In its musical theaters and diverse nightlife, Hanoi's cultural allure comes alive when the sun goes down. Productions showcasing traditional music and theater are a great way to delve into the spirit of Vietnam. For something a bit more casual, head to one of the cafés or bars in Old Quarter, where rooftop lounges, cocktail bars, and the popular Bia Hoi beer corner cluster about in a historical setting. Upscale hotels tend to have swanky bars of their own with live jazz to accompany a dry martini. For a mellow vibe and drinks with a view, you can go to waterfront bars near West Lake. Head into town early for happy hour since most joints close by midnight.

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