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Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, Hanoi, long term travel, Pigeon, Southeast Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Hanoi – Back to City Life

First of all, it was weird to be back in a city after all my island hopping, and the first adjustment was the traffic. Seriously, crossing the road truly is a necessary skill here. If you hesitate, you are done. You have to look at the road and divide it into sections and traverse each section one by one, not thinking about what might be careening by in the lanes behind you. Once you get used to this, you are A-OK. Well, almost…You also have to adjust to the humidity, which is almost offensive. You can break a sweat by just lifting your arm.

I didn’t have any expectations of Vietnam, and tried to check any preconceived notions at the door. First, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the Vietnamese people. They may not be as outgoing as the Thais, but if approached for help or directions, they will do all they can to help you out. Secondly, I was amazed by the food. My first two meals consisted of Pho (soup), Cha Ca (grilled white fish prepared table side with noodles, fired onions, etc) and pigeon (yes, pigeon). Ok- I was a little nervous, but I wasn’t going to say no. And I’m glad I didn’t. It was delicious! This was all sampled with some Bia Hanoi and Saigon Beer.

Hanoi isn’t a huge city, despite how busy it is. I easily saw everything I wanted to within 3 days. I visited the Old Quarter, the Catholic Church, strolled through the night market, visited the Temple of Literature and the Ethnology Museum, and had a couple of great meals. I can’t say anything bad about Hanoi, and didn’t dislike it, but I was excited about what else there was to be discovered in Vietnam.