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Hey everyone I'm Brian just got my first hookah last night! Never smoked one before but it interested me because I like to tinker with stuff and thought it might be a good way to relax! I got a good bargain on a 28" Syrian hookah from a local shop but I'm not so sure it was really a bargain! It is a very nice looking hookah but I cant seem to get it to smoke hardly at all and I already broke the bowl and had to go buy a new bowl.lolHey everyone I'm Brian just got my first hookah last night! Never smoked one before but it interested me because I like to tinker with stuff and thought it might be a good way to relax! I got a good bargain on a 28" Syrian hookah from a local shop but I'm not so sure it was really a bargain! It is a very nice looking hookah but I cant seem to get it to smoke hardly at all and I already broke the bowl and had to go buy a new bowl.lol

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Yeah it is very relaxing. I hope you also got some shisha (mu'assel, the smoking mixture usually used in hookahs) and charcoal. Most beginners use the quick lighting round pucks because they are very simple to use. More knowledgeable and experienced smokers usually use pressed coconut charcoal cubes like Coco Nara or similar. You will also need aluminum foil and a pin to poke holes in it.

The two most common beginner mistakes are packing the bowl too tightly, and over filling. You want it pretty loose, and not touching the foil. The foil is stretched tightly across the bowl and molded tightly to the sides of the bowl. The burning charcoal is placed on top of the bowl. Usually the pieces are placed near the edge, not in the middle, especially with a large bowl.

Oh, but first you check your rig for leaks. Assemble your hookah and seal the top of the bowl with the palm of your hand. Draw in through the hose. You should be able to hold a vacuum indefinitely. If not, find the leaking connection and fix it. The base should be filled with water only high enough that the bottom of the riser tube is about an inch below the water level.

Let the coals develop a good coat of gray ash before placing them on the foil. Periodically, remove them. Drop them in the tray to knock off the ash, and put them back on the foil in a slightly changed position.

There you go, the bare basics. I suggest searching for some youtube videos, or simply go to a cafe that has hookah smoking, and observe. I don't know about Hanoi, but I know there is or was at least one cafe in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)  that has hookahs.I was there maybe three years ago. Don't remember the name of the cafe.

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