Hanoi, Vietnam

Under the Order of Chaos

lawless city
A self-managed intersection of the Vietnamese capital.
Asian balance
Fruit seller walks down a city street.
sore pawn
Passerby is run over while crossing a road that is too risky.
Outdoor Barber Shop
A street barber takes care of a client's haircut.
Right and Left Priority
Aging vehicles skirt a roundabout in Hanoi's historic center.
Last Register
Craftsman carves a headstone in his shop.
back to the infernal city
Residents cross a garden bridge to Hoam Kiem Lake.
patriotic home
A restaurant employee watches the city leaning on the Vietnamese flag.
framed reflection
The reflected image of a fruit seller in a shop mirror.
Seller displays his postcards with illustrations from Hanoi.
Lamps and motorcycles
Colorful lanterns on a colorful city street.
winter in Hanoi
View of the central area of ​​the Vietnamese capital around Hoam Kiem lake.
Still Ho Chi Minh
Propagandist poster of communist heritage praises the figure of Ho Chi-Minh
And more Ho Chi Minh
The mausoleum that honors the "eternal" character of Ho chi-Minh, the father of the Vietnamese nation.
Hanoi has long ignored scant traffic lights, other traffic signs and decorative traffic lights. It lives in its own rhythm and in an order of chaos unattainable by the West.

The Asian winter extended to the maximum of its geographic limit and despite being almost 40º in Ho Chi-Minh – 1600 km south of Hanoi, a little less in Hue – it is unusually cold in the Vietnamese capital.

Having just arrived, we are taken by surprise and we move as fast as we can through the streets looking for a store that sells us coats something more modern than the post-communist look still in fashion around these parts.

Despite the icy fog, the day unfolds as usual in the garden of Hoam Kiem lake (Lake of the Restored Sword).

winter in Hanoi

View of the central part of the Vietnamese capital around the Hoam Kiem lake

Groups of seniors indulge in endless matches of traditional Asian games like XiangQi and Mahjong. Or exercise the body playing badminton or practicing tai chi.

Meanwhile, vendors run after visitors to the Ngoc Son temple and The Huc bridge that gives access to it. They are foisted on postcards, photocopied Lonely Planet guides and small handicrafts, usually made by family members.

Portfolio, Transit of Hanoi, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

Seller displays his postcards with illustrations from Hanoi.

The First Serious Confrontation with Traffic Chaos in Hanoi

Crossing the garden and the lake does not present us with any major difficulties. We could no longer say the same about Dinh Tien Hoang Street, right next door, and the intersections where it ends.

Endless motorbikes pass at full speed. They skilfully avoid those that come from other streets and in the opposite direction. Cyclists do the same, more slowly.

Like the motorcycles and the scooters, bypass cars, the occasional lorry and old buses that force their way through and contaminate the urban atmosphere with immense discharges of black smoke.

Hanoi Transit, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

Aging vehicles skirt a roundabout in Hanoi's historic center.

Apart from these vehicles, the streets of Hanoi still hold room for the eventual overloaded cart drawn by horses or buffaloes.

And for the fearless or unconscious pedestrians who cross them endlessly, confident that everyone else will avoid them.

Asian Equilibrium, Hanoi Transit, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

Fruit seller walks down a city street.

In Rome, be a Roman. In Vietnam, Vietnamese.

We get tired of waiting for an open that insists on not appearing. We have faith in the faith of these passersby. we hit the road. Like Moses backpackers, we separate the traffic to get to the other side.

Things are going well for us. But bad for a woman trying her luck just a few feet away.

Two motorbikes and a bicycle hesitated as to which direction to detour. In the middle of the disturbance, one of the motorcycles knocked her down and hit her head on the ground.

Accident, Hanoi Transit, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

Passerby run over while crossing a road that is too risky, in traffic in Hanoi

Only accidents like these force traffic officers to abandon their uselessness. One of them, identified by his old-fashioned dark green uniform, leaves his small pulpit protected.

Appears to get up and recompose the lady who appears to be only slightly injured. Once the incident has been resolved, the police officer returns to his post.

