Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vietnam, Hanoi: Street Scenes

Wet Market
My first morning in Hanoi found me in the wet market local to Hanoi Cooking Centre by about 9:15. There are more than a dozen such markets dotted around the city, but it was explained that the government is gradually closing them down and replacing them with modern supermarkets which have office space overhead.

Quite typical of such markets throughout Asia, there are fresh vegetables. The second pic is bamboo shoots; the third is a makeshift roof sagging under a bit of rain:

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Everyone needs fresh meat, and according to Tracy our guide, it comes in at about five AM every morning and is gone by ten or so.

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Yes, she's skinning a frog:

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Pig brains, and pig stomach:

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The pho noodles sold here come in particularly fresh (and warm) from a nearby village that specializes in pho. It's all gone in a couple of hours:

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Bird cages
Birds are considered lucky, or harbingers of prosperity, so they are a common sight as you walk through the streets:

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Bia Hoi

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Most nights, but particularly on weekends, the area around Ma May, Hang Buom, Hang Bac, etc in the northern part of the Old Quarter become "bia hoi". Thousands of people sitting on tiny stools at tiny tables on sidewalks and streets drinking beer and munching street food. And also falling prey to street hawkers selling lighters, caps, stale Vietnamese donuts, what-have-you.

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Some of my new friends outside King Pirates Pub, Jack Sparrow image definitely used without Disney's consent. Dude second from left, Simon, is apparently a Nigerian who is a member of Vietnam's national soccer team.

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The second shot below is a "cyclo" (pronounced "see-kloh"), though most people get around on motorcycles.

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Right around Hoan Kiem lake, there is some statuary:

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But Hanoi's Old Quarter is best-known for a dilapidated melding of European and Viet architecture (note birdcages):

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