Before I arrive in Vietnam I had no opinion about what I was going to face because most of people still thinks Vietnam is still recovering from war and hard times and they are thinking it is not safe.
I will start with a certain thing for people who have never been and wondering how is the life over there:
Hanoi is overall safe and peaceful city. It doesn't mean there are some incidents are not happening similar to all around the world but I can honestly tell, crime rates are lower than many European countries.
There are lot of Expats especially from US, UK, Europe is living in Hanoi and Expat Communities are social and active.
- Kind & Friendly People:
Vietnamese people are usually kind and friendly.
- Western Restaurants:
There are a lot of Western Restaurants that you can not find with same quality most of parts in Asia. I think, you can't have problems of eating in Hanoi, all you need is finding right places, rest is pretty fine.
- Air Pollution:
Hanoi is almost in ranking of Air Pollution, every day.
I was thinking I know what does it mean "Chaos" in traffic until I saw Hanoi :) This thing is something you should experience by yourself. But just as a recommendation, what I can tell is: when you are crossing, just walk straight without not moving instant move to any direction and you will be fine :)
- Traffic Rules (?):
Locals are caring of Traffic Rules only if there are any controls or being under penalty risk. Rest of times, chaos rules the traffic.
- Do not think even to rent a car! This can be craziest thing if you are not a "Vietnamese" nor living in Vietnam for long years.
- Due to air pollution is quite high most of days around year, it's better to install application for Air Quality to check before going out or doing physical activities.