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Discover Hanoi, Vietnam through traveler's eyes   by Daisy Nguyen

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Each foreign tourist arrives in Hanoi and when they return to their home, they all have an individual impression. Hanoi is ancient and peaceful; Hanoi bustles and is full of vitality; Hanoi has precise and unique gastronomy; Hanoi is brilliant with colours; and Hanoi is passionate and charming.
Common impressions for tourist to easily recognize are the friendly, enthusiastic and hospitable people of Hanoi. Living in California, US, Dr Gish chooses Hanoi capital as the tourism destination for his family. He said that his family had visited many famous landscapes, enjoyed traditional delicious dishes in Hanoi and contacted many people. However, the most memorable impression for his family was the vibrant vitality of Hanoi's traditional culture.

"Hanoi leaves good impressions for me because the city has preserved its cultural heritages, for example, Tortoise Tower in Sword Lake, daily life and business activities of inhabitants in the Old Quarter. I think that Hanoi is trying to preserve its essential cultural values of previous years and be determined to develop a modern city at the same time," Dr Gish said.

A Vietnamese Vendor Rides Downs a Hanoi City Street Selling Santa Hats
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Sharing these thoughts with Dr Gish, Mr. George Saxton also loves to visit historical sites in Hanoi. For him, these are memorable places during his visit. "I'm sure to remember Sword Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, the Temple of Literature, the house on stilts where Uncle Ho lived and the whole area. I like the way the house on stilts is preserved, that is what I remember about Hanoi."

For Ms Marcia of Maryland, US, dishes like pho (noodle soup), cha ca (fried fish), rice vermicelli and meat rolls or coffee in Hanoi are all wonderful but her most memorable impression about Hanoi is completely different. It is the people and cultural character of Hanoi. Hanoi's culture is charming and plentiful. One of the most beautiful images among Asian countries she has ever seen is the image of Vietnamese women in long-dresses and "any time I close my eyes I see that image". "I also like the image of farmers growing rice in the fields," she happily said. That is what she remembers about Hanoi.
The Hanoi Opera House and Palm Trees
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That is also the comments of Ms Johnson from Idaho, US. She said that it is hard to use any word to fully describe the people in Hanoi. Therefore, she has to come back Hanoi many times. "Hanoi people are very wonderful and enthusiastic and eager to help strangers. The first time we came to Hanoi was in 1995 we were a little worried of not being welcomed, but unexpectedly every one treated us very kindly. We were helped any time we needed assistance. We had close friends and they treated us very well when we were there. We can not talk all about the wonderful people in Viet Nam," Ms Johnson said.

Living in Hanoi for many years, James Rhodes and his wife from Alabama, US, were eager to return Hanoi in the autumn to welcome the capital's 1,000th birthday. 

Hanoi attracts him and his wife with special things. "The thing we like most in Hanoi is the Viet Nam National Symphony Orchestra. This is a wonderful orchestra. I must say that we have listened to symphonies all over the world but the Viet Nam National Symphony Orchestra is excellent. 
Additionally, in Hanoi, the folk music is also good. This year, we come back to celebrate the 1,000 years of Thang Long - Hanoi and we don't intend to leave this city. We choose to live in Hanoi because this is a cheap city and people there are friendly. My wife and I decided to choose Hanoi as our home.

Mr. Steve Ball living in Maine, US said that for him, Hanoi is an ancient city. Hanoi truthfully reflects the culture of Viet Nam, this is a beautiful city for tourists to visit, go for a walk and are welcomed. Mr. Steve always encourages his friends to come to Hanoi.

"I want to send sincere congratulations to all people of Hanoi capital on the occasion of the Hanoi's 1,000th birthday.

Vietnamese Vendors Crowd a Street Selling Colored Lanterns on a Street in Downtown Hanoi
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I desire that Hanoi continues to develop prosperously.  I myself also expect to arrive in Hanoi to share this happiness with the people in the capital about this event. I wish the best things for Hanoi people. Good bye and see you in Viet Nam," he said on the occasion of Hanoi's 1,000th birthday.

