I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t feel Hanoi the first time. It was my last stop on a South-North tour of Vietnam and I didn’t love it the way I loved everywhere else. For me, the chaos of Saigon was missing, the (almost gone) idylic peace of Hoi An Old Town was missing, the beauty of the Mekong Delta was missing, and the morning mist over the highlands of Sa Pa was completely absent. Hanoi just felt like one big tourist trap. Mostly because I didn’t give it time and explore it.
My brother-from-another-mother Andy Faulk (Check out his work. Really. Check it out.) constantly urged me to give it another try every time we spoke of Vietnam. He adored the place and having a chance to go back,I think I’ve started to understand why. The Old Quarter is what it is. The Instagram kids have taken over and it’s in a huge flux. But, the fringes of it and just outside of it, hold so much of the Vietnam I know and love.
These images are all from a two-hour walk through the city with my Fujifilm GFX 50R and 45mm f/2.8. Overkill? To be sure. But, I love that 65:24 goodness and I wanted to show Hanoi in that way. So, here we go. Let’s start with a walk out of the Old Quarter.
Next up, the boarder zone. Crossing the highway gets you to Hanoi’s beautiful mural wall, and on the other side of that lies the beauty of Vietnam. A few quick frames from that area to begin.
After climbing over the mural wall, the other side of life – the regular Ha Noi life – becomes visible. There’s a certain relaxed mood and a focus on jobs that mean more to residents that begins to happen. From a pool hall under the bridge to a wholesale beverage seller, things get a little more local over the wall.
As the light began to fade, I headed back to my hotel room in the Old Quarter to get the day’s work wrapped up and managed to snag a couple of Old Quarter-style shots on the way back. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve enjoyed my evening in Ha Noi.