25+ vibrant photos of Hanoi will make your heart skip a beat.
In Hanoi, it is common to see tiny motorbikes whizzing through narrow alleys, precariously carrying multiple items. Tiny motorbikes whizz through the narrow alleys of Hanoi, precariously carrying furniture, trees, or even heavy gas tanks.
Mate Valtr, a photographer, visited the Vietnamese capital in February of this year to explore and document the bustling city. The city is known as the “Paris of the East” because of its artisans and merchants. The Old Town has remained largely unchanged, with each street specializing in a specific trade.
City center: Hanoi residents relax and work on the streets, such as this woman wheeling her wares to sell.
The busy streets are teeming with locals eating their lunch on tiny, communal, colored chairs.
A tiny motorbike transports what appear to be large vats of acetone through the streets.
‘Exploring Hanoi means accepting a certain level of madness and chaos, with flocks of motorcyclists ruling the roads, food hawkers popping up out of nowhere, cooking right on the streets, and ubiquitous elder tea drinkers,’ said Vaulter.
‘What distinguishes life in this town from that of a typical western town is that much of it takes place directly on the streets.
‘People eat there on mini stools, whether they are workers or a businesswoman in a perfectly tailored suit. When it comes to their daily bowl of Pho, everyone is on the same page.’
Although daily life in Hanoi is diverse, much of it takes place on the streets.
The safety policies in this country are very different from those in the United Kingdom, with large dangerous items being transported by bike or scooter.
Everyday activities, such as this gentleman getting his hair cut by an outside barber, take place directly on the streets.
Balancing act: A man rides through Hanoi on the back of his motorcycle with an entire tree precariously strapped to the back.
Specific streets specialize in specific wares, such as this bamboo. The city is known as the “Paris of the East” because of its artisans and merchants.
In the midst of the chaos, the locals take time to relax on Hoàn Kim Lake, a popular spot in the Vietnamese city.
‘In a way, it seems like time has stopped in Hanoi – there is no subway as a mode of public transportation,’ said the Czech photographer.
‘Some old systems have remained unchanged – for example, streets in the Old Town were historically a place for specific guilds, and even today, one street sells only silk and cloth products, another only bamboo, another only silver, and so on.
‘Hanoians are cheekily indulged in many outdoor activities, as evidenced by avid book readers on benches alongside the mythical lake in the heart of Old Town, old ladies practicing power aerobics to modern trance music, and children roller-skating in front of a communist monument.
‘Although crossing the road may appear to be a madman’s act at times, the entire town is actually very comfortable.’