Landing in Hanoi, you can see why it is one of Asia’s most “atmospheric” capitals. The streets are lined in the early morning with coffee or noodle shops which later shift into bars at night…making this city awake for most hours of the day.
The way to get through Hanoi if definitely by foot (or a touristy cyclo) as the traffic, especially in the old quarter, is one to keep an eye out for. As the roads narrow, dodging the motorbikes does take some attention…but atleast the traffic flows in one way and there are zebra crossings (unlike most of Cambodia and Laos).
The old quarter is the heart if Hanoi, with elegant roads and architecture hidden behind all the chaos. Within the maze of streets you can find historical buildings such as Bach Ma Temple, Hoa Lo prison, Hoan Kiem Lake and St Joseph Cathedral. There are many tourist maps offering easy walking routes around the tourist sites, which take about an hour ( unless you get lost!)