When I was in first grade, I had a dream that I flew to Hanoi by myself and walked around Hoan Kiem Lake. When I woke up, I was completely convinced that I had gone. It took my parents a week to convince me otherwise and from then I made it a life goal to visit the lake when I’m older. It took 15 years, but that dream finally came true.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Hanoi. I’ve gotten both responses from people, good and bad. Some liked it because it was a slower paced town than Saigon, while the other thought the people were rude. Personally, I liked the city itself. It was where the old and the new meshed and that was evident in the architecture and overall layout. As for the people, I’m still a little iffy. Some vendors were rude and some were extremely helpful and nice. Hanoi is more of a tourist destination than Saigon is, so getting ripped off by taxi drivers were more common. One of my taxis covered his meter until the end of the trip, my total was 600 thousand dong. No, I didn’t pay that. I told him there was no way a 5 minute ride from the bus station to the my hostel was that much since a ride from the airport(40 minutes) was only 250 thousand.
The people that I met from hostels or on the streets were friendly enough. I met a really cool girl from Indonesia who is currently traveling Europe right now.
I guess I can’t say much about Hanoi because I only really used the city as a base to transit from Sapa and Halong Bay. I’m sure there are hidden gems that weren’t walking distance from my hostel. I’ll be back for you Hanoi.