Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It’s an attractive city, with lots of old French architecture, parks, trees and lakes. With a fairly large population of 3 million, the city has a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere and is easy to fall in love with.
Hanoi was the headquarters for the Northern Communists since 1954. Repeated bombing by the Americans destroyed parts of Hanoi but almost all of the damage has been repaired.
Typical to communist countries, next to the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, there’s the big square where hundreds of thousands could gather to hear political speeches. The area has a different atmosphere to the rest of Hanoi, rather stately and formal, with a presence of uniformed guards and large Vietnam flags flying overhead.