Today thousands in Hanoi lined up to witness General Giap’s funeral procession. It was a humbling experience. It’s truly amazing how much he means to the Vietnamese people.
I would love to claim these pics as my own, but they’re my girlfriend, Hoang Anh’s. She just finished a trip around Ha Giang, my absolute favorite part of Vietnam. I was going to put up some recent shots I took from around Hanoi, but now I’m feeling a little intimidated.
Singapore is an amazing place and I was excited to return for a quick trip. This time I wasn’t alone, with my dad and girlfriend joining me. We had a great time visiting the zoo, aquarium, museums and the crazy malls, but I should’ve done much better with the photos. Oh well, there’s always next time.
The part of Dong Da we explored is all about heavy metal and hard work. Despite the soul-crushing heat that day, most people we met there were very welcoming and were in great spirits. Here is what I saw…
Well my Flavors of Hanoi project has fallen victim to my changing work schedule. I should be able to get back on track this week now that things have started to settle down. In the mean time I was able to get a few shots from my neighborhood in Ba Dinh this morning.
My Dinh is all about contrasts. Beneath shiny new towers, five-star hotels and affluent neighborhoods remain shanty towns and slums. My Dinh also represents Hanoi’s grand ambitions for the future and the difficult reality of achieving them. There are whole communities of luxurious villas erected in a time of great optimism, that were soon abandoned in the face of a stagnating real estate market.
Some of these semi-finished villas have found a second life as cafes, bun cha restaurants and motorbike garages. It’s this kind of ingenuity and adaptability that will ultimately bring Vietnam the success it deserves.
This is the first installment of a weekly exploration of Hanoi’s many districts. According to my friends at wikipedia, Hanoi has eight urban districts and ten rural districts. I’ll cover the urban ones first and if I still have momentum I might try to cover the rural ones too.
For our first mission, my friend Dave and I walked across the historic Long Bien Bridge into the district of the same name. It’s very close to city center, but feels like it’s many miles away. It’s much quieter and things tend to move at a slower pace here. I can see why it’s becoming more popular with ex-pats.
Anyway here’s what I saw…