Ode to chaotic Hanoi

As cheesy as it sounds, I left a little piece of my heart in Hanoi. It was an unlikely romance – through the stressful chaos in the streets and the fact that we were stuck there for a few days with not much to do due to my sudden but very real lack of a passport, I expected to run from Hanoi screaming and never look back. But, now that we’ve left it, I so desperately long to return.

I can’t really describe what about this city charmed me so – maybe it’s the fact that it’s a restless, constant moving organism with so many different stories moving through it. Or maybe it’s the easygoing attitude of the locals. Chances are, it’s the countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants that never fail to amaze. Or, maybe even the incredible Vietnamese coffee we had on all too many occasions.

Most likely it’s a little bit of all these things mashed together – regardless, Hanoi stole my heart like no other city has so far.

Here are my top tips for a few lovely days in this charming, crazy city.

24 Hours in Chiang Dao

Less often trekked by tourists than its close-by cities Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Chiang Dao is a small town in the very north of Thailand. In it you’ll find local restaurants and shops, but, also, beautiful views, hikes, and temples.

If you have a couple of days to spare, Chiang Dao is a gorgeous, rural retreat when you get tired of exploring the bustling cities Thailand has  to offer.