“I want to come back, and I will come back to Vietnam”, that’s what Nikki Vargas promised herself after a trip to Hanoi in 2017.
“I quickly ‘fell in love with Hanoi, partly because I fell in love with Vietnam before I came to this land,” that’s what Nikki Vargas shared in an article last year. 2017 on the blog “The Pin the Map Project”, about the journey in Hanoi of her and her boyfriend Jeff.
The following is a summary of the article’s translation.
Welcome to my dreamland – Vietnam. I made a promise to myself that I would visit this country before I turned 30, and now – with just a few months left before I cross that threshold, I’ve arrived in Hanoi.
Me and my boyfriend, Jeff, rented a hotel room in Hang Bong – or Hang Gai? – Street names in Vietnam change very quickly and unexpectedly. Our hotel is located on a street on the west side of Hoan Kiem Lake. Our room was simply furnished with wooden furniture and a large window overlooking the streets of Hanoi.
Photo: Nikki Vargas
You must have a “strategy” to walk the streets of Hanoi. Sidewalks in Hanoi are not suitable for people walking while glued to their phones like in New York City. Here, the sidewalk is a gathering place for street vendors, roadside stalls, and motorbike parking.
With just one wrong step, you will become a “snowball” with plastic furniture and everything on the sidewalk following you. Therefore, commuting in Hanoi requires dexterity and mobility, as well as some time to get used to.
The streets of Hanoi are bustling and vibrant, chaotic in an orderly manner. You step down the sidewalk, slowly blending into the flow of Hanoi’s traffic as if sliding into a cold lake for the first time. You don’t stop. Every nerve in your body will protest, will tell you to stop…
As you continue to walk the streets of Hanoi, you will find yourself walking in the midst of a “tsunami” – a constant stream of motorbikes, cyclos, cars, bicycles, and vendors. wandering on the street. Don’t falter. Move as if you are crossing a stream, with the belief that the water will only flow around you without being able to carry you away.
I quickly fell in love with Hanoi, partly because I loved Vietnam before I even set foot in this land. The rest is because I can’t help but fall in love with this place.
The conical hats fascinate me like seductive women – I have no way to resist. Vietnam is a place of irresistible difference.
Photo: Nikki Vargas
Hanoi has a treasure trove of street food. And Vietnamese coffee will make you remember forever.
Vietnamese people are kind and delicate. They have pride instilled in the national culture. Vietnamese people are also very hard working – this is reflected in the excitement right from the early morning when street vendors pour into the streets, and shops and cafes open to welcome customers…
I want to go back to Vietnam. I have considered plans to return to Vietnam again. I miss Vietnam, even before the plane took off. I want to explore more aspects of Vietnam, to other places like Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh, Hue, Ha Long Bay, Sapa…
I want to spend a lot of time in Vietnam in a different way from other places I’ve been to: I don’t want to be quick or in a hurry. I want to receive love from Vietnam, want to explore all the cultural aspects of this country.
I will come back to Vietnam, I promise…
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