europe. But travelers can easily connect via flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong or other Asian hubs. The Hanoi airport is about 30 minutes from downtown by cab, about $12.
Tips: May to September is the hottest time of year. Travelers from most countries need visas to visit Vietnam, usually obtained ahead of time, though if crossing the border by land, it’s an easy procedure to get a stamp for your passport. U.S. citizens can get them through the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington or through online visa processing services; details at http://www.traveltovietnam.com.
Accommodations: Hanoi has hotels, hostels, boutique accommodations and bed-and-breakfasts to suit any traveler’s budget. Most Old Quarter hotels are mid-range ($25-$65 a night) such as the Classic I Hotel, Ta Hien Street, http://www.hanoiclassichotel.com/, or the Paradise Hotel, Hang Chieu Street, http://www.hanoiparadisehotel.com. Outside the Old Quarter, modest hotels range from the Church Hotel, Nha Tho Street, http://www.churchhotel.com.vn, to upscale hotels (from about $125 a night) like the high-rise Sofitel Plaza, Thanh Nien Street, http://www.sofitel.com.

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