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The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Hanoi may have shrugged off several former names, including Thang Long, or "ascending dragon", but it hasn't forgotten its past, as sites such as Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison attest. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city, which is easily explored by taxi.
Bordered by the Black Sea, the port city of Batumi is Georgia’s premier holiday destination. A mix of modern and Belle Époque-era hotels spill out from the city’s waterfront promenade, while old town spires and contemporary towers dot the skyline.