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Hanoi -- Wallpaper City Guide

Planning a business trip to/via Hanoi? Are you stopping over as a layover? You'll only be in town for a day or two before moving on? While Hanoi often takes a back seat to Ho Chi Minh City as the lesser known metropolis in Vietnam, there's plenty in this bustling city to to fill your calendar. Wallpaper City Guide: Hanoi, a pocket-sized guide to some of the best sites, hotels and restaurants in Vietnam's capital city will come in handy for any traveler, but particularly those looking for the upscale aspects of the metropolitan area.

Book-ended by maps and panoramic photographs of the city, the small guide is well-arranged and easy to use. Making it simple to find what you need, it's differentiated by physical tabs, each focusing on what the authors view as the best of the best in landmarks, hotels, urban life, architecture, shopping, local sport and out-of-the city escapes, including my favorite: Sa Pa in northern Vietnam.

The guide's spotlight shines on upscale lodging and fine restaurants such as the Sofitel Metropole, Hemispheres and Bobby Chinn. All feature large rooms, fine furnishing and plenty of amenities for business travelers. If you're looking for a delectable Western meal and familiar, with an edge of exotic, settings, follow their lead on local restaurants that feature both foreign and domestic cuisine.

A quick browse through the book will give you some ideas on what you should see, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Lenin Park, as well as interesting bits of information. Did you know that Long Bien Bridge and the Eiffel Tower were designed by the same man?

Beautiful photographs fill the book more than descriptions and provide visitors a sneak peak at where to go before arriving in the city. Included with each is an address and/or phone number along with a long list of contacts in the back. The best aspects of the guidebook are the stunning photographs; instead of searching in vain around Hoan Kiem Lake for the Buu Dien sign, you'll know exactly what the building looks like.

You can find Wallpaper City Guide: Hanoi at Powells.com.

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