30 December, 2013 § Leave a comment

hanoi by night

spent about a week wandering the streets of hanoi. never knew it was over a millennium old.  coming from a place with less than 50 years of independence, it was a sobering experience to arrive in a city like this.

promenade by Hoàn Kiếm lake

the scale of the city, the hanoi way, is just right. it is not a city laid out in grids; with every other turn, it draws you inwards only to guide you outwards to the other places where life happens.  there is a sense of connectedness; time past, time present.

street crossing

it is a city that is testament to the rich and vast culture of the vietnamese people and the sophisticated urban planning introduced by the french.

once the eye grew accustomed to the riot of colours that mark most of the buildings, the colonial villas were eye-openers.

villa near ho chih minh mausoleum

art deco

each day, i would look forward to the surprises which the city held.

quaint cafes which present, to those who successfully navigate through the dingy alleyways that hide their secret, a breathtaking view of the city.

cafe pho co

view of Hoàn Kiếm lake from cafe pho co

a taste of modern french.

La Badiane 10 Nam Ngu street, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam

and a taste of the old world at an eatery patronised by Catherine Deneuve.  the local flour had a particularly coarse and dry texture.  the meringue of a sticky gooey variety.  still, it was nice to savour the treats in a quiet of a idle morning, with just the right amount of sunlight from the street, and in an unadorned space from a different time.

Kinh Do Cafe 252 Hang Bong, Hoàn Kiếm

croissant; tarte au citron

there was the hanoi of old.

temple of literature

one pillar pagoda

the quiet spaces to escape the city.

hanoi botanic gardens

but what i particularly enjoyed was the opportunity to make pictures of what one experiences walking through the city. i hope you’ve enjoyed them too.

here’s to more adventures in the new year.


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