Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, became my jumping off point for different areas of northern Vietnam. I stayed there a total of four nights in three different hostels. It was my hub for Halong Bay, Sapa, and back through to fly to Da Nang.
I did not do anything touristy in Hanoi except a free walking tour offered by my hostel (Vietnam Backpacker Hostel – The Original). Otherwise, I killed time there by roaming the streets, chilling in hostel lobbies, eating, and hanging out with people. Oh, and two nights of partying, almost forgot about that.
I know very little about Hanoi, except that it is Vietnam’s cultural center, it has a very lovely Old Quarter with beautiful, historic buildings, lanterns, and twinkling lights (if you’re lucky enough to see them lit), it is well-manicured with trees and flowers, the nightlife rages every night, and the traffic is nutty. I really liked it. Next time I go, I promise myself that I will explore more than just the Old Quarter.