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Vietnam

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The first thing that everybody comments on about Hanoi is its heavy traffic, and it is true that the mayhem can be intimidating for those with a timid disposition. Nevertheless, enclaves of peace and quiet remain and a number of fascinating bike...
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Chùa Một Cột, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The French destroyed this famous temple in 1954, but it was lovingly rebuilt and remains a favorite with locals. The structure commemorates the legend of Emperor Ly Thai Tong who originally built the temple way back in 1049. The distinctive single...
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32 Điện Biên Phủ, Điện Bàn, Ba Dinh District, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Coffee shops are everywhere in Hanoi, but few strike the right balance between quality coffee and a hip, youthful atmosphere. Cong Caphe now has several branches in the city -- as well as in other big cities in Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City...
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34 Cao Bá Quát, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Both Bar Betta and Tadioto were among the stalwarts in the now-defunct Zone 9, an arty area which revolutionized Hanoi's nightlife for a short time before being shut down. The original Bar Betta, however, is still a sterling choice for a drink...
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25 Hàng Giầy, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnamese food is widely regarded as one of the world's healthier cuisines. There's nothing particularly holistic or nutritious about this traditional favorite however. A local variant on steak and eggs, the dish is a calorific wonder. Steak is...
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35-37 Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
This 38-room hotel on a bustling Old Quarter street has restaurants, bars, and travel agencies as neighbors. Out front, painted iron tables and chairs enable guests to soak in the street life, watch as roadside food hawkers sell their wares, and...
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Words can do little justice to the scenery that awaits travelers to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hundreds of forested limestone karst formations rise from emerald-green waters, looking like slumbering creatures ready to stir. The...
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There are some days on the road when you just feel like disappearing—surrendering to the urge to recoil and escape the pressures of travel. Those are the times when sanctuary can casually surface from a busy street scene and draw you in. Hanoi is...
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6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The main draw at this Australian-run spot is the convivial and bohemian atmosphere. Housed in a stunning 1920s colonial villa in a quiet part of the Old Quarter, the cafe has a rustic, warm vibe. While items from the simple menu can be hit or miss...
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24 Tông Đản, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Owned and operated by journalist and raconteur Nguyen Qui Duc, this Hanoi institution is now in its fourth incarnation near the Opera House. Expect a bohemian crowd, an eclectic music policy and a great selection of wine. Among the other strings...
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Bát Đàn, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
‘Pho’ is possibly one of the things I miss most about my many years spent living in Hanoi. Many claim the staple breakfast dish was created from French inspiration, while the soup also has undertones of Chinese cuisine. For me, the history is...
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12 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
This is a reliable place to sample one of Hanoi's indigenous classics: banh cuon, steamed rice rolls stuffed with minced pork and chopped wood-ear mushrooms. Less a restaurant, more a hole-in-the-wall with a few tables and chairs strewn around,...
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16 Tống Duy Tân, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hanoi is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pulsing all-night city. People rise early and go to bed early here in the northern hub. Nevertheless, unrepentant night owls aren't totally neglected. This institution doles out passable western...
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54 Hai Bà Trưng, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The Vietnamese version of a baguette. Simple but delicious and soo cheap!
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15 Chân Cầm, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Inspired by the cooking of his wife's grandmother, Madame Hien is chef Didier Corlou's attempt at upscale but unfussy Vietnamese cuisine. Set in the former Spanish embassy, it is a beautiful spot for both lunch and dinner, with the outside...
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37 Nam Tràng, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
There are themed restaurants that have clear appeal and others that are less obviously enticing. This new venue, modeled on the post-war years when rationing was part of daily life for the Vietnamese, falls into the second camp. Nevertheless, the...
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1A Tăng Bạt Hổ, Phạm Đình Hổ, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the longest-established microbreweries in Vietnam, Hoa Vien is also one of the best. A range of Czech-style beers are available here including a very acceptable pilsner as well as some darker options. There's a decent beer garden,...
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While traveling in Vietnam in 2010, I had heard mentions of a legendary "lunch lady" who served the most delicious soups out of a small cart in Ho Chi Minh City's city center. Each weekday she features a different soup, each hand made with fresh...