Story offer: words & pictures
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Subject: touring Vietnam’s capital in a classic Citroen Traction
Title: Hanoi By Traction / Hanoi a la Citroen
Hanoi was once the capital of French Indochina, and today’s Vietnamese capital retains much of its elegant French colonial look, so what better way to tour the city than in a classic car of the colonial era, the Citroen Traction Avant? Driven by a white-gloved chauffeur in true elite style, admire the governmental and diplomatic quarter with its tamarind-lined avenues and yellow-washed French villas, enjoy the French Quarter with its Belle Epoque opera house and grand Metropole hotel, circle the willow-draped ornamental lakes and stop off at the colourful historic temples, not forgetting the stern Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on its colossal parade ground, nor the teeming old bazaar district. A tour of Hanoi as Maurice Chevalier might have done it.
Hanoi has an extraordinary array of contrasting sights of traditional Vietnamese, French colonial and Vietnamese communist origins which somehow manage to coalesce into a wonderful unity, often hailed as Asia’s most beautiful capital. Hanoi has preserved a look and an atmosphere like no other capital city in Asia, retaining a low-rise and human scale, with greenery everywhere, and the Citroen Traction tour is a magical way to experience this last elegant capital of the Orient.