There were many things I expected to see in Hanoi, but Christmas decorations weren’t up there on the top of my list. Let alone an entire street dedicated to Christmas decorations in The Old Quarter. And I only found this gem of a street because I was after silk lanterns to bring home.
And so this is Christmas…..
My hotel lobby
Frosty and friends
I hear those sleigh bells jingling
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Walking in a Christmas Wonderland
When Buddhism meets Christmas
Lanterns in Christmas decoration Street
Hoan Kiem Lake
It’s cool and misty here in Sydney this morning, much like my first morning in Hanoi, Vietnam.
outside the Temple of Literature (1076)
Hanoi is an incredibly bustling, in your face kind of city. The apartment buildings are narrow and tall, not so much neighbouring one another, almost on top of each other. Daily life is accompanied by the constant tooting of motorbike and taxi horns. Road rules are followed with a level of flexibility that you don’t see in regulated, orderly Sydney and yet it all works. You step off the pavement and move into the flow as bikes, taxis and cars move around you, occasionally you feel the breath of a passing motorbike as whizzes it passes you. Closely.
You're never too old...
... For some pom-pom dancing ...
... by the Lake
But the early mornings are far quieter. For a visitor, walking around Hanoi in the early morning (I left my hotel at about 6ish), it gives you the chance to see the residents of Hanoi moving at a different pace. Breakfasts are cooked on the pavements, food is bought from the back of bicycles and plastic tubs in the gutter, stalls are set up and exercise is taken around the Hoan Kiem Lake.
An early morning chat
The morning after bench
These were my favourite times in Hanoi. A time when I felt that I was witnessing Vietnamese life as it is lived, not just experienced as a tourist destination.
Fan dancing Hanoi style
The Latin class
Ballroom by the lake
Back towards the Old Quarter
Back from the flower market
Making the morning teaThe Old Quarter
Breakfast in The Old Quarter
Early Morning TV
Cleaning out the chooks
The Old Quarter