I went to Hanoi expecting to be filled with anger and rage only to leave it with a sense of hope and peace. That was in November, 2012 – my first time to visit the Vietnamese capital – during one of those business trips that I often mix with some leisurely sightseeing. Hanoi was on my must-see travel list. I was intrigued by the city’s French Indochina sine qua non. Unlike its southern counterpart – the brash, ambitious, and masculine Ho Chi Minh city – I found Hanoi refined, mystical, and feminine.
I found Hanoi refined, mystical, and feminine.
But my impression of Hanoi had to take a back seat while I sat in the cab with other journalists on a Friday afternoon. We were on our way to a center that is now home to victims of Agent Orange.