Travel Diary: Hanoi, Vietnam: The Not So-Dodgy, Dodgy North


North Vietnam is nice and I felt a clear difference between the North and South capitals, although Hanoi is just as busy as Saigon it felt cleaner here and the people were far more laid back with less aggressive shop owners and motorbike taxis.

Contrary to things I’ve heard from probably biased (southern) family members, Hanoi felt relatively safe and I experienced less of the scamming or cheating I did in the South.

That said, on my first night my safety bubble was completely stripped from me as while I was slept (Jasmine Hotel on Lo Ku Street) the guy at the front desk let himself in to my room at around 2am in the morning! Thankfully I did wake up and was able to shout at him asking what he was doing where he quickly apologised and left. For some reason I must have thought he had forgotten the room was occupied or something but in my dreary state I didn’t think much of it and went to re-lock my door, turn my light on and went back to sleep. In hindsight I should have gone downstairs and demanded an explanation however as I needed to wake up in 2 hours to catch a bus to Hai Phong in mind and my zoned out state, I feel back to sleep. Needless to say I didn’t quite manage to wake up at 4am to get the coach to meet my friend for our tour of Halong bay (pretty pissed off), I checked out straight away at 6am and left the place and it’s pretty unconcerned reception staff behind.
I ended up finding a little nice place called Hanoi Old Centre Hotel, it wasn’t too far from the previous and still in the old quarter but right beside the lake down a quiet road. The staff were far more friendly here but being cautious after my unwanted early morning visitor I slept with stacked mugs at the door to awaken me in the event of another similar incident.

Unfortunately I didn’t stray too far from the Old Quarter in the short time I spent in the capital even though there was plenty going on nearby such as water puppet shows, museums, pagodas and various markets to visit, I’d like to come back and do all of that someday.

I’m wearing a mint midi skirt – Zara, burgundy croquet top – Urban Outfitters, gold sandals from Miss KG, wayfarers – Ray Ban, vintage gold Accurist watch.


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