The Spice of Hanoi

Vietnam has a history of expelling foreigners: the Chinese in 1428, the French in 1954 and the Americans in 1975. Fortunately for tourists, those who come in peace are welcomed with open arms. Hanoi, Vietnam's well-preserved capital, is a cosmopolitan mélange of Chinese temples, French colonial architecture and American consumerism. Remnants of French rule stand out the most (think baguettes, berets and wide, tree-lined boulevards), but that can't mask Hanoi's distinct Vietnamese flavor: nightlife as fiery as the local chilies, and street life as memorable as the fish sauce.

Vietnam is paradise for anyone with an adventurous palate,...

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