Postcards From Hanoi

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Ba Dinh Square (Quảng Trường Ba Đình), birthplace of modern , and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Lăng Chủ Tịch Hồ Chí Minh).

Gathered here are around forty of my better photographs from a five day stay in , , in November 2016. All of these images were captured while idly wandering around the famous Old Quarter and its environs. I was not particularly adventurous on this trip but I still managed to find plenty to feast my eyes upon—and the food and coffee certainly lived up to expectations! I also found it interesting to apply some of my growing knowledge of East Asian culture gleaned from these years of living in . Each photo is annotated with onward links to more information should anything pique your interest.

Dinh Dong Thanh 亭東城

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Inside the courtyard at Dinh Dong Thanh. The tree is old but the temple itself is only a few years old.

One of the more interesting temples I stepped inside on a recent visit to the Old Quarter of is the recently renovated Đình Đông Thành 亭東城 (loosely: “East City Pavilion”). Having explored many over the years I was familiar with some of what I found there—but much of it was completely foreign to me. Looking up information after the fact hasn’t been educational; there are no English language resources about this temple and I haven’t got the same knack for finding information in Vietnamese as I have with Chinese language resources about . So, if you’ll pardon my lack of local expertise, I’m going to share a few photos from this obscure temple and attempt to puzzle through some of what caught my eye.

White Riot

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Mannequins facing off in a storefront near the railway line in Hanoi.

Today I wandered by a row of shops selling supplies for clothing retailers not far from the central railway station in . Most of those shops were filled with people—a remarkable feat given how similarly cramped they all were—but I managed to quickly snap this photo after finding an unattended stall. Only later on, while post-processing the image, did I reconsider it in light of recent events on the global stage. Unnerving, isn’t it? I realize this is probably reading far too much into the accidental placement of a bunch of mannequins but it certainly seems to capture something of the tension and anxiety that has gripped the planet this week.