Hanoi, Old Quarter

At 4 AM, the bus dumps all the sleepy passengers at the My-Dinh bus terminal, and No 34 city bus takes me to Hanoi’s old quarter.


Hanoians love beer especially “Bia -Hoi”, a fresh draught beer that is sold at the street corner, making drinkers sit on a plastic squat stool. It is highly affordable for 5,000 dong a glass(25 US cents) and tastes awesome. Rumor has it that a Czech home brewer handed down the skill of this beer making to a local, very plausible story as Vietnam is tied up with Czech republic so close in the same Communist league.


I have never seen any other country that has more bikes on the street than Vietnam.


Typical Vietnamese house, narrow to the side but deep to the back.


The conical bamboo hat is widely worn by the working class locals.


A railway line that goes in between the houses, became a photographer’s shooting ground.


The Army museum’s flag tower.


This statue tells us how Northern Vietnamese army accomplished the victory over South. Anyone can be a fighter.


Any museum in Vietnam houses a cafe called Highland in the museum ground, famous for unsatisfying  coffee and flavour-less Baguette Ban-Mi. Just good for a pit stop after a hard walk under the hot weather.


The cafe looks pretty and promising but I would not have a meal here again.


The colonial tree-lined Boulevard makes Vietnamese road look really charming and clean, but when you in there, choking, with fumes from the cars.


Food vendors in the street hardly use the Gas cooker, but the charcoal stays the main form of the fuel.


Old quarter’s high light goes to “Temple of Literature” dedicated to the Confucianism teachers and gurus. Neatly calming place where you can sit and fill in your diary or write a letter to a lover.


Ao-Dai dressed lady with a conical hat entering the temple. Truly scene of Vietnam.



Tourists love this place, kids or grown-ups alike.


Big drum tower. I reckon this would have been an alarm clock calling for a meeting.


Bell tower.



This man demonstrates the Chinese calligraphy to the public.


Now “Bun Cha” Hanoi’s iconic food that attracts people on the street. It is a charcoal cooked pork or minced pork ball come in turnip soup, accompanied by the Vietnamese mint, lettuce, morning glory, hot rat-shit chilly and a white noodle.


The spring roll is not in part of “Bun-Cha” but it will be an extra order.


This is how I like my Bun-Cha. Extremely hot sensation for a couple of seconds, then yummy combination of herbs, meat and noodle. Bomb of happiness.


When you slide into where locals sit, it costs only 25,000 dong(1.30 US$) for a Bun-Cha and 10,000 dong ( 50 US cents) for a set of Nem(spring roll).


Well, There are some more things to be enjoyed in old quarters. See you in the next episode.


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