First timers to Hanoi should start off their trip research by visiting the Trip Advisor destination homepage for Hanoi and spending some time on the Hanoi Forum, seeking advise and information from the TA Destionation Experts (DEs) and regular posters to that forum.  This group can support your queries, answering any questions that you might have about Hanoi or what you've found in the Hanoi TA destination listing pages.  

So before you arrive in Hanoi, make sure you've done your homework and know which Hotel you are staying at, how to arrive there, how to get Veitnamese Dong (currency), what activities you want to do and attractions you want to see and how to arrange your next onward transporation.  This and more can be picked up here on the Trip Advisor destination sight for Hanoi.

Once in the city, It might seem a daunting task to simply cross the street as there are very few lights and even fewer crosswalks.  Just remember, the traffic usually doesn’t go more than 40mph.  Once you decide to cross the street, start walking, looking at the traffic coming towards you.  NEVER STOP.  They expect you to continue walking and they adjust their driving and will easily move around you.  The worst thing you can do is ‘dart’ across the street or to stop your forward movement.  Simply walk, facing the traffic and you’ll be fine.