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Vietnam, Hanoi – Endlessly Crazy City – VIDEO

Published: 24.5.2016
Omnipresent honking, grandmas pulling bikes with flowers, Vietnamese sitting on small chairs, food, bikes, wires, bikes, French cafes, bikes with food, bikes with chairs, bike transporting part of another bike… Welcome to Hanoi! It is a city crazy beyond believe. You either love it or you hate it eternally.

The capital of Vietnam – 8 million live there making it the second largest city in the country – is in the northern part of the country and you shouldn't miss it. In any case, I don't recommend you to start with Hanoi and certainly not if this is your first visit to Asia. It is really intense expereince to see Hanoi. Not everybody can handle it. Moreover, there is the largest number of tourist frauds right next to Cambodia. Locals can tell if you are a "greenhorn".

 Streets of Hanoi Hanoi

So why visit Hanoi? First of all - the food. When I said about southern Vietnamese that the food is their foremost priority I am clueless how to describe the inhabitants of Hanoi. The life in the streets is vibrant. It seems as if locals only rode bikes, drank coffee and tea and ate. Hanoian street food is recognized all over the world, for instance Bun Cha and other "hotpots". Once you get a taste of it you fall in as locals. How to choose? Go where it is swirling with locals and where it smells good. You can't get yours fingers burnt. They mostly cook only one meal. But they do it the best.

 Vietnamese „street food“ is great Hanoi

Try Vietnamese coffeé - either Ca Phe Sua Da which comes with condensed milk and ice (its very very strong and addictive) or a coffee with whipped egg - local specialty. Cong ca phe chain is my favorite and especially their coffee with coconut.

Hanoi Hanoj

Omnipresent presence of French colonial era gives Hanoi its charm. In the old town, there is the architecture of the first half of the 20th century. French influence is easily recognizable. Moreover, there are countless French-style cafes and restaurants. Vietnamese want to be stylish, like the French. It means nice clothes, haircut, shoes... But when it rains they easily put a plastic bag on their head just to keep the haircut intact.

 streets of Hanoi

There are countless places to visit in Hanoi – it is just up to you which one you choose. Among the most famous is the Ho Chi Minh Museum situated in downtown; weekend market in the Old district; West Lake; and Military History Museum. Moreover, there are countless small Buddhist temples.

 temples of Hanoi  temples of Hanoi

Eventually, I spent there not a day as I planned originally but a week. Every week endless scenes of its crazy streets were rolling in front of my eyes. Birds singing in cages, flowers, bikes, food and "true" locals. If observing people and eating food interests you, then Hanoi is true paradise for you. For more peaceful vacation be sure to avoid Vietnamese capital. Rather visit Da Lat or go to the sea.

 Hanoi at night

GPS: 21°01'44.4"N 105°50'06.5"E

Text, photos, and video: Matouš Vinš

Hudba: Alasdair Cooper



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