Issue 46 2012

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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TRAVEL 30 Issue 46 / 2012 HANOI: A CITY OF CONTRADICTIONS Women, shaded by their conical hats, sit chatting behind wicker baskets, overflowing with the greenest, freshest vegetables you have ever seen. The whole city is bustling and full of the energy of it���s many, many inhabitants. If you don���t watch your step walking through the markets, you will end up squelching on an unfortunate live eel that has slithered out of the confinement of its temporary home; a water-filled plastic bucket. Elsewhere, women carry pyramids of pineapple and bananas in what look like huge sets of scales, balanced across their slender shoulders. Pho, a simple but delectable noodle soup containing vegetables with beef or chicken, is sold for as little as the equivalent of 70p at streetside cafes. Locals and tourists alike sit at miniature tables on stools that appear to have been made for children���s tea parties, soaking up the hustle and bustle of their surroundings. Smatterings of French colonial style is mixed in with traditional Vietnamese architecture. Narrow buildings push against each other and creep in above your head, tangles of wires joining them like Christmas tree lights. Motorbikes are parked in every available inch of space at the side of thread-like walkways that weave together to form a maze so tangled, you will find yourself completely lost and bewildered without a local for a guide. This is the Old Quarter of Hanoi, and one of the most magnetic places you will ever visit. The area south of the lake and Hanoi���s Old Quarter (often coined ���The French Quarter���) is still well worth a visit for it���s Parisian charm. Consisting of wide boulevards, designer stores and carefully manicured parks, the affinity to France���s capital city is astonishing. This is perhaps why this part of the city was less intriguing to me. Never the less, if you fancy getting away from the intensity of the Old Quarter, a stroll around one of the many parks or lakes is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Hanoi is a fascinating city, with countless experiences to be had, from eating the beating heart of a snake, to paying respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh at the Mausoleum, to catching a traditional Water Puppet show at the Thang Long Theatre. The city is also the best location from which to book a boat trip to the stunning world-heritage site of Halong Bay, which is just 3 and half hours away. This vivid capital should be on everyone���s travel itinerary. It is a city whose sights, smells and sounds will linger in your mind long after you have said farewell to it���s resplendent beauty and charisma. FANCY A HOT CHRISTMAS? Want to have a ���HOT��� Christmas this year? Do you want to eat your turkey on the beach, you can now book your tickets for Egypt, Sharm el Sheikh for under ��200, yes under ��200. Book your tickets now this christmas and decorate your palm trees in Sharm El Sheikh.

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