CHAO MUNG DEN HA NOI !
Just wandering the streets and marveling at the activity taking place on the pavements is a joy. A good place to start your walking tour to the Old Quarter is at the end of Hoan Kiem lake. Bring a map with you because you can easily get disoriented in this area.
Crossing the street in the Old Quarter is an art form. Move slowly forward and keeping your eyes on the kamikaze motorbikes coming towards you. NEVER step back!!
There is no road " less travelled " in this part of town. They are loaded with scooters, motorbikes, cars and people so my advice is to watch your step all the time but be assertive when crossing the road.
The sidewalks can be just as chaotic as the middle of the street. Locals stake out their spots with small plastic stools and the wares of whatever trade they are plying. Small dogs running around. People bargaining and negotiating for goods and food.
The ambience in the Old Quarter is definitely deserves to be the number one activity on any travel in your Vietnam itinerary.