Visit Vietnam’s lush river deltas and you’ll see people working in their fields, worshipping their village deities and holding colourful festivals, just as they have for generations. Cruise to a floating market in the Mekong Delta or hike to an ethnic minority hamlet high in the northern mountains and you’ll witness ways of life hardly touched by the modern world.
In the cities, traditions are mixing with new ideas, resulting in a surge of creativity. Vietnam’s thousand-year-old capital, Hanoi, is home to a vibrant arts scene. You’ll find quaint outdoor cafes frequented by artists and writers; lotus-covered lakes that invite quiet contemplation; and an aura of decayed elegance that is the perfect setting for romance.