Colors of Hanoi

Recently discovered that AirBnB is not just offering accommodation options but also experiences. First time to try the experiences was in Hanoi, where I booked a walking tour followed by a food tour.

Our tour guide was Ly, a University junior who does the walking tour guide regularly to enhance her English communucation skills. She communicated to us before we arrived to set expectations, and on the dot arrived at our apartment to pick us up.

During the tour, she brought us to Ho Hoan Kiem Lake; walked through the Old Quarter to the Hanoi Ancient House; crisscrossed through throngs of motorbikers to the Dong Xuan Market, climbed uphill towards the Long Bien Bridge, and then finally kicked off our much awaited food tour.

When people ate steetfood they sat on small chairs set up on the sidewalk. The market was vibrant with life and color. The motorists and pedestrians (except tourists like me) instinctively made their way through, already knowing the streets’ rules of engagement. We also passed through a street with lots of wall art. Somewhere in the Old Quarter, my eyes were captivated by popup cards, which I ended up purchasing so I could mail to my sister and aunts.

The walking tour was a good 21,000 plus steps. My feet were tired yet my eyes and mind were full from having seen the Hanoi local lifestyle.

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