Sunday, August 31, 2008

Red umbrella

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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lone fisher

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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wine of the month

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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

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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

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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!

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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?

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Can you guess what those are?

(answer in tomorrow's post!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bia Hơi

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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

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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


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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!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inner peace?

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Here we are again, in the Temple of Literature. This courtyard is where the students used to be relaxing after their lessons, a couple of hundred of years ago. I'm not sure they would be able to relax anymore today with the cars and bikes permanently honking their horns just next to it! But at least the view itself is rather soothing. Enjoy the visit!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yellow star

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Grey skies, yellow walls, Vietnamese 'coat of arms'; no doubt, we're in Hanoi! ;)

You may notice the coat of arms is representing a yellow star on a red field, with a reference to the cooperation of agricultural and industrial labor. Similar, yet different, than that of China!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


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One thing you'll notice about Hanoi is that there aren't that many houses that are built in a style we're used to seeing in Europe or in America; I was hence stunned to discover this one last weekend, right in the middle of the old quarter and its 36 streets. I wonder how hot it must be getting in there during this period!

Monday, August 18, 2008


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How much is a Van Gogh, or a Dali worth? Well, you may find some here for a couple of dollars. Of course the quality of the copy will be very inconsistent, but that something you can live with at that price.

The weekend was great and sunny (and humid!), today marks the start of a new week and the come back of the heavy thunderstorms and rain. See you tomorrow, folks!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Street food

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I was strolling down the road the other day when this lady offered to sell some snacks that were unknown to me; I gladly accepted the offer and discovered it was some glutinous buns that were tasting like prawns... Not exactly what I had in mind but hey, at least now I know ;).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Over the top

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Still in the Temple of Literature, a nice, timeless rooftop.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 15, 2008


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As I was exiting the Temple of Literature the other day I gladly realized that there was a fair mix of locals and overseas tourists; it's always so much better this way, just rather than a flow of French visitors invading every attraction!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And thou shalt be remembered

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Do you remember finally getting your degree by reading your name on some paper listing on the university's walls?
Well, that's nothing compared to what the former Emperors used to be doing here. During over 600 years, the name of the graduates have been written in stone (literally) on those steles carried by giant turtles. For those in Hanoi, go have a look at the Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu); it's really worth the visit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


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Ladies and gents, please allow me to introduce you to one of Vietnam's culinary institutions: not Phở 24 which is just a restaurant chain, but rather to the phở itself; if you have come to Vietnam one day in your life you must have tasted this yummy rice-noodle soup dish which variations are almost endless. The most common one will have minced beef in it (but other meats and organs are allowed, too), flat noodles and some seasoning in the form of fresh onions, lime and bean sprouts in a clear broth.
The pronunciation takes a little while to get used to, though - if you want to be understood with an English accent you should say something like 'fuh'!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Standing still

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As I was mentioning in an earlier post, one of the ways people pay respect to the dead is by burning money (fake money that is). You can actually guess that's what's going on here, next to this beautiful tree. And I can tell you that you get quite a sense of peace when you're there...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blown away

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Do you want a balloon? Well, you have plenty of choices here!
I'm not sure why the majority of them are golden pigs with Chinese writing on - maybe some leftovers from last year of the pig - but it's definitely more fun than your average, plain balloons!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


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Burning incense sticks, Buddha image; those are, I think, the only common points between the different kinds of Buddhism across the region. It's interesting to see that the way devotion is shown completely varies from country to country, and hence from one culture to another.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


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Another colorful doorstep (sorry, can't help it! ;)).
I often wondered what were those telephone numbers you can see on the walls everywhere around town; I got my answer pretty recently: it's actually the way the masons advertise here. When I come to think about it, I prefer that to the zillions paper ads we receive in our mailboxes in Europe - it's nice and it saves trees!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lone rider

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In a society where the notion of 'vital space' is close to nil I like to imagine that in stolen moments like this, one cherishes the sense of self. 

Or maybe that's just me thinking too much.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Tre

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Hàng Tre is probably one of the most fascinating streets there is in the Old Quarter; as soon as you step into it, it feels as if you're in a bamboo forest. Definitely worth the visit!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Khoai

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Hàng Khoai, or 'sweet potato street', is home to one of Hanoi's mosques. The poetry of it is that 'mosque' is apparently translated in Vietnamese by 'nhà thờ', which is the same word than... 'church'. One small step for ecumenism, and one giant step to make learning vietnamese easier!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Lược

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Again one of those doorsteps I came to know and like so much; unfortunately my vietnamese is far from allowing me to decipher what's written on the wall in the background. Any clue?

Oh, and I almost forgot: Hàng Lược once was 'combs street'. I desperately looked for one but didn't succeed. Bummer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Chiếu

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When you start feeling lazy on a hot Sunday afternoon, you might want to go to Hàng Chiếu ('mats street') to buy yourself one of those. That's all you need, really!

(okay, that, and a cocktail maybe)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Chai

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Hang Chai, a.k.a. 'bottles street'. No more bottles but still, quite a nice street where you can find flowers.

What do you think tomorrow's street will hold? ;)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

'36 streets week' - Hàng Mã

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One of the ways to pay respects to the departed is to burn offerings; and where to buy that? Well, right here in Hàng Mã ('votive papers' street). You'll find paper notes and many other items for that effect.

I bought a stack of hundred-dollar bills for slightly less than $0.5; the two young ladies were puzzled at first that a foreigner could even be interested in buying those, and then giggled about it. A fun afternoon!

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2008 Theme Day: Metal

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As some of you already know, Hanoi's 'Old Quarter' features many little streets that were once dedicated to one particular activity each; there was for instance 'bamboos street', 'cotton street', etc.
There are supposed to be 36 of them.

Guess what? For this month's theme day, I give you Lò Rèn; a.k.a. 'blacksmiths street'.

(Time has passed and now only a few of those streets have still managed to keep their original focus; I'll keep posting on those this week).

Check out the thumbnails for all City Daily Photo 'Metal' theme day participants.

No less than 183 members are participating this month!

Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Baruch, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brantford (ON), Canada by Nancy, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chesapeake (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Cincinnati, USA by Erik Laursen, City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Folkestone, UK by Piskie, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gabriola, Canada by Snapper, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Kansas City (MO), USA by Cate B, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Leipzig, Germany by weltbeschreiber, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Lynchburg (VA), USA by June, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Menton, France by Jilly, Mesa (AZ), USA by Mesa Daily Photo, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Middletown (MD), USA by Bernie, Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Scott, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Molfetta, Italy by saretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, 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 • Eliane •, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stephanie Craig, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Pretoria, South Africa by Sam-Ruth, Quezon City, Philippines by ann pablo, Quincy (MA), USA by slim, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, 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, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, 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, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,