Take a private guided tour of the city’s main sights, including temples, museums of the country’s recent and ancient history, traditional old quarters and more recent tree-lined boulevards with their French colonial architecture.

The merchant district is the only remaining version in the whole country. This densely populated corner of the city was once a centre of commerce where goods were sold under the street name of a particular guild. Still a thriving community of sellers today, you will see street names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street.

Ancient homes and temples are interspersed with excellent shops. Wander further south and you reach the wide tree-lined avenues of the former colonial capital. Judging by some of the architecture (and particularly the opera house), you might be forgiven for thinking you'd been whisked off to Paris - except for the erratic driving. Come to think of it, that makes it even more like Paris.

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