• Spike

Hanoi - Vietnam

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

What can I say about Hanoi? I think that my trip to Hanoi was my least favourite of all my travels so far. There are a combination of reasons why.

The problem with travelling at the speed I do means that if things go wrong, there isn't always time to rectify the problems.

As I was travelling between Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China, I only set aside a couple of days for Vietnam. I know this was nowhere near enough time, and I regret not spending longer in Vietnam.


I decided to visit the capital city Hanoi. This was because it was one of the easiest cities I could use for a base and fit in a day trip to Ha Long Bay.

I boarded the coach to Ha Long Bay as part of a group tour. It was a 4 hour journey there and 4 hours back. We drove for 2 hours and had a break, but the weather was not good at all.

Once we were back on the coach we were told that the weather was too bad due to cyclones. It would have been too dangerous to visit, especially to consider taking a boat out once we were there, so they cancelled the trip.

We spent the next two hours driving back to Hanoi. I was offered a spot the following day, but I I was due to leave the following evening so I couldn't fit it in.


Once back in Hanoi I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city, I didn't think there was all that much to see if I'm honest.

I watched a water puppet show, which I fell asleep during. I had no idea what was going on as it was being narrated in Vietnamese.

The traffic in Hanoi was crazy! Trying to cross the street was not easy as there was constant traffic flowing, mainly motorbikes and mopeds.

The only way to cross was to just walk into the traffic and hope it slowed down or stopped to let you pass. I did master this after a while, and I have since visited several countries with the same dilemma and same solution. I'm now a pro at crossing busy streets in Southeast Asian countries!

There was one evening I stopped in a bar for some food. It looked like a nice bar, I liked the music, and the food wasn't bad.

I then relaxed with a beer to enjoy the music and have a chilled out evening. It was then that I noticed rats running around the place. The fact I had just eaten a meal here and now I could see rats running around did not fill me with the greatest confidence that hygiene standards were good here.


Hanoi was a very busy and crazy city, and I felt it was somewhat dirty too. But after a few bad experiences it put me into a negative mood for my short duration there. I guess it was also due to the fact I was quite tired from rushing between countries.

I think Vietnam is likely a very beautiful and amazing country, but due to my limited time there I didn't get to see any of the beauty.

One thing I was not aware of during my visit was the railway that passes through a tiny street. I think this would have been a highlight for me.


I think I may need to return to Vietnam one day to explore properly. I'd love to see the countryside and I would still love to see Ha Long Bay.

I'm not too sure I'd want to go back to Hanoi, but I'm certainly much more of an experienced traveller now, and I don't think the hustle and bustle and rats running around restaurants and bars would worry me quite so much as it did before.



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