Formally known as the “Dragon Edge” and now as the “Paris of the East” Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and a great base for exploring this region of South East Asia. Vietnam has only recently opened up to visitors and Hanoi is still in the process of reconciling its place in the modern world with its traditional ways of life.

Experience some Vietnamese culture at the Temple of Literature. This well preserved building and gardens is dedicated to Confucius and is popular with students praying for good exam results as well as a backdrop for graduation photos. Home to Vietnam’s first university founded in 1076, it continued to teach prominent scholars until 1779, although remained a school for younger students for many years afterwards.

Vietnam became a French colony in the 1880s and some parts of French culture have become integrated with Vietnamese traditions. Try a delicious banh mi, a french baguette style sandwich filled with pate, cold meat and Asian pickles. For a more controversial look at colonialism visit the Hoa Lo Prison complex. Originally built as a fort by the French, it became the notorious prison known as the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam war. It’s most famous resident was probably John McCain – his flight suit is now on display alongside other poignant and thought-provoking displays detailing the war and the Vietnamese struggle for independence.

Find out more on flights to Hanoi at inspireflyer.com/daily.

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