Seniors Travel to Hanoi

Jun 1st, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel
Seniors have all heard of Hanoi which, interestingly, ranks among the world’s most attractive and interesting cities.  Now after the war years, Hanoi is an open invitation to senior tourists.  Vietnam is a country most senior travelers are well aware of but until recently few have had the opportunity or interest to visit.  Why?  The Vietnam War helped to saddle Hanoi with a reputation as a dour outpost for Communist apparatchiks. 

Vietnam’s capital city has to be one of Asia’s most fascinating cities, offering a unique blend of oriental and western
charm. It is a city of exotic brightly painted temples and pagodas, elegant ochre-washed colonial villas, bustling narrow streets and alleys, grand tree-lined boulevards and shaded lakes.  First established as Vietnam’s capital in 1010, when it was known as Thang Long, the city’s name changed several times before it eventually became Hanoi in 1831.

Just imagine a city where the exotic chic of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia… where the medieval and modern co-exist.  A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals.  Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality. 

Crossing the road in Hanoi is an experience, 10 million people with 15 million Hondas!   The back streets of Hanoi, at the top of the Hoan Kiem Lake, are vibrant and full of interesting stalls, shops, restaurants & bars. The locals are friendly and prices are cheap.  Here it is guaranteed that you will see a mass of motorbikes that swarm through the tangled web of streets that is the Old Quarter, a cauldron of commerce for almost 1000 years and still the best place to check the pulse of this resurgent city. Hawkers in conical hats ply their wares, locals sip coffee and bia hoi (beer) watching life (and plenty of tourists) pass them by.  The Old Quarter is a must see with its nearly 40 streets packed with shops selling all kinds of goods and services.  

It’s true that many tourists from the era of the Vietnam War visit Hanoi as part of a pilgrimage to pay homage to those who paid the ultimate price during the conflict, but Vietnam cannot be defined by a single conflict. There are centuries of history and culture aside from that one chapter in the history of the country, and that is where the true merits of Hanoi and Vietnam as a whole can be seen. TripAdvisor provides plenty of things to do and see in the area including a number of significant cultural festivals that attract people to Hanoi from around the globe.   jeb



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