My "feels like a spy film moment" was when we went for a walk on an empty street and out of nowhere, a police car suddenly drove in and policemen barged into a bar in what looked like a raid. For a moment I thought that there was a curfew that our hotel did not tell us about. The policement saw us and for a frightening moment I thought that we would be arrested.
My father told me that my grandfather, a frequent traveller, visited Hanoi in the 50's and it was one of the most breathtaking cities that he had ever seen. He was correct. The architecture in Hanoi is a mix of French colonial elegance and traditional Asian boldness. The pace felt slower and more relaxed than Saigon, but both cities have the ambitious buzz where people are hustling and driven to succeed. If Saigon is Vietnam's New York, Hanoi is San Francisco.