Bright boats and gentle mists adorn Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

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Bright boats and gentle mists adorn Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

Carson Ganci/Design Pics/Corbis

A vegetable seller crosses the Japanese Bridge.

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A vegetable seller crosses the Japanese Bridge.

Chau Doan/OnAsia

Visitors join locals as they gather at dawn around Old Hanoi's lakes and parks for exercise and meditation.

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Visitors join locals as they gather at dawn around Old Hanoi's lakes and parks for exercise and meditation.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

Traditional ways of getting around are still common in Hanoi.

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Traditional ways of getting around are still common in Hanoi.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

Passengers exit tour boats to explore a scenic cave overlooking a cove in Ha Long Bay.

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Passengers exit tour boats to explore a scenic cave overlooking a cove in Ha Long Bay.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

Tourist junks crowd the harbor as they wait for passengers.

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Tourist junks crowd the harbor as they wait for passengers.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

The dramatic mountain islands of Ha Long Bay make it a popular tourist destination.

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The dramatic mountain islands of Ha Long Bay make it a popular tourist destination.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

In the capital city, the French colonial period produced this opera house, as well as the nearby prison that held American POWs, who sarcastically nicknamed it the Hanoi Hilton.

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In the capital city, the French colonial period produced this opera house, as well as the nearby prison that held American POWs, who sarcastically nicknamed it the Hanoi Hilton.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

A Vietnamese army doctor examines a resident of Friendship Village, the compound founded by American, French and Vietnamese veterans to treat Agent Orange victims.

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A Vietnamese army doctor examines a resident of Friendship Village, the compound founded by American, French and Vietnamese veterans to treat Agent Orange victims.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

Cyclo drivers navigate through the flooded streets of Hanoi during a rainstorm.

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Cyclo drivers navigate through the flooded streets of Hanoi during a rainstorm.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

A guide shows a hidden entrance to tunnels that the communists used to hide fighters and supplies during the Vietnam War.

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A guide shows a hidden entrance to tunnels that the communists used to hide fighters and supplies during the Vietnam War.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

A clay-whistle seller makes a transaction in Hoi An, which has survived centuries of war and occupation unscathed.

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A clay-whistle seller makes a transaction in Hoi An, which has survived centuries of war and occupation unscathed.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

The busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.

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The busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post

The rooftop bar of the Sheraton Saigon provides a view of the capital of the former South Vietnam.

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The rooftop bar of the Sheraton Saigon provides a view of the capital of the former South Vietnam.

Kristin Henderson/For The Washington Post