The Old Quarter area of Hanoi, Vietnam
As a photographer it’s always inspiring to go to a new place to see how things are done there. Like most big Asian cities, a lot of activity takes place right out on the streets in Hanoi, which makes it an exciting place to visit for just about anyone, especially street and travel photographers. One main distinction of Hanoi compared with a city like Seoul is that (many of) the people on the streets enjoy and embrace having their photograph taken. In fact, there were numerous times when a stranger flagged me down after seeing my camera and struck a quick pose. That would never happen in Seoul or many other cities. It was invigorating to be in that environment for a few days, especially when combined with all of the delicious food (you have to try Bun Cha), strong coffee (coconut milk coffee is highly recommended), and striking Old Quarter architecture that Hanoi has to offer.
Here is a selection of images that I captured in my three days in Vietnam’s capital city:
One aspect of Hanoi life that can be a bit overwhelming at first is the sheer volume of scooter/motorbike action. I’d never seen anything like it, and it’s still ringing in my ears. It’s advisable to bring a face mask, and to look both ways 5 times before crossing the street and have eyes in the back and sides of your head whilst walking around because they’ll be coming from any and all directions.
One important lesson that I’ve learned in my travels around the world is that if you’re wanting a bit of peace even in the biggest and most crowded of cities: Look for the folks wearing the traditional hats, for they know where it’s at.
Like most big cities around the world that have above average air pollution, Hanoi is not really known for its beautiful sunrises. But I was fortunate to see one on my last day in town. Good Morning Vietnam!!!
I had an absolute blast exploring this lively, historic city and look forward to going back to Vietnam as soon as possible. Thanks for viewing all, and I’ll be back in a few days with some pictures from my trip up north to Ha Giang, Vietnam.