Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Thuy Le /
A view of Sword Lake in the center of Hanoi.

By Thuy Le
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
HANOI, Vietnam – I am a Hanoian. For those of you who are not yet aware of my hometown, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, that little S-shaped country in Southeast Asia.
With well over 6 million people, the bustling atmosphere of the city can be definitely predicted.
Thuy Le /
The Hanoi Opera House 
When one first arrives in Hanoi, it is likely that they will be stunned by the traffic here in a country where the majority of the population own motorbikes and wear helmets.
Therefore, crossing the streets has become a crucial art that foreigners and even many local residents aspire to grasp.
Thuy Le /
Ho Tay, or West Lake, in Hanoi
Thuy Le /
A traditional Vietnamese toy made of rice
 dough and often sold on the street 
Hanoi enjoys a tropical climate, yet there are four seasons, with the most pleasant periods being late-August to late-October and early-February to late-March.
The summers are particularly hot and humid with an average temperature of 33 degrees Celsius, or about 91for those of you who use the Fahrenheit scale.
Thuy Le /

Thap But, or the Pen Tower. It is in the form of a pen and was 
constructed long ago to honor studying. 
It is not without reasons that Hanoi belongs among Frommer’s “Top Destinations” in Asia: the city basically has almost everything.
Thuy Le /
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
Thuy Le /

  A man does calligraphy. Traditionally, Vietnamese get one
 of these works at Lunar New Year festival to hang in the home.

For those with an interest in culture and history, there are an ample number of historical sites and attractions, especially in the Old Quarter where streets have merchants and households specialized in particular trades, such as silk, jewelry and other artisan crafts.

For those who have shopping in mind, the major centers as well as small boutiques are there to serve, offering all the brand names like cK, Mango, Converse and so forth.
Thuy Le /
The historic Temple of Literature in Hanoi 
Regardless of one’s purpose of visiting Hanoi, trying the cuisine is absolutely a must. Besides the renowned Pho, Cha Ca, Banh Cuon and Com are believed to come from Hanoi.

Thuy Le /

A street view in Hanoi
 near the

home of Youth
International reporter Thuy Le
Mentioning food, I suppose it is necessary to introduce to you the street culture of Hanoi. No, I am not referring to graffiti or hip-hop, it is rather concerned with the fact that Hanoians frequently have their meals on the pavement. By this I mean on the sidewalk.

In addition, the image of peddlers is present everywhere and the traditional, intimate markets remain more attractive than the self-service supermarkets.
Thuy Le /
A drawing of the Old Quarter in Hanoi 
My life to date has always been contained in this lively city, except for a few occasional trips.
These 17 years have been long enough for me to fall in love with my hometown, yet I fear no amount of time could allow me to understand it thoroughly.
I could rant on and on about Hanoi, but to avoid producing an all-word tour guide, I would like you to take a look at the photos and if possible, visit my wonderful Hanoi.

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