French colonial buildings next to Chinese temples. Wartime history mixed in with booming modern development. World-famous street food. The Vietnamese capital Hanoi has a lot to offer. It’s a buzzing place – and that’s not just from the constant stream of motorbikes. Hanoi is a popular stopover city, whether you’re heading off to explore more of Asia or flying onwards. So here’s my guide to seeing some of its highlights in just 24 hours.
Where better to start my taste of Hanoi than the place Vietnam began – Ba Dinh Square. In 1945 President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence there to create the country. And not far away is his final resting place, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The huge, severe-looking stone building is open to visitors in the mornings, where you can see his body lying in state; make sure to dress smartly and leave your camera behind.