West Lake (Tay Ho) area of Hanoi is an interesting mix of well to do Vietnamese and expats. French bistros and wine bars mix with local hole-in-a-wall Bun Cha and Pho eateries. One interesting aspect of this area is that its the only place in Hanoi where one can find a temporary refuge from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi's busy streets.
With these photos I wanted to focus on a city that is almost asleep, somewhat melancholic and impregnated with solitude. Emphasizing a personal relationship formed between the locals and the biggest lake in Hanoi, attempting to reveal more details for the discerning viewer, as well as provide an experience of Hanoi one would not normally get from many other photos of this interesting city.
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Streets of Hanoi charm travelers with beautiful architecture, countless coffee shops, rich texture and the chaos of countless motorbikes filling the air with overwhelming exhaust. While politically Vietnam is a one-party system (which is not that much different from the US two side, one coin schizophrenia), like China its an interesting blend of old socialist propaganda posters mixing in with shiny advertisements promoting a prescription catalog lifestyle for the growing affluent locals. Unlike China, Vietnam enjoys greater Internet freedom and with some of the cheapest Internet in Asia it seems everyone in cities is plugged in to their iPhones - a must have item if you want to be hip in the eyes of your peers.
Construction is everywhere and new roads and buildings seem to mushroom "overnight". It's not uncommon to see top brand names like Chanel rub shoulders with hole-in-a-wall family owned stands and cantinas, and motorbikes giving way to big luxury cars driven by fat-belly new V ...
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