No.1: Watch a Movie
I have this fascination with what locals do for fun in every place I go. It's something I've picked up from my trips abroad when meeting people my age. I think to myself, "what is cool here?" One of the places to do your "research" is going to the mall. In general, the mall is where you get an idea of the trends from the design of the clothes, the restaurants, and even the movies shown.
Movies say a lot about a foreign culture. We would have wanted to watch a Vietnamese film in Hanoi but since we had a rough day, we decided to see an English film instead so we can relax. We went to Megastar, one of the more posh cinema houses in Hanoi, in Vincom Center. We heard that it's one of the few cinemas that play English films. We would have wanted to catch Iron Man 3 or GI Joe but both films were unavailable so we opted for The Croods in 3d instead.
- Vietnamese girls dress super sexy. Ladies our age were walking around the mall with really short shorts (think: exposed butt cheeks), cut out muscle tees with their bras showing and high heels. We were quite surprised because we had the impression that Vietnamese women were of the conservative type. We're Filipinos and are already quite westernized but the girls we saw at the mall looked like those from LA or Korea.
- A couple of the English films had Vietnamese subtitles. Even the titles of the movies themselves were translated into Vietnamese.
No. 2 Drink lots of coffee
I'm like the brand ambassador for Vietnamese coffee. It's just that it's one of the things I enjoyed most during my previous trip to Vietnam, and it's one of the things I was looking forward to this trip. Well, I did it! I drank lots and lots of coffeeeee and I'm so happy! The coolest thing about Vietnamese coffee is that its flavor is bold and strong but it doesn't give me any palpitations or trigger my migraine which probably means, it has less caffeine. This is precisely why I enjoy it so much! I like my coffee strong but I always have to watch my intake because I get palpitations and headaches from too strong brews. But not with Vietnamese coffee!
I always get the Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk co'z I think that's the most "authentic" of all brews. Since it was so hot that time, I always have it cold. Yum-o!
No.3 Get My Nails Done
The last time I went to Vietnam, I had my nails done. Weird right? We were so bored that time and saw that they were doing nail art, which turned out to be a specialty of the Vietnamese. It's one of those things that are not really broadcast by travel magazines but since we're into the going local thing, we discovered this great secret of the Vietnamese.