Gathered here are around forty of my better photographs from a five day stay in Hanoi, Vietnam, 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 Taiwan 台灣. Each photo is annotated with onward links to more information should anything pique your interest.
One of the more interesting temples I stepped inside on a recent visit to the Old Quarter of Hanoi is the recently renovated Đình Đông Thành 亭東城 (loosely: “East City Pavilion”). Having explored many temples in Taiwan 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 Taiwan 台灣. 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.
Today I wandered by a row of shops selling supplies for clothing retailers not far from the central railway station in Hanoi. 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.