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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.