Something else I made a point to do was to take photos of what had fascinated me from day one of my time in the country: the motorcycle and scooter laden streets, the sidewalks that are invariably filled with wares spilling out of shops located in narrow buildings, people seated on small stools minding their wares but also just watching life go by, and the interplay among them all.
A note on the traffic: it's not just foreigners who can find it intimidating. On morning while my mother and I were waiting to cross a street, an elderly Vietnamese woman appeared from seemingly out of nowhere, grabbed my mother's hand and made clear that she wanted my mother to lead her across the street! After that, I started noticing anxious-looking elderly women standing on the side of streets and made a point to guide them across the street -- and was always rewarded with flashing grateful smiles afterwards! :D
A section of the cavernous Dong Xuan market where
one can find foodstuffs, shoes... and plushies galore!
Motorcycles and scooters rule on Hanoi's streets
Believe it or not, this snap wasn't taken on a
particularly busy or chaotic time of the day!
The Old Quarter's photogenic buildings fascinated me
almost as much as its street traffic ;)
I was told that the narrowness of the buildings
Hanoi's oldest temple, the Bach Ma Temple is modest in size
and doesn't look that old but has its origins in the 11th century
The Vietnamese bach ma sounds like the Cantonese pak ma --
meaning white horse -- and sure enough, the temple honors a
white horse thought to be the incarnation of a local river god!
The Old Quarter is crowded but it's actually not
difficult to find a place to sit and chill for a bit :)