Just arrived in Hanoi, and wanted to reflect a bit on why I love Hanoi– and my experiences here.
Day 1 Hanoi: Picked up from Airport (Grab/Uber Taxi) and Heading into the City
Hanoi Haon Kiem Lake at Sunset Video Street Photography RICOH GR II 1080p
8 months in Hanoi
In around 2016-2017, Cindy and I lived in Hanoi for about 8 months (another 3 months later in Saigon).
Essentially the reason was this:
Cindy went to the archives in Hanoi, in order to do research for her Ph.D. dissertation on the Vietnamese-French Colonial Library (see her academic website at cindyanguyen.com)
Now in Color
What’s changed and what has stayed the same?
When I first was in Hanoi, these are the things I loved:
- Time with my friends Chu Viet Ha and Thu.
- Namaste Hanoi (favorite Indian restaurant in the world), Vui Studio (favorite coffee shop in the world), and the romantic walks around Hoan Kiem Lake with Cindy.
- The time to disconnect from American politics/’fake news’/silliness– and focus on my creative thoughts (much of my ‘Soul Photography‘ notions came from when I was in Hanoi, with uninterrupted time– and spending more time disconnected from the internet).
- The opportunity to learn Vietnamese (mostly self-taught, through conversations with taxi cab drivers and our Vietnamese friends– with the assistance of Cindy), while also learning about the cultural differences between the North and South Vietnamese cultures.
- Cindy and I moved here immediately after getting married in 2016, so it was a truly interesting experience– the start of our nomadic living (for the last 3 years or so).
And this is the interesting thing–
For the most part, Hanoi has stayed the same (roughly)– but I have changed so much.
I used to romanticize about my past time in Hanoi/Vietnam– but I’ve realized, I’ve grown and developed. It isn’t a useful use of my time to romanticize the past; more important for me to keep moving forward.
Come to Hanoi!
If you’ve never been; highly highly recommend Hanoi. A lot of people love it for the French-Colonial charm, as well as the more scenic views (Hoan Kiem Lake, etc).
I also love Saigon to death. In terms of culture, I think that Saigon still has the edge over Hanoi (Saigon as being the more international-big city). But frankly speaking; both are great.
Will share more turbo thoughts — soon to come :)