Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The train (2)

HDP  129

[somewhere between Hanoi and Ninh Binh]

Monday, December 29, 2008

The train (1)

HDP  128

Back from holidays!
My family and I took the train to go down to the Central provinces, and we naturally made a few stops along the way. We used buses, minivans, taxi, motorbikes, and a flight.. And of course the Reunification train, that runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Here's a scene from this train, and I'll probably post a few more this week!

Friday, December 19, 2008


HDP  127

My family is arriving tomorrow in Hanoi and we'll be traveling around on our motorbikes; so enjoy this photo while I'm away, and I'll be back with many more!
In advance, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cute thing

HDP  126

Okay, this isn't technically Hanoi, but it's not that far - in the North. I took this during my one-week motorbike trip, during which I saw some fantastic sights. Thankfully there weren't that many cars on the road, so those buffalos were safe!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle bells

HDP  125

Found this engraved bell in the Bút Tháp pagoda; my poor vietnamese skills only allow me to decipher 'Chùa Bút Tháp' (Bút Tháp pagoda), 'thành phố Hạ Long' (Halong city) and 'Tỉnh Quảng Ninh' (Quảng Ninh province). Yeah I know, I really oughta take some more lessons! Someone help me?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a house!

HDP  124

In case you're wondering, this was taken right in the heart of Hanoi! To be more exact, right inside the excellent Museum of Ethnology of Vietnam (Bảo tàng Dân tộc học Việt Nam) which showcases the numerous ethnic minorities that coexist in the country. Outside the museum, you can find samples of traditional houses, most of them being 'community houses' - which explains the surreal height for instance!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pagoda season

HDP  123

[inside Bút Tháp pagoda]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little Buddha

HDP  122

I found this interesting statuette in the Bút Tháp pagoda premises (this site is approximately 60 km away from Hanoi centre - translate into a 2h30 motorbike ride); the pagoda, which dates back to the 13th century, is really worth the visit!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


HDP  121

[on Hồ Tây]

Friday, December 12, 2008

On a break

HDP  120

[nearby a tourist gift shop in the center]

Thursday, December 11, 2008


HDP  119

[next to the Temple of Literature]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tran Quoc Pagoda

HDP  118

Tran Quoc Pagoda is located between Truc Bach lake (where I live) and Ho Tay (West Lake). The legend says it's been built during the 6th century A.D. on the banks of the river, and then relocated to its current site. Sure looks like it's been well renovated ;).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


HDP  117

Time to graduate for these young ladies, in a beautiful environment (the Temple of Literature, no less!).

Thursday, November 13, 2008


HDP  116

The traffic junctions are usually quite a mess here (an organized one, that is). Some other times however, you have the occasional traffic lights - as it is the case down my office!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Little house in the wall

HDP  115

There are plenty of houses being torn down and rebuilt in my neighborhood; this one has left some traces on this big white wall, and I'm not quite sure when a new one will be erected. Kinda cute, isn't it?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


HDP  114

Thankfully the downpour didn't last for forty days and forty nights!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


HDP  113

Rain started pouring on Hanoi about 36 hours ago and practically didn't stop ever since, leaving some streets under over 3 feets of water. Going to the office - and getting back from there - has revealed itself rather epic; today however I'm staying at home. Why? Well, Have a look at my doorstep... Not really feeling like paddling in there!

Friday, October 31, 2008


HDP  112

Sometimes private companies contribute to the local art scene here, too. You don't see it too often yet, but I think that's actually an interesting way to do indirect marketing! In case you were wondering, this was taken in the Temple of Literature.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old in new

HDP  111

[a dish-ware shop in the old quarter]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


HDP  110

There aren't many tall buildings in Hanoi, and this is kind of is the beauty of it all.
Here's one of the very few you will be able to see down here; nothing spectacular about it, except its uniqueness!

Monday, October 27, 2008


HDP  109

And I'm back!
In just a month, after two wonderful weeks in France and two other weeks in Vietnam, the summer has gone and has given its way to the autumn. We're not cold, for sure (the average temperatures are still well above 25C) but at least we enjoy some breeze.

Well well, I'm happy to being back to posting on a daily basis - your comments and suggestions are as always super welcome!

Friday, September 19, 2008


HDP  108

This is something you'll see quite a lot in Hanoi: a bicycle heavily loaded with coal cylinders. They're used by the street restaurant and you'll notice them on the road at the end of the day, when they will have been consumed.

Okay, I'm off to France tonight for two weeks and I'll be happy to post more pictures when I'm back in Vietnam! Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hot club

HDP  107

Bumped into this club when I was walking around - made me smile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


HDP  106

[one of the victory monuments around town]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wedding prep

HDP  105

When I say everything here happens in the street, it really is the case. Proof to the point: this wedding car being covered with flowers and ribbons. There are some common points between East and West, aren't there?

Monday, September 15, 2008


HDP  104

Remember the tube-house? Here's the front door!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


HDP  103

As promised the other day, here's a close-up of a Mid-Autumn cake (a.k.a. bánh trung thu); these are been sold all over the place until today!
Incredibly rich, they can be made of lotus seeds, black sesame, durian, and many other things. This one contains green sticky rice and a yolk from a salted duck egg. Very yummy but having more than one wedge is proving itself extremely challenging!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Eclipse... not

HDP  102

Hanoi's skies are very peculiar, especially at this time of the year; often grey, it takes some time to get used to. But I think this one is pretty cool! Have a good weekend, everyone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Green overflow

HDP  101

I often walk around looking above my head to catch unusual stuff... Couldn't help but notice this elaborate plant overflowing the balcony; someone must have a green hand - at least greener than mine, as all plants that are on my balcony are dying on me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


HDP  100

Today sees this blog's hundredth post! The past week has been keeping me uber-busy with work and I didn't have as much time as I wanted to wander around and take photos. So here's another sight from my neighborhood, which I'm still crazy about!

