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Time difference
+7 hours
Flying time from UK
14 hours
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Hanoi overview

Vietnam's small elegant capital lies in the heart of the Red River Delta in the north of the country. While it may lack the bustling river life and physical beauty of the Mekong Delta in the south, there is a wealth of historical and spiritual sights to explore. The city's broad tree-lined boulevards, lakes and parks, elegant villas and beautiful temples reflect a blend of Indo-Chinese and French colonial influences. Given the political and historical importance of Hanoi, and its growing population, it's a surprisingly low-key but vibrant city, sharply in contrast to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Nowhere is its spirit more evident than in the tangle of streets known as the Old Quarter, the city's commercial heart since the 15th-century. Hanoi is a good base for excursions to Ha Long Bay, and to Sa Pa and the northern mountains where you can sample life in rural Vietnam. If you are interested in flora and fauna Cuc Phuong National Park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals, from flying lizards to monkeys, dwell within the park's 61 000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artifacts have been discovered, are located in the mountains within.
Ha Nam Ninh Province is located approximately 62 miles (100 Km) southwest of Hanoi.
There are some attractions closer by, like North Vietnam's most famous pilgrimage site, the beautiful Perfume Pagoda, said to be named after the spring blossoms that scent the air. Equally, The Water Puppet Theatres and lakeside pagodas blend in with the modern high-rise buildings and the roar of a million motorbikes sound in the air Modern Asia meets medieval Asia and, in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the two become one.

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