Hanoi Hilton

Hanoi Travel Blog

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The scent of Parisian romance still lingers in the streets of Hanoi. You would be forgiven if you missed it behind the exhaust from the thousands of scooters, but sometimes, when you turn a corner and see the aging colors of the colonial french, the essence appears. Despite it’s well known past with the U.S., Hanoi remembers it’s french connections with gracefully aging colonial architecture and a smattering of signs in French and Vietnamese. Although the jungle tries to reclaim it, and the Vietnamese build over it, the striking aged yellow and green colors abound in the century old buildings that are no longer inhabited by the Legion Etrange.

It is this taste of France that makes Vietnam so different from anywhere else I have been in South East Asia. The narrow alleys are flanked with classic balconies where shy beautiful vietnamese faces peek about at the street below. The coffee here is authentic, and every shop seems to know the difference between cappucino and latte. It still feels a like the far east here, a place where there are mysteries to be solved and new wonders discovered.

I am staying at the Hilton Hotel in Hanoi. I think I am the only one who finds it amusing that an American is staying at the Hanoi Hilton some 30 years after that name was given to the prison camps that held American pilots who were shot down while they were trying to kill the locals. I felt completely safe and I wandered down dark alleys, crowded bazzars, and wide boulevards packed with noisy scooters. The people were fairly shy about having their picture taken, so I had to be circumspect, but there was such a great character and personality that I had no trouble finding great shots. The city itself has a wide variety of elevation, so I was able to see some great spots where you could look down on an entire street.

The full album is online at
I hope you enjoy the pictures.

ngoclinh says:
Hope you will visit my town later. Not as nice as Ha Noi, but my city has its own character.
Posted on: Sep 07, 2008
martinikitty13 says:
Very insightful pics and detailed blog. I'm headed out to vietnam next year so any tips would be greatly appreciated. I tried going to your full album but got an error message (but then my work has super firewalls).
Posted on: Sep 05, 2007
carol-kie says:
hi, i like the photo u took.
more photo to share???
carol kie
Posted on: Dec 05, 2006
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photo by: mario26