Hanoi is a crazy busy city! We stayed in Old Town where the streets are narrow, and full of people pulling carts full of various items for sale, restaurants, cafés, spas, hotels, bicycles, scooters, motor bikes, cars, tourist buses, tourists on foot, locals, vegetable sellers, heat, and humidity! It’s almost impossible to walk on the pavements (sidewalks for my American readers!) because scooters & motorbikes park on them, shops bring out displays, and street vendors sit there, so walking in the road is the only option, hoping that vehicles will drive around you. Crossing a road is not for the faint hearted either! It’s so busy that nobody stops, even on a zebra crossing on the wider roads, so you just have to step out and keep walking! Stay at the same pace, don’t falter or stop, and all the vehicles weave around you. I was astounded that I didn’t see any accidents but I’m sure there must be plenty. I stood on the side of a wide road for an hour trying a photography technique that involves using a slower shutter speed and panning the camera to follow a moving vehicle. The object is to have that vehicle ‘sharp’ but to show the movement. It’s extremely hit and miss because everything is going at a different speed, so more miss than hit! Here are a few that are ‘nearly’ hits.
Finally, a more peaceful entrance to a temple on a lake. Each weekend the roads around the lake are closed to traffic, and thousands of people take advantage of this. Early morning sees it full of runners, walkers, exercise classes and even ballroom dancing, and as our hotel was about a 7 minute walk away we got up at 5 a.m. to run twice around the lake! (Any later than that and it would have been even hotter) I’ve never run in a crowd before so it was quite an experience.
I only started jogging a couple of years ago, having never run more than 100 metres at school many many years ago so I’m VERY slow, but I’m not intending to run any races. It’s just for stamina, fitness, and bone density so I plod along every other day. Heat and humidity means that I’m a lot slower! (My excuse and I’m sticking to it!) Having said that, a running club joined the circuit as we passed and I was keeping pace with them so was rather proud of myself, especially as they all looked about 30 years younger.
Finally, a very timely visit to train street as we only had to wait 10 minutes until a train passed through. There are two parts of train street in Hanoi. The most well known one is in central Hanoi but this now has barriers at the ends to stop people walking down it as it gets extremely crowded which makes it very dangerous. The second one is a bit further away but there were only 4 other tourists there. We sat and had a very cheap lunch and it was definitely worth the GRAB ride there and back. 3 trains a day pass through, and the little cafés have to pull back their tables and awnings as it’s so narrow. It’s quite amazing to be so close to a huge train as it passes!
I didn’t take any more images in Hanoi as I’d been there before but I have a post here from my last visit.