When I first came to Hanoi 5 years ago, I found myself instantly intimidated by all the surrounding. Thanks God I flew in from Ho Chi Minh City where the traffic was probably crazier so I did manage to hold on and find enough time to gather my senses without losing my mind in the process. There were people everywhere, all running to wherever they wanted to go and that constant honking took a little bit of time to chew in. I had to remind myself over and over again that I was there on a holiday so I didn’t have to keep up with them – that I had to go about things in my own pace only then I’d get to really enjoy all the things that the city had to offer.
But I liked Hanoi almost instantly, even more than Ho Chi Minh City, which I thought was quite too modern for my taste. Hanoi on the other side is very oriental yet so European, thanks to the French who had turned it into the Paris of the East. I could gaze and marvel at the architecture all day long without getting bored and believe me, Hanoi is not all about the architecture but a combination of so many other things that are hardly found in any other city. It is a very big city, probably bigger than KL, but somehow there’s something so rustic about it, with a strong flavor of kampong charms, at least in its people who look more like farmers that live in a metropolis that Hanoi is. Read more →