Month one in Hanoi has been a dream of epic proportions. Some parts have been crazy- like driving a motorbike in the busy streets of Hanoi, or having my house flooded with rain water. However, I can already tell living here is going to be worth the challenges. I get to wake up to gorgeous sunrises, dragon ridged mountains, and rice paddies. I’m already madly in love with this magical place. Leaving Korea and moving to Hanoi was the best decision I ever made. The feeling of euphoria when the plane took off was indescribable, and I will remember that feeling forever.
Where I Explored
My friend and I took the two-hour journey to Ninh Binh for the weekend, and it was just the getaway we needed after coming out of Korea. I wrote a full post on Ninh Binh, as there was too much to include in a small paragraph. All in all, this place was absolutely magical, and I got to witness one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve seen to date.
Located on the north side of Central Hanoi, Tay Ho is where most of the expats live. It’s a vibrant area full of boutiques, cafes, and vintage shops. You can take a stroll around the lake, get a banh mi from one of the many food stalls, or get a great cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Where I Ate
Jalus Vegan Cafe
This vegan restaurant is located in the Old Quarter and has a tasty selection of healthy meals and smoothies. Jalus is up a flight of stairs behind a shop, but just look for the sign on the street and follow the alley to the staircase.
Clickspace Coworking & Spacebar Cafe is fast becoming one of my favorite places to get work done in Hanoi. Set in a relaxed garden villa, the peaceful atmosphere makes it the perfect place to blog and lesson plan. They also host open mic nights and film showings in the evening.
Address:Villa 15, Lane 76 To Ngoc Van Tay Ho, Ha Noi, Vietnam
Where I Drank
Sidewalk Bar and Cafe
Sidewalk is an open air bar that is most popular with the expat crowd in Tay Ho. They have Free Beer Friday from 8-9, and open mic nights on Thursdays.
Address: 199 D Nghi Tam Hanoi, Vietnam
I’m still not quite sure how I ended up in a room full of balloons at Nomad’s, but I’ll just chalk it up to one of those Hanoi nights. They have weekly parties, usually playing some kind of trance/techno music. This isn’t really my jam, but it’s quite big in Hanoi.
Address: 62 Dao Duy Tu, Hanoi Vietnam
Rafiki’s is a newly opened bar and hangout in Hanoi, and it has a great vibe. It’s a little bit hard to find, but just follow the street all the way till the end and you will find this little haven among the trees.
Address: 63 Duong 1 Tap the F361 An Duong
What I Learned
- Glitter is fun at any age.
- Monsoon season in Hanoi is not messing around. Be prepared for your house to flood. Also be prepared to be in awe at the beauty of the sky.
- If something isn’t serving you, let it go. Leaving Korea was a hard decision for me, but I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes you just have to trust your intuition and let the pieces fall where they may.