«  Am ajuns si eu in Vietnam, direct la Hanoi ...


Hanoi was our starting point on this trip. The weather was surprisingly decent, so the first day – which was free – we walked like crazy, at least 6 hours. We could absorb the atmosphere at leisure: the crowded streets, the flood of mopeds, everybody living in public on the sidewalks. We even got to the Government district, to admire the red flags and the queue at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.

The second day, we already had a program with our tourist group: we visited the city, this time by bus, and also saw a performance of the Water Puppets, which is a Vietnamese specialty (did not take any pictures at the show).


A procession of taxi-bikes.

Local color

The streets are crowded, the motorbikes spill over, and, over everything, birdsong. People bring the cages to work, so the birds will have each other's company. (actually they will keep singing to proclaim to the neighbor "this is my territory, get out !! )



This was just the old house of a prosperous family on a very busy lane, that is now used as a museum and antique shop. Calm, uncrowded, there was even a lady playing guzheng. We stopped there for a few minutes, then returned to the tumult of real life outside.



Seen from the hotel


From our room on the 8th floor.

From the restaurant on the 11th floor.

People were doing Tai Chi with big red fans, in the park in front of our hotel.


By the lake


The bridge and the ruined tower are emblems of central old Hanoi. The big buildings are elsewhere, but the population is attracted, as always was, to the old quarter around the lake.

Blossoms and emperor-sage


Uncle Ho at home


A totally empty street, wide Parisian boulevard style. I could not believe my eyes – the crowded lanes are just around the corner – so I had to take the picture. This is the old (and current) official quarter: ministries, embassies, the president's palace and probably lots of security. Only silly tourists would walk there.

Near Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.

The Single Pillar Pagoda, very emblematic of Hanoi.

The Mausoleum, with the big parade place in front of it. The Presidential palace, Pillar Pagoda, and the rock fountain are all in the neighborhood.

As we were resting by the fountain, some schoolchildren came to take pictures with us. They were probably on a trip to the Capital from some remote province, and were still excited to see real westerners, as large as life and twice as natural.


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