The experience that I have gained made me fall in love with it. The chaotic road rage, the confusion of money notes, the change in the weather and of course the beautiful view of the HoanKiem's lake has amazed me.Have you ever stopped to wonder what people on the other side of the world think about the place you live? I have often thought about this as I have entered some new and strange environments. I remember my thoughts before setting foot in Vietnam, I had pictured contaminated water and aggressive bartering but I was wrong. As I glanced out the window on the bus ride to the Rising Dragon hotel, I could not help but stare at the beautiful scenery that was surrounded all around me. I was ecstatic because I was looking at the most alluring scenery I have ever seen in my life. Surrounded by ancient and proudly preserved culture; Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is where most people do not have a clear image before visiting. I am honestly grateful by having this once in a lifetime opportunity to do my discovery year in Hanoi for almost a year and I was astounded by how much the city has to offer.[caption id="attachment_17308" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The central Pagoda in West Lake Hanoi[/caption]My experience in Hanoi does not only boost my skills but also leave many memorable experiences to cherish in the future. People with different languages, food, religious beliefs and practices live in this country. As a first-timer to be in Hanoi, I was overwhelmed seeing old people carrying baskets of donuts and fruits, following me around with their dirty faces and hands, in hopes that I would buy some. After a few months staying in Hanoi, I was able to come closer to Vietnamese culture where I interacted with the people, and saw them interacting with each other. I saw families filled with love and respect. I heard of future, dreams and plans. These people are hardworking with a zest for life and I believe they certainly had a lot more than I had thought. Though some of them are poor, they are indeed far richer in ways our culture would not necessarily understand as rich.I was struggling in terms of communicating with Vietnamese people in Hanoi, which the majority knows nothing at all in communicating in English. It is assumed that it may not be vital for them yet, but I believe that by taking step-by-step, improvements can be made no matter how long it will take as long as it is useful for themselves and it can create a better understanding for the near future. Therefore, I learnt through all my experience how to interact and communicate with people. The whole experience of going to other countries and facing issues that need to be addressed was quite memorable. Knowing how to handle and tackle different issues and still be professional in both action and words is important. Also, I was able to get a glimpse of how friendly when I met new people during my discovery year course.The standard of living in Hanoi is affordable even for students. Hotels and transportations are quite cheap. Even though most of the people are ignoring the rules and regulations of using the roads, going from one place to another by motorbikes or scooters is a lot easier than by cars. I am still shocked on how one bike can bring 3-4 persons and even huge objects such as refrigerator, cupboards, etc. No matter when or where, Hanoi is always crowded and full of surprises.The experience that I have gained made me fall in love with it. The chaotic road rage, the confusion of money notes, the change in the weather and of course the beautiful view of the HoanKiem's lake has amazed me. I have been brought to realize the greatness and goodness of some of the places in Hanoi. In this world that is so vast and rich with experience waiting to be had, let us open our minds and live.