Many international visitors like to explore the beauty of Hanoi on pedicab. Source: VOVNEWS
Thomas Johnson, an Australian tourist visiting Hanoi said this, because he always carries on his back a heavy backpack holding the things he buys on the way.
Living in Hanoi for nearly three weeks, Thomas Johnson is taking his time to discover the elegant and hospital capital. For the young traveller, Hanoi is an ideal place to settle because life here is very comfortable, with a stable working environment and friendly people, but some things may be hard to get used to, such as the traffic and the habit of eating street food.
Enjoying many characteristic specialities in the capital of Hanoi, Thomas said that he loves noodle soup and admires Hanoi people’s talent in making food. "Starting with just the soft white rice noodles, Hanoians create so many good foods! There are many kinds of noodle dishes and they are all delicious, like beef noodle soup, chicken noodle soup, soft fried noodles, crispy fried noodles, and noodle rolls. Beef noodle soup also comes in many different types, such as rare beef noodle soup, noodle soup with beef wine sauce, fried beef noodles, and so on."
Already having an understanding of Hanoi, the Australian traveller finds the places where international tourists usually visit such as the old quarter, a market for foreigners in West Lake, Bat Trang pottery village, Van Phuc silk village, Chuong hat-making village, and Ngoc Ha flower market. "Wherever I go, I look for the specific products of Vietnamese culture, such as ao dai (traditional long dress), conical hats, pottery products and many other handicraft products. That's why my backpack is always heavy when I return!"
When thinking of Westerners, people often expect something new and modern, but this backpacker is very rustic and even quite "backward." He said during his time in Hanoi he doesn’t travel by taxi, instead only walking or taking pedicabs. "The pedicab is an image associated very closely with Vietnam and Hanoi’s old quarter. When sitting on a pedicab, you can relax to enjoy the beauty of the streets and people’s daily lives here," he said.
Thomas Johnson often walks to explore Hanoi, stopping by Ta Hien Street to drink draught beer and going to the Hoan Kiem Lake to drink coffee after having dinner at a noodle soup shop.
Thomas said that living in Hanoi is very comfortable, because it is easy to buy everything he needs, such as food and souvenirs, without having to go far, just to the sidewalk.
"Hanoi is very convenient, whatever I need, I can have immediately, I can see it coming," he said and mischievous smiled when explaining why he bought so many things.
"I've travelled through many countries, but there are things I find only in Hanoi, such as traditional long dress, ground roasted Vietnamese coffee, noodle soup and soft noodles with shrimp paste," he shared.
However, Thomas Johnson complained that traffic jams are frequent in Hanoi. "When I first came here, I was amazed at the number of motorbikes and the traffic jams everywhere on the streets."
The visitor also mentioned eating street food, saying that in spite of being convenient, food safety could be an issue. "It is acceptable to eat street food a few times to try it, but I dare not eat regularly. Looking at food sold in abundance on the dusty and narrow pavements, it is difficult to be sure that the food is clean,” he said.
Thomas Johnson said he would return to Vietnam as soon as possible to explore the hidden beauty of this S-shaped country, with his next destination being Ho Chi Minh City. "I have heard of your great leader and during the trip to Hanoi, I also visited Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Next time, I will go to the city named after the President to learn about and enjoy the specialties of the South."