Hang Dao Avenue Down Below, By a Profusion of Funeral Homes

We gained the desired access to the long Hang Dao avenue. We walk through it pressed by the unpleasant temperature, keeping an eye on all the stores and businesses that appear.

In Hanoi, as in neighboring China, trade is organized in a compartmentalized way. We hit the nail on the burial and funeral sector. We first pass dozens of competing florists with stalls full of gaudy wreaths that employees refresh.

There follows an area of ​​tombstone makers that keep our attention and our pace.

Inside one of these workshops, an artisan inscribes commissioned messages on the blackboard. we see him surrounded by golden plaques in honor of the dead Vietnamese, immortalized in color and black and white photographs.

Last Record, Transit of Hanoi, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

Craftsman carves a headstone in his shop.

Among others, we find Lê Van Luc who died in 2001 at the age of 72. Nguyen Thi Hat who died in 1954.

And, to our surprise, Anna Duong Tu Huong, a Catholic who was declared dead on March 12.3.1982, XNUMX, is blessed with several sacred illustrations of Our Lady but, for lack of a more credible image, appears with the temporary face of Britney Spears.

It is not the amazement that deters us either. A few blocks down, we finally come to an area with sportswear stores. We buy Polartecs of reasonable quality.

Back to the Chaos at the Heart of Hanoi

The newly acquired comfort and the city map that we are equipped with inspire us to return to the center by a different path.

This alternative arrests us with the eccentric view of a street occupied by barbers, all of them installed against a wall, under the protection of small removable tarpaulins.

Even though it's the coldest season in northern Vietnam, judging by the amount of hair that has accumulated on the ground, business is booming. It demands maximum dedication from each artist.

Barber Shop, Transit Hanoi, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

A street barber takes care of a Hanoi customer's haircut

Once again in the vicinity of Hoam Kiem Lake, the traffic noise increases. A lone biker stands on the far side of the yard.

During Vietnam War, the entire Communist era and, until some time ago, any motorbike fulfilled the most unreasonable dreams of the Vietnamese. After the fusion of the North with the South and the opening of the country to the capitalist virtues – which, in part, followed the Chinese molds – the financial power of Vietnam increased enormously.

How the ambitions of the Vietnamese who dared to want more and more grew. On a wide leather seat, supported by the chrome handlebars, raised and hung with fur fringes, a young man from Hanoi seems to have just fulfilled one of his dreams.

Shows a new Harley Davidson to the city, indifferent to the common motor scooters and scooters that pass by.

The Chaotic Transit of Hanoi, Seen from Above

We thought of returning to the guest-house that hosts us, but we noticed a bar installed on an outdoor terrace on top of a building.

We had already faced and conquered the harmonious chaos of traffic in Hanoi. We had also witnessed one of their incidents. It was time for us to admire and celebrate.

patriotic home

A restaurant employee watches the city leaning on the Vietnamese flag, high above the chaos of Hanoi

Without haste, without cold or any other kind of limitations, we climbed to the communist heights of the building. We settled at a table overlooking the avenues ahead.

We taste the “Hanoi” beer and enjoy the motorbikes, bicycles, cars and pedestrians flowing in the famous orderly chaos of the city.

Lawless City, Transit of Hanoi, Under the Order of Chaos, Vietnam

A crossroads of self-managed chaos, from Hanoi.

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Annapurna (circuit)
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orthodox procession
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Camel Racing, Desert Festival, Sam Sam Dunes, Rajasthan, India
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Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
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Sun and coconut trees, São Nicolau, Cape Verde
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combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

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kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
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Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
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portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
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Cilaos, Reunion Island, Casario Piton des Neiges
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Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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autumn in the caucasus

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Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
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The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
UNESCO World Heritage
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Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
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conversation at sunset
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Candia, Tooth of Buddha, Ceylon, lake
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End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
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Replacement of light bulbs, Itaipu watt hydroelectric plant, Brazil, Paraguay
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Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
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savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
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Full Dog Mushing
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