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Vietnamese food

Asia Destinations Travel

Hanoi – A frantic capital of Vietnam

The city on the bank of the Red River

“Hanoi!? It was crazy! So chaotic! Have you managed to work it out?” asked one of my friends who visited the city earlier this year. He has been travelling through Vietnam on a motorbike from the north all the way down to Ho Chi Minh City. I had to admit to him that there were moments when I found Hanoi pretty confusing but I enjoyed paying this extra attention to my surroundings and occasionally checking the map. I bet it must have been more difficult to master the directions and roads signs being for the first time in Asia – “Come on… if it was easy you would not be happy either.” – His girlfriend just rolled her eyes and we both giggled.

It is not only Hanoi’s urban structure that can be viewed as far from being simple. The political significance of the city and the events of the past introduced some other layers of complexity. Located in the northern part of the country on the delta of the Red River, Hanoi lost its capital status to Hue for a century, played an important role in French Indochina and from 1945 was the capital of North Vietnam. In the end it became the capital of a reunified Vietnam in 1976, after the North’s victory in the Vietnam War.

Cheeky chaps from Hanoi

Cheeky chaps from Hanoi

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Asia Destinations Travel

Slender slice of Southeast Asia

My first taste of Asia

I discovered incredible beauty and addictive energy of Vietnam on a trip back in May 2013. It began in Ho Chi Minh City, in the south of the country and ended in Hanoi, allowing me to experience several cities and different regions. As I did not have a blog and time to start writing about it last year, constantly spreading myself too thin in London, I want to finally share my reflections and photographs in the series of posts.

This part of the world has always fascinated me. My friends and colleagues of various Asian origins and backgrounds, their stories and unique insights were and continue to be my inspiration to explore this vast and culturally-rich continent. It is also important to mention that I am not a massive foodie but when Asian and especially Vietnamese cuisine is involved I am the happiest person at the table or sat on a small plastic chair in the street, which was quite often the case during my trip.

A street seller in Hoi An preparing food

A street seller in Hoi An preparing food

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