I love writing longreads, but sometimes there are places, situations or moments where that only great writers can render through words, and I’m not of them. One such place is Hanoi’s Old Quarter. I could ramble about it for pages and pages, or I could simply let the pictures do the talking, and I’m sure of what you’d rather have.
Click on any photo to start the slideshow.
Activity is seemingly endless. There’s always somewhere to go to, something to deliver.
Every street is a shop, every tool – be it bike, shoulder, pavement – a market stall.
The family’s business is also the family’s home, be it lounge, dining table or beauty salon.
Stillness and movement merge.
Everything happens under the watchful yellow star.
The city is clogged with mopeds and cars, but the old ways aren’t quite forgotten.
A Communist country this might be, but incense is still burnt at Hoàn Kiếm Lake.
One to do the washing, two more to check it’s done properly.
Sidewalks have always been restaurants, or so it seems.
Walking by, serenated by a cacophony of horns.
A catch-up on a busy day.
A moment of pause in the day of a door-to-door seller.
Signs of an art deco past are visible here and there.
Bumping into a familiar modern shape in the midst of this timeless Babel deserves a photo.
A bird seller. The only place that could dwarf the sounds of traffic.
Every so often a side street reveals a quiet scenery.
Cooking on the railway tracks is rarely a good idea, unless you are in Hanoi.