Random Photographs

It’s been a while since I posted some of the photos I’ve been taking as I wander around Hanoi. So here’s a selection of some of the places I’ve been in the past week.

First up: a Banyan tree in the midst of a small parking lot. I’ve read that a single banyan tree can cover acres of land. They produce aerial roots that then grow down into the soil. Apparently sometimes people set up homes and shops inside these root systems.

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree

The view from one of the Hapro Cafés. This was the only time I’ve sat in their roof terrace; generally I prefer the ground floor with its aircon. Good coffee, tasty sandwiches and a huge selection of ice cream treats for those escaping the heat. Here I’m looking across Hoan Kiem Lake towards the NorthEast. One of the nice things about being up there is you’re amongst the foliage and the birds.

View from Hapro Cafe rooftop terrace

View from Hapro Cafe rooftop terrace

I’ve passed this seafood restaurant several times and have looked at the soon-to-be-meals swimming about. Catfish, lobsters, prawns and various unidentified sea critters. This is only a portion of the tanks in the front windows. I wonder if you can actually choose a specific fish for your dinner? One of these days I may venture in.

Front of fish restaurant

Front of seafood restaurant

The rain can really come down in Hanoi. This is the view from my hotel balcony one morning, looking down at people from the hotel opposite leaving for a tour. The hotel has supplied them with typical flimsy ponchos and local headgear. Personally I was quite happy to stay in and watch it pour down. Thunderstorms occur with some frequency; flashes light up the sky, thunder echoes in the streets and winds drive the rain. Yesterday typhoon Ketsana hit the central Vietnam coast causing deaths and devastation. Here in Hanoi it’s drizzling a bit and thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next few days. Not a good time to be a tourist on the coast. Or to be trying to travel south as the planes and trains have been cancelled.

A Rainy Morning

A Rainy Morning

Speaking of trains… a shot of the train tracks bisecting a neighborhood. I walked along these tracks, using the concrete blocks on the left. Scooters also use this route, along with people washing their dishes and hair in small plastic basins. Life is lived on the streets here. People wash, cook, eat, drink beer and watch the passing parade of humanity (and the trains!) out front of their homes.

Hanoi train tracks

Hanoi train tracks

I’m keeping an eye out for graffiti in my wanderings. Here’s a bit of writing on a construction hoarding with a passing street vendor.

Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall

and a wall beside a school…. Interesting how some graffiti symbols are found around the world. The crown started appearing in NYC graffiti of the 70s. I think it might have started with Samo© but I’m not positive.

Hanoi Graffiti

Hanoi Graffiti

I like this display of feather dusters on a construction hoarding. They look sculptural. Serial.

Dusters on a Hoarding

Dusters on a Hoarding

And finally a photo of a typical Hanoian street scene: cooking on the sidewalk. The charcoal fire smoking and the family gathered around for the cookout.

Street Cooking

Street Cooking

Coming up next (soon, very soon): some of my favorite restaurants and my teaching jobs….

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