Hanoi, Vietnam-first impressions crazy

So there’s no two ways about it, for a somewhat middleclass western Asia virgin this place is fucking crazy. The question is it a good crazy?

So my first day here jet lagged I was almost in tears. In a city with 6 million mopeds and no regard for traffic lights or crossings I was sure I was going to die. I like to think that I have become a bit of an explorer the last 9 months, but I ashamed to say I found the most Western restaurant in a fancy hotel to escape. By the time I could check into my hostel I was sure I had made a major mistake….

Day 4, armed with sleep and the return of my adventurous spirit I have decided that Hanoi is now a good crazy.

Tips for changing Hanoi to a good crazy

  1. Ignore everything you learnt about traffic. You need to be aggressive getting across the roads without fear. Strangely since adopting this attitude no one has come near to hitting me.
  2. Get a local guide and ask questions. Hanoi has a strange layout and food scene. It is well worth getting a tour. If on a serious budget use couchsurfing to find a local. They want to practice their English, so a win win.
  3. Just point and smile at the food you want. The worst case scenario is you don’t like the food and wasted a couple of pound/dollars.
  4. Use the hostel/hotel reception-you may have to pay a slight premium in Vietnamese standards to book things but you gain peace of mind.
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