48 hours in Hanoi

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Is there any better feeling than stepping out into a new city and falling immediately in love? Paris might be renowned for romance but the ‘Paris of the East’, Hanoi, had me at hello.

The city is alive; breathing through tree-lined lungs. Trees battle with power lines and twist their way through French colonial buildings, adorning crumbling facades with their gnarled trunks and shading the bitumen below. It rains in August. Constantly. The damp, the wet, cooling what would otherwise surely be an oppressive heat. But nobody skips a beat; plastic ponchos fly past – clear, red, green.

And for what appears to be a cacophony of chaos at first glance, this city of seven million people – and five million motorbikes – ebbs and flows like the Red River runs to the Delta. It’s a lot to take in in just two days, but armed with a plan you can ensure you take a nice big bite of Vietnam’s charming capital in the north. And once you’ve tasted Hanoi, the city won’t soon be forgotten.

*Read the full story at escape.com.au or on the PDF here