Vietnam, like Iceland, was always a dream for me. I’d imagined people on bicycles with conical hats, working in the rice fields, transporting everything on two wheelers… This is a cliché right? But when I landed in Hanoi at 6am after being awake for more than 24, I saw all of this on the way to the old Hanoi where my hostel is (and where every other backpackers are staying), from this really cheap local bus. I got dropped a few hundred meters from my first home, and then it hit me : ‘How am I gonna cross the road!’. The traffic is so intense that you could stay hours standing on the sidewalks waiting for an opportunity to go. I Decided then that I had to cross the road without looking, and surprisingly, everything went well. The motobikes were just avoiding me. I didn’t feel particularity safe, but it was actually smooth (after a few days, you don’t even question yourself before crossing, you just keep on walking).
Anyway, this was the beginning of a 6 months trip and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the craziness of this city. I hid for two days inside my hostel. At one point I felt stupid doing this so I decided to go out and do what I am here to do, take pictures and discover a new culture. And I loved it. Hanoi is a blast. I ended up spending one week there, just roaming around, checking out museums and mausoleums, temples and coffee shops. I had my favorite place to come for breakfast, ché soup or late coffee (read about coffee while I’m travelling here). I felt like home just after a few days, and was just wandering around like I lived there. I met awesome people in La Studio, a little vegan cafe just next door to 4 2 1 5 km, an amazing record shop, spent an amazing new year with Taryn, Heloise (my travel buddies for the three weeks to come) and Tuan, one of the sweetest guy I know!
So go there, cause after a few days, you just kind of forgot about the hectic traffic, the noise and the pollution and feel like you could spend a bit more time here, just hanging out with the cool kids around!