What I remember most about Hanoi was the green. It’s a busy city, but not busy like Saigon. Even in the most dense neighborhoods, there was always a park or a tree-lined boulevard. This city is full of interesting sights, sounds, and smells like the rest of the country, but Hanoi is somehow more personal, a half-step slower. More intentional, maybe.
Another theme was food. Of course everyone needs to eat, but here, food is such an integral part of daily life. It is prepared and enjoyed everywhere, unlike in other places where it is restricted to only restaurants and homes (though great and interesting restaurants abound here too)
I found myself catching glimpses of people that seemed familiar. Conversations that might have been between me and my friends or family.
I remember moments of personal connection, not quite intimacy. A hand on a shoulder, a half-second meeting of the eyes that made me feel I was somehow part of a family gathering of six million.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is divided up into sections that specialize in different trades or merchandise. Here we see the ancient craft of scooter repair. (seriously, there were probably a hundred shops repairing scooters on this street)
Here is a gallery of the full-sized photos