Street food scene in Hanoi.
Paul Hahn—laif/Redux

Vietnam’s 1,000-year-old capital is embracing change while maintaining a strong sense of identity. This balancing act is exemplified by the new Capella Hanoi, a 47-room hotel where architect Bill Bensley pays homage to the opera of the Roaring ’20s, while the city’s more flamboyant side is showcased in another major hotel opening: Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, a glimmering building billed as the world’s first gold-plated hotel. Hanoi’s incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride. Lovers of pho, the city’s signature dish, were gratified when Pho Gia Truyen—one of Hanoi’s most legendary vendors—was recognized in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants “Essence of Asia” list in 2020, a collection of storied venues that represent the spirit of gastronomy in the region. —Duncan Forgan

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