Stick around... More Hanoian pics to come!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


HDP  099

[behind Dong Xuan market]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


HDP  098

Here's a shop where you can buy ornaments to be displayed on the small 'houses' for the departed.. Always reminds me of Thailand, where such a tradition is also still very vivid.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Blood orange

HDP  097

Funky color for a house. Would you dare?

Sunday, September 7, 2008


HDP  096

Time for a casual chit-chat in front of the temple... Nothing beats that.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bún chả

HDP  095

Rice noodles, pork meat and some broth; simple yet delicious! 

Friday, September 5, 2008


HDP  094

Vespa shops are blossoming in every part of the city, offering the cute, colorful scooters to those interested - well, for a nifty price tag. I'm dying to get one!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bánh trung thu

HDP  093

Like in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and a couple of other asian countries, now is the time for the Mid-autumn Festival preparation; the associated legends that go around it vary from place to place, and Vietnam's version is about Thằng Cuội, where the banyan trees were sacred, people were forbidden to urinate at the foot of the tree.

The official date for the festival falls September 14th this year; but the delicious mooncakes - a.k.a. bánh trung thu - that are used for the occasion are already for sale! Hold your breath, I'll be posting a picture of one of those cakes sometime before that!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


HDP  092

Many taxi drivers around here have pineapples in their cars. Yes, pineapples. How random is that?

Some say it's a good odor-absorber, but really, I don't know. What's your theory?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Day

HDP  091

63 years ago, Hồ Chí Minh was declaring the independence of Vietnam and the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

I really wanted to join the celebrations but got stuck at work until 11.30pm and was only able to take a photo behind an empty stage.. I hope I'll be able to catch it next year!

Happy National Day to all the Vietnamese out there.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Theme Day: Sister Cities

HDP  090
[Zhang Xiaogang - photo by Natalie Behring]

Beijing is one of Hanoi's sisters cities, and there truly is no doubt about that. Regardless of the cultural differences felt by Chinese and Vietnamese people, I can't help but think there is an interesting similarity between those two powers: Shanghai and Saigon are their economic centers, defying their old communist doctrines; while Beijing and Hanoi keep a somewhat more nonchalant pace, maintaining themselves at the political and cultural forefront.

This photo by Natalie Behring (a Beijing-based photographer) features one of the capital's prominent artists - Zhang Xiaogang. Mr. Zhang is well-known for his paintings, some of which show stiff, monochromatic portraits of Chinese families, reminiscent of the official photographs from the 1950s.

I really, really like Natalie's photos; go check them out on her website.

148 City Daily Photo blogs are participating in this theme ; click here to view thumbnails for all participants or visit each of the following blogs separately:

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Aurora, South Africa by shelagh, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Busan, Korea South by iamnbinb, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by trieulet, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Shantaram, Chennai, India by Ram N, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Darmstadt, Germany by Elsch, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Gothenburg, Sweden by Lo/David, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Helsinki, Finland by PPusa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Honningsvag, Norway by J., Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Istanbul, Turkey by mustafa34, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Karwar, India by Yogesh, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Madrid, Spain by Tr3nta, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Anthony, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Muizenberg, South Africa by Pentaxjunkie, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Nice, France by Angelaj, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Paris, France by Elsa, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pensacola (FL), USA by P J, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Andrew Foderaro, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by Burd Zel Krai, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Telluride (CO), USA by mtsrool, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torino, Italy by Fabrizio, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Turin, Italy by Livio, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Villigen, Switzerland by z, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Red umbrella

HDP  089

Same area than yesterday's photo - but no black and white. Or so it seems!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lone fisher

HDP  088

Heavy skies... Time to go fishing on the West Lake.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wine of the month

HDP  087

This wine shop just closed.. Thanks god for all the other ones that still are there!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick fix

HDP  086

Here's what happens when you have a flat tire in the middle of the city: you just fix it at the next junction!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spell checker

HDP  085

Do you remember the other day when I told you about the copies of well-known pieces of art?

I might have forgotten to mention that sometimes, they can be a little bit different from the original... Especially when the original has some English sentences written on it! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Magic indeed!

HDP  084

No snakes, no funky insects in there; nope, those are rum infusions as you can read above. You can find them at a bar I'm starting to like - Roots! The banana works like magic, and I can't wait to try the passionfruit one. It's supposed to be ready this weekend!

Happy cocktail hour everyone!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Magic potions?

HDP  083

Can you guess what those are?

(answer in tomorrow's post!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bia Hơi

HDP  082

Bia Hơi is another vietnamese institution, consisting in drinking locally-brewed beer in a loud and bustling atmosphere; it can be quite fun when you know what food to order along (everything is in Vietnamese - at least to the one I went to) and it's always very cheap: less than 30 cents a glass!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flying high

HDP  081

Found this flag in a couple of temples around town and I am still wondering what it's about. Your theories?

Friday, August 22, 2008


HDP  080

Because the weekend is almost there, here's a photo that just feels to me like we are already there.
You won't see so many sidewalks such as the one above in Hanoi; most of them are much narrower and most often serve as motorbike parking lots.

Have a good one, everyone!