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 Vietnamese.
What makes Hanoi so interesting is the fact that life in this city happens in public, and human interactions are not hidden behind closed doors of privacy. Everything happens on the street. One can feel the pulse of the city expressing through countless human interactions, and truly appreciate this beautiful country through its people. These photos are dedicated to the people of Vietnam.