Vietnam Gallery ~ Hanoi 2
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Running light
December 01 2001

A traditional running light on the Hanoi - Saigon express. We would take the train as far as Hue, 688km away.

 

 

 

Sidewalk cafe
November 21 2001

As in China the sidewalks are perfect places to set up temporary kitchens, parks motorcycles, dump garbage and tend to bodily functions. Vietnam was under the control of the Chinese for over 1000 years, so you can't really blame them for picking up some of their habits. Gratefully, spitting and chain smoking seem to be 20th century phenomena that the Vietnamese do not share the Chinese affection for.

 

Temple sketching
November 27 2001

An art student sketches one of the features of this ancient temple dedicated to Confucious. Finished in 1076, the Temple of Literature was Vietnam's first university and was responsible for teaching men of high birth Confucian philosophy in preparation for positions in the government.

 

 

Tortoise tower
November 30 2001

After one thousand years of subjugation to the Chinese, heaven gave Emperor Le Loi a magical sword to drive them out and free the Vietnamese people. Some time later, while enjoying independence by boating on the lake, a huge tortoise emerged from the water, grabbed the heavenly sword and disappeared. To this day the lake is known as Ho Hoan Kiem, or 'Lake of the Restored Sword'. This little tower is built on a tiny island in the lake to honor the tortoise who returned the sword to the gods.

 

Fycus
November 27 2001

Now why can't my little Ficus at home grow as well as this one at The Temple of Literature? How do you spell Fiycus anyway?

 

 

 

Headstones and Heartbreakers
November 21 2001

Hanoi's atmospheric old quarter is referred to as the 36 streets because over 700 years ago the 36 guilds established themselves here on separate streets. To this day there are entire streets devoted to one type of product, like the gravestones seen here . New products have arrived on the 'old 36', like sunglasses and CDs, while many of the original guilds are no longer around. After all, the clam worm market just isn't what it used to be. It should be noted that the carvers skill can be turned towards living subjects too - note the two hunky fellas immortalized top centre.

 

Watching them watch life go by
November 20 2001

Even after the pace of Hong Kong, we were unprepared for the cacophony that greeted us in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Cars are financially out of reach for the majority of Vietnamese but for less than USD2000 one can pick up a Honda Dream (literally and figuratively) - hundreds of thousands have done so. The narrow streets of the old part of this city brim with buzzing honking engines following the only rule of the Vietnam road, little ones yield to bigger ones.

 

West lake idyll
November 26 2001

West Lake, a favorite amongst the residents of Hanoi, has a number of fanciful stories surrounding it's creation - one calling it a giant cow's hoof print. Whatever the truth is, Ho Tay makes for a good place to relax and watch the sun go down.

 

 

Winking Buddha
November 20 2001

I was taking a photo of all the photos. Maybe the Buddha was wincing, not winking, at the painful pun.

 

 

 

Wreckage
November 21 2001

"Vietnam, a country made famous by war. . ." The first line of the introduction in Lonely Planet's Vietnam guidebook. There are monuments to this source of fame all over Vietnam, like this gathered wreckage of French and American planes shot down during the 'wars of colonial aggression.'



   

 

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