Favorite thing A friend just recently returned from Hanoi. Couldn't get a hotel within 10 miles of Old Quarters because of the APEC convention. He said air quality and traffic were horrible. Had to start wearing one of those face mask. Once he left the city on the back of a moped, he was in Vietnam heaven.
Favorite thing Despite the intrusion of tourists into their neighbourhood, life seems to go on for the people of Old Hanoi. In the narrow, busy streets, locals bustle about. It all adds to the colour and gives the place a genuine quality that many "old quarters" around the world (I'm thinking primarily of Europe here), have lost. Hanoi's Old Quarter is no gentrified upper class dormitory. This place is a pulsing, seething warren of life!
Fondest memory Enjoy immersing yourself in other peoples' world for a while.
Favorite thing The small lady in the yellow/green top in the centre of the picture obviously supplemented her income by renting out the space in front of her shop as a parking lot for mopeds.
People would bring up their bikes and she would haul them around finding space to fit them in and them get paid when they returned. In the old quarter parking space is at a premium as there are so many bikes around and the streets are so narrow.
Her shop also sold petrol, bike bits and acted as a bicycle repair shop. Pretty good for somthing only a couple of metres wide.
Sorry about my finger being across the bottom half of the picture - ooops.
Favorite thing It takes some skill in getting in and out in order not to make life difficult for the cycler. It was a lot of fun except in the Hanoi traffic circles which were scary places !!
Favorite thing Martyrs' Monument is dedicated to all the soldiers who gave their lives fighting for independence. It's located at the northeast corner of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Favorite thing I read an article almost 2 years ago about cafe culture in Hanoi. It's the first time I ever thought of visiting an asian country, and now I live here.
Favorite thing As you walk down Herb Street (Lan Ong Street) in the Old Quarter, inhale deeply to appreciate the aroma of the herbs and spices on sale along the street side.
Favorite thing You say:
Please enter the single most important activity or site you would take someone, if they had never been to Hanoi before.
Taking that someone to have a haircut....outdoors.
Favorite thing Everyone talks about the old quarter downtown, but this house was in "my" neighborhood behind the Sofitel Plaza:)