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An Essay On Hanoi, Vietnam
« on: January 22, 2019, 03:10:30 pm »

Crossover bridge to Ngọc Sơn Temple © The Luxe Brigade

A new year had just barely arrived, yet 11 degree chilly winds were already engulfing the old quarter - an oddly stitched canvas of modernity, outright decrepit and historic excesses. An unscripted fashion parade of sorts unfolded as its citizenry scrambled to keep warm in style outdoors: down-filled parkas, woollen textured beanies, puffer vests, rabbit fur gloves and brogue leather boots. Apocalypse Now played at every turn where dwelling intersected asphalt, as cars and bikes alike (having scant regard for rules of the road) weaved maniacally through spluttering traffic, alongside veteran jaywalkers seen crossing streets with poise and timed precision. The warm aroma of phở  (a Vietnamese rice noodle dish) from endless rows of makeshift stalls teased rumbling tummies passing through, spiked in occasion by the distinctly strong scent of local coffee wafting from a random cafe door left slightly ajar.​

Hoàn Kiếm Lake abutting the 36 streets cluster (as the old quarter is popularly known) beckoned with a most surreal atmosphere of tranquility skirting its turquoise waters, while one storied turtle tower installed atop an islet held vigil right in the middle of everything. Aspirations of self renewal certainly heightened amidst witnessing episodic floral blooms all around the basin - a lil' nod to better fortunes, improved health and genuine spiritual fulfillment. Let's hear it for the Hope & Love sculpture as well yo.

Ngọc Sơn Temple featured prominently in the lake's northern region, made accessible by a bright red wooden arching connection named the Welcoming Morning Sunlight Bridge. Purchase of tickets at nominal prices granted free rein to explore various sites on its premises, these including the Pen Tower (Tháp Bút), the Ink-Slab (Dai Nghien), the Moon Contemplation Pavilion (Dac Nguyet) and the Pavilion Against Waves (Đình Trấn Ba).

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Re: An Essay On Hanoi, Vietnam
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 03:32:00 pm »
not to forget a visit to the artist quarters and check out the Vietnam chiobus togged up in their fashionable winter best ..... very yummy indeed
"A man who has depths in his shame meets his destiny and his delicate decisions upon paths which few ever reach."