To begin with, I have a long history...( and crazy adventure too ) with Vietnam. I called it history because I found myself grew a lot during my trip exploring Vietnam - from Hanoi all the way down to Saigon last year. You've heard there's a lot can happen in a year, so that's what exactly happened to me. Obviously I would have never picture my life the way it is now, and looking back... I guess Vietnam will always be a part of it.
I went to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time in 2012 to celebrate my birthday and decided to return and continue my South East Asia trip last summer. Spent about a week in Luang Prabang then took an overnight bus to Hanoi. I read all the horror stories about the bus ride but I grew up doing a lot of road trip with my family so I knew I could handle it.
The journey was quite smooth, except the bus drivers weren't friendly. The bus broke down about 15 times, had one dinner and toilet break, the rest... the driver just stopped whenever he wanted to pee and it wasn't a good idea for us - girls. I had to hold my pee for hours, was sooo tired and hungry, but glad to have done the long ride with new travel buddies. After almost 30 hours sitting on the bus, we finally made it to Hanoi.
Speaking about favorite places in Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake was definitely my favorite people-watching spot in this city. It was like when time stops and all you could hear or feel just happiness, the laugh sounds and love. Couple looked deeply in love, kids ran around, old women chatting, artists, tourists and photographers...all together in a park. Sometimes I wish I had this kind of superpower where I can read their minds but who cares, at least I could see them smiling, happy... and that's more than enough to remind me how Hanoi brought happiness and peace even it was crowded and hectic on the road.
Be still and enjoy the present, always appreciate little things and have faith in your journey