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About the Author: ActiveTravelAsia (ATA) offers a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages. Recommendations: Northern Highlights and West to East Biking Exploration


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Conifer Boutique Hotel Hanoi 
The newest boutique hotel consists of 34 elegant rooms and conveniently situated in the heart of Vietnam’s capital, just 2 minutes walks to famous Opera House and 5 minutes walks to the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake, in the of business districts is ideally for business and leisure guests alike. The Conifer Restaurant showcases both international and Vietnam cuisine utilizing regional ingredients. Hanoi is home to all the best of historic Vietnam and discovers traditional places of interests such as temples, monuments, including pockets of ancient culture along the narrow streets of an old quarter.
Fraser Suites Hanoi 
With its strategic location in Syrena Tower on Xuan Dieu Street, Fraser Suites Hanoi is a prime address for expatriates who desire a home close to the place of business, and yet offers a tranquil repose from the bustle of the city. The well-appointed Gold-Standard serviced residence is in the scenic Westlake district, the residential enclave preferred by foreign executives and their families. Embraced as the newest and most modern addition to the serviced residence segment, it is already setting a new benchmark in concept, product and service delivery. Ultra-chic, it is designed to meet the refined taste and expectations of discerning corporate travellers.
Golden Sun Lakeview Hotel Hanoi 
The Golden Sun Lakeview Hotel soars 9 storeys above Hanoi’s Old Quarter just facing Hoan Kiem Lake. From this prime location, you can easily explore the vibrant old quarter or enjoy a lakeside walk. We are so close to the commercial centre and many cultural or historical attractions such as the Cathedral of Hanoi (St Joseph’s), Ho Chi Minh Complex, Army & Fine Art museums and the Temple of Literature. Boasting a premium view of the charming Hoan Kiem Lake, The Golden Sun Lakeview restaurant is not only the place to enjoy with your daily breakfast but also the unforgettable moments for guests who love reading and relaxing. We also offer arrangements for little sweet honeymoon or special occasion parties, using the Lakeview Restaurant premises free of charge for our guests.
Hilton Hanoi Opera 
Centrally located in Hanoi's elegant French Quarter, the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel is a short walk from the famous Old Quarter and the city's bustling business district. Recently awarded 'Best Business Hotel in Hanoi 2010' and voted 'Vietnam's Leading Hotel for five consecutive years at the prestigious World Travel Awards, the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel is a landmark in the city. Swim laps in the outdoor pool with Opera House views, work out in the fitness center or unwind in the jacuzzi and saunas. Dine on contemporary Vietnamese cuisine in Ba Mien restaurant or enjoy a cocktail and listen to the live jazz in the Lobby Lounge. There are seven spacious meeting rooms at the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel including a ballroom and business center. 
Melia Hanoi 
The luxurious Melia Hanoi is located right in the city center of Hanoi, inside the diplomatic and financial district and close to main tourist attractions, entertainment and shopping areas: Most ministries and embassies are located within 1 km distance. Melia Hanoi has 306 well-furbished rooms and the largest pillarless Ballroom in Vietnam. From its 22 stories, guest can enjoy the view of the city which boasts many parks, rivers and lakes. Melia Hanoi offers excellent services with a touch of Vietnamese to make your stay satisfing and memorable. The hotel has been recognized by numerous of publications and government bodies for its excellence and services
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 
Located at the heart of Hanoi since 1901, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has a long history of being a luxury place for many prestigious events and popular rendezvous. Features include 364 rooms and suites, excellent French cuisine at Le Beaulieu, Vietnamese specialities at Spices Garden, and Angelina - Hanoi's most ""avant garde"" Italian Restaurant & Lounge. Seven function rooms, a swimming pool, fitness centre and a brand new Le Spa du Metropole are also available in the hotel. This charming Metropole Hanoi hotel blends the warm Vietnamese hospitality with the European luxury heritage offering Legendary services and has been named the first Sofitel Legend in the world on 1st July 2009.
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