Living in Hanoi 101

  1. Your hair will fall out. Your hair will also constantly be greasy. I kid you not, I’ll be running my fingers through my hair as I blow dry it after a good wash and already it will feel dirty. I’ve started using Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo and it actually seems to be working? I also use the Mane ‘n Tail conditioner to prevent breakage and boost hair growth.
  2. Wash your face every morning and every evening to relieve your skin of the toxins in the air. I’ve always taken my skincare routines very seriously, and I’ve found the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser paired with the Daily Energizer Cream to be most effective. I also make use of the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask every once in a while for a good, deep cleanse.
  3. Keep water with you everywhere you go. No matter how much you drink, you will constantly feel dehydrated so it is important to have water nearby at all times.
  4. The same applies to sunblock. The UV rays can be quite harsh in Vietnam, and riding on a motorbike every day will expose you to a lot of sun. If you want to avoid skin damage and awkward tan lines, use the damn sunscreen.
  5. The people in Vietnam neither drive on the left hand side of the road nor the right. Funnily enough though, there are hardly any accidents. With every driving decision that you make, just be confident about it and people will move out of your way. This tip also holds true for when you want to cross the road.
  6. Never take a cab. The drivers use meters and will rip you off by taking the long routes to wherever you need to be. Rather make use of Grab, which is the Vietnamese version of Uber. You can call up either a car or a bike to pick you up and take you to your destination. The prices are set so it’s impossible to be ripped off – no matter how long the drive takes. The GrabBike is much cheaper than the GrabCar and is also a little more fun.
  7. Always peel your fruits before eating them. Some of the fruits here contain toxins that can harm your body over time, so peeling your apples – or simply eating fruits likes bananas and watermelon – will greatly benefit your health.
  8. Drinking the tap water in Vietnam is a no-no. We use filtered water for everyday consumption, however boiling the tap water to make tea or coffee is okay.
  9. Even though it’s tempting, don’t overdo it on the rice. You might think it’s a healthy alternative to all the carbs you’re used to eating back home (well, that was my theory) but rice can be just as bad. Substitute stir-fried veggies in some of your dishes so you’re still getting those good nutrients.
  10. Lastly, be prepared to fall in love.
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