Yes, it's true: Hanoi is marked by the chaos of motorcycles and pedestrians. But while it may seem life-threatening to cross the streets of Hanoi with a horde of motorcycles approaching you, there is actually a technique in making it to the other side in one piece. Our guide revealed that you should not wait for the motorcycle drivers to stop--because they won’t. Walk slowly, steadily, and without hesitation. The motorcycles will simply swerve to avoid you. Trust me, it does work. I was able to make it back to the Philippines without any injuries.

Hanoi is also known as the “City of Lakes” for the obvious reason that the city is speckled with many lakes. In contrast to the chaos of the streets, the waters are serene and scenic settings for rest, recreation, or sightseeing.

But aside from the lakes, there is so much to see and do in Hanoi. During the trip, I traversed the Old Quarter, strolled the French Quarter, visited Ho Cho Minh’s mausoleum, shopped for local products and branded overruns, oriented with Vietnamese culture, and indulged in the Vietnamese food and coffee. We even made a side trip to Ha Long Bay, the recently declared new wonder of the world. The jump-off point to Halong Bay is a mere three-hour drive from Hanoi.

The visit was short but long enough to be captivated by the charm of Hanoi’s beautiful chaos. Scroll through the gallery for a glimpse of Hanoi’s charms.

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