Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam as well as the city I chose to move to having never visited and barely knowing anything about, if I’m honest. Situated in the north of the country, Hanoi is one of the most ancient capitals in the world and showcases a range of architecture including centuries-old pagodas, colonial-style stately buildings and, now, modern tower blocks which soar over the rest of the city.
Upon first arrival, Hanoi can only be considered an assault on the senses. Higgledy-piggledgy buildings built on buildings capture the eye, whilst beeping scooters whizz by, frequently carrying whole families. Scents – some far better than others – drift from the numerous open air cafes that line the streets. Someone might be burning a fire on the pavement, so watch out for that, and be careful not to trip on any number of uneven paving bricks.
It’s undoubtedly a vibrant city, with so much to see. Despite me sharing some of my favourite places to head to for food, drink or culture on this blog, I think my best advice for taking in Hanoi is simply to wander. You never know what you’ll find. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, but if you take a laid back approach, I’m certain you’ll find some beauty in the chaos.