Monday, January 5, 2009

Đàn bầu

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While we're talking about traditional folklore, did you know that one of the most popular musical instruments is the monochord - or, in Vietnamese, 'đàn bầu'? Although very simple in its design, the sounds it can produce covers an astonishing range. You can listen to it - and even learn how to play it! - over there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Low rise

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For those who weren't convinced yet that Hanoi isn't much of a skyscraper capital, well... This photo was taken right in the heart of the city, on a terrace overlooking Hoàn Kiếm lake. You can even see (even though it appears super tiny on the picture) the Tortoise tower I featured a while ago.
High-rise buildings are being build all around of course nowadays, so enjoy the view while it lasts!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Puppet show

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Can you guess what this is? Theatre?
Nope, it actually is the 'stage' of the famous Water Pupper show, located at one of the corners of Hoan Kiem lake; a traditional music band plays while animated puppets are evolving on the water in front of this house (which hides the puppet masters). The show is split into a bit less than 20 short scenes which mostly relate to Vietnamese folklore... Very fun to see!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fine lacquer

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Most tourists who visit Hanoi bring some lacquerware back home, and for a good reason: the one produced here is of excellent quality and has evolved from traditional motifs to more vibrant colors and modern shapes. Here's a piece I like from my favourite lacquer shop, which is tiny (probably no more than two meters in width!) but has got a lot to offer. Go visit them if you can, they're called the 'Vietnamese Craft Guild' and they're located on To Tich street. Enjoy, and happy new year 2009!