I spent a couple of days in Hanoi before going to Sapa and while I thought it was alright, I didn't think it was anything that special. After walking around the city for most of today, however, my opinion has completely changed. It's certainly chaotic and hectic, which can also make it overwhelming and frustrating at times. But the fact that there's so much going on is exactly why it appeals to me.
|Fruit sold from bikes|
|The 'restaurant' where I had lunch|
|My meal... mmmm|
|Friendly game of chess|
|Flower markets on wheels|
|Snoozing road-side Barber|
|Amazing old colonial buildings|
|Meet Bull, the cutest lab in Hanoi|
|Embracing the madness|
|People watching+juice = perfect end to the day|
While at first glance Hanoi seemed no different to me than any other big city, upon closer inspection I realized that everywhere I turned, people's everyday lives were unfolding right before my eyes. Kids chasing each other, colleagues grabbing noodle bowls for lunch, old ladies chatting in hushed tones, babies learning to walk, friends enjoying a game of cards or chess, men getting a cut and a shave... things that would in most cities happen behind closed doors, happen right out on the street. I can't think of a better way to get a real feel for a city than to observe its people going about their day, and Hanoi allows you to do just that.