October 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Ho Hoan Kiem
Another birthday you ask?  This one is for Ha Noi, Viet Nam.  Ha Noi turns 1,000 this October and the country has gone all out.  I've seen pictures and heard update from friends living there...it seems like controlled chaos.  They've had light/laser show at Sword Lake (Ho Hoan Kiem), lights everywhere in the old quarter and the country's longest parade.

You may be wondering why I care or am interested.  I'm interested because I lived in Viet Nam for two years while I taught English as a Second Language.  I also spent a summer there leading a team of college students teaching an English summer camp.  I was responsible for making sure the 5 of them didn't die while we were there  That was fun and I'm surprised that my hair didn't turn gray.
Delicious Vietnamese food
I loved my time there.  Ha Noi is easily one of my favorite cities.  I love the old quarter and Ho Hoan Kiem.  I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I enjoy Vietnamese coffee.  You can get fresh baguettes, courtesy of the French influence.  Many of the streets are tiny but there are a few that are a bit wider and lined with trees.  You won't starve either.  You can get street food which is delicious.  If you're not that adventurous there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.  If you want Western food there's a great Italian restaurant, or there's Indian or a little French cafe, or any number of other places.  My mouth is watering just thinking of the food...I'm going to be craving it now.

The best way to get around is by Xe Om...or motorcycle taxi.  You're taking your life into your own hands...or rather your driver's hands.  I posted a movie I made while I was there in 07.  I was riding on the back behind a student.  Traffic is crazy and I found myself praying every time I got on the back of a motorbike.  I usually didn't wear a helmet which probably wasn't the best choice but I'm still alive.    

I have thousands of photos...I'm only going to share a few of my favorite Ha Noi shots.

Pillar at Ngoc Son Temple

Stele at Van Mieu (Temple of Literature)
Ho Hoan Kiem at dusk
Lanterns for sale in Ha Noi
I love how no one pays attention to the sign!
Fabric Street
This sums it up!


  1. That picture of the food looks amazing!! :) Even more so cause I'm pregnant, MMM! What a great opportunity to live in Vietnam.. Different cultures are so fun to explore. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. That's so cool that you got to live in Vietnam. Sounds like it was a great experience!

  3. LOVE that got to live in Vietnam and thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures! One day I want to live abroad and teach English. My brother did it for 7 yrs in Japan and loved it.


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