|Tourists enjoying a cyclo ride. VNA/VNS Photo Trần Lê Lâm|
HÀ NỘI – Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have invited friends or family to visit you, only to realise that you don't quite know what to do with them when they arrive?
Well, that will be me next month, unless I do a bit of planning now.
My Dad is coming to visit Hà Nội and it got me thinking about all the things I still haven't done in this city. Despite living here for years, there are still so many 'tourist' attractions I haven't been to.
As we all know, Hà Nội is a city steeped in history and culture. However, how many of us living in this city can truly say that we've seen and done it all?
Take the Thăng Long Citadel, for example. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many people online insist it is a 'must-visit' attraction in Hà Nội.
It served as the political centre of Việt Nam for over a thousand years, but have I ever been? Not unless you count driving past it on the way to work.
It's the same story regarding the One Pillar Pagoda. An ancient Buddhist temple built on a single stone pillar, it is widely considered one of the country's most unique and beautiful pagodas - not that I'd know.
Now, this isn't to say that I haven't seen anything in my time here. I have my favourite coffee shops, bia hois, parks and restaurants, and I've explored many parts of the city that are well off the beaten path, at least to a tourist.
There are plenty of hidden gems in this city that I've discovered, so while I may not be the best tour guide for someone visiting Việt Nam for the first time, I can certainly show my Dad parts of the city that most tourists wouldn't see.
And, while he is here, perhaps I can use the time to see some of the city's sights that I wouldn't normally see, and do some of the things I wouldn't normally do - like touring the city in one of those old Soviet jeeps!
So, while I may not have the credentials of a traditional tour guide, I'm ready to become a tourist myself, and I'm sure it'll make me appreciate the city I've come to call home even more.
After all, whether you've lived here for years or just moved in, there's always something new to discover in this wonderful city. VNS