Around Hanoi streets, Vietnam

This post is also available in: French

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It has just celebrated its thousand-year history. The city has this special charm with its numerous lakes, its architecture modeled by the French (who took control in 1888) and its many interesting cultural and historic monuments.

Like many visitors,my hotel was located in the Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem lake. This area has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. It is definitely my favorite neighborhood, despite the agitation, the trafic and the noise. Each street  has merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewellery, sculptors, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce.

There are several other must see places in Hanoi, such as the One Pillar Pagoda, for example, and the  Temple of Literature, site of the oldest university in Vietnam. I enjoyed meetings the calligraphers working alongside the wall of the temple. They write with a brush the old sayings in Chinese characters on demand for their clients.

Hanoi has many scenic lakes and it is sometimes called the “city of lakes”. The most famous of these lakes is Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake. It is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. Next to it, the water puppet show is worth a visit. The kid in me really enjoyed this show.

Tankwas on Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Nice Carnival 2012