Why It's Worth It

Vietnam's capital is a buzzing hub of culture, history and tantalizing cuisine. Although peppered with vestiges of its 1,000-year-old past, the city is fueled with youthful energy. Pagodas draw the devoted while electronic shops blast out the latest tunes. Take a walk (watch out for the millions of motor scooters) and you'll see crumbling French colonial architecture melding with sharp, modernist designs. For young and old in Hanoi, the future has arrived. —Maureen Littlejohn