Vietnam capital among world's top 10 destinations on the rise

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Street vendors push their carts along a side street in Hanoi. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Hanoi has been voted one of the world's 10 "destinations on the rise" by travel website TripAdvisor.

TripAdvisor revealed the winners of its Travellers' Choice 2013 list of places "on the rise" aka the "most improved" awards of travel this week.

It rates the places that have seen the biggest increase in positive reviews from travelers on the site over the past year.

Highlighting 54 places across the globe, the spots were selected based on data collected from millions of TripAdvisor user searches and reviews.

Hanoi was ranked the 8th on the top 10 list. According to TripAdvisor, the charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, with its preserved Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside it's historic sites.

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, it says.

Hanoi is among three Asian cities in the top 10 list, along with Nepal's Kathmandu and Japan's Sapporo.

Cuba's capital city Havana has achieved the most dramatic turnaround to top the list, followed by La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica and Kathmandu, Nepal.

TripAdvisor says the Cuban capital, once a magnet for Americans who wanted a quick weekend getaway, "has been experiencing a cultural renaissance, as the city shakes off the cobwebs and pours resources into resorts and hotels."

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