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Hanoi: 10 Observations So Far
Having survived my first week in Vietnam, and finally able to walk outside without being overwhelmed, here are a few initial observations…
1) GOOD MORNING VIETNAM…my 5 am wake-up call comes from a neighbour’s rooster. No need to hit the snooze button. A 6 am gong comes from the nearby pagoda. I won’t be late for work!
2) This is a city of youth. Sixty per cent of the population is under 30.
3) Even the tourists are primarily young. The old quarter, where I’m staying is overrun with backpackers.
4) Motorscooters rule. The streets are filled with them, like a fast-moving river. They don’t stop for anything, certainly not a red light.
5) Air freshener observed in a taxi – a fresh pineapple lodged in the cup holder. And it worked.
6) Downtown streets are laced with overhead cables. Some of which droop down. Don’t want to get hit by one of those things.
7) Beer is super cheap. I’ve found a place to get a 500 ml of Tiger beer for 16 dong, which is around 75 cents (smaller bottles are 50 cents).
8) Coffee is strong and sweet.
9) Nearby St. Joseph’s Catheral are many French cafes and outdoor spots that serve amazing croissants and pastries.
10) Plastic shoes are the way to go. When it rains it pours and the streets are awash. No avoiding getting your feet wet.