Find your reason to visit Hanoi:
Vietnam is the port of Southeast Asia because of its position in the world map. And it occupies the Eastern portion of the mainland. Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital with a growing population above 9 million people and It is located in the northern part of the country. Because of its scenic beauty Vietnam’s popularity are increasing day by day among the travellers. Therefore, you will get to see a lot of tourists and backpackers in Hanoi, mostly Americans, Europeans, Asians and Australians. As a result, the civics have become more outgoing, more subtle. They are positive to the mixing as well as overseas friends.
In large Hanoi, the most happening place we will get to see in the Old Quarter.And here you can chill 2 – 3 days max while visiting loads of cafes, restaurants, hotels, bars, lounges, markets, clubs, street food vendors and many more. Another, the city generally closes around 7 to 8 pm, except for the night market.
Besides Old Quarter you must visit Tay Ho (means West Lake). Generally, refugees and English teachers live in this part. That’s why, it has all the fancy restaurants and foreign foods to offer. So, you can change your taste there when you want to.
A local told me once, “we have a population of 10 million with 8 million motorbikes”. And it is true, because buying a car is a luxury to the Viet. As while buying one, they have to pay almost 40 per cent road tax. So, motorbikes save their lives and money day to day basis. But you may face challenges while crossing the streets. Hence, you must keep maintaining your pace while walking and crossing the road, then the drivers will go around you. If you slow down or speed up, then there might be trouble.
People in Hanoi mostly love to spend time chilling outside on the streets, drinking tea and spitting sunflower seeds, sitting in small chairs and tables. Nobody seems to be in a rush. You might find it a sight. If you are not very tall you can also enjoy the sit.
They mostly don’t speak English or speak at a very beginner level, except the workers in hotels, restaurants, cafes and college-goers. So, it is necessary for you to be prepared.
Vietnamese words to know:
It is in your best interest to learn a few Viet words for interactions as I told you earlier people are not good with English. PFB a few essentials:
Xin Chao – Hello
Cam On – Thank you
Khong co chi – You are welcome
Hen gap lai – See you again
Tam Biet – Goodbye
Ban giup toi duoc khong – Can you help me
Xin Loi – Excuse me
Money & Prices –
The currency is the Vietnamese Dong, and the exchange rate is $1 = 23,000 DONG as of February 2020. Therefore, in Hanoi, you may feel a millionaire and it can boggle your mind. But my advice is to start shopping for the reality check, as a bottle of water will cost you 20,000 DONGS. With the exception, everything in Hanoi is cash only, so make sure to have double as much cash as you think you’ll need. Also, it’s pretty normal to be confused with Vietnamese Dong.
That being said, almost everything is cheap in Hanoi – $1 for a bowl of Pho, $0.50 for a taxi ride around the city, and $1 for a T-shirt! Just sharpens your bargain skills. And don’t be fooled.