Looking Back: Hanoi

| December 17, 2009 | 6 Comments
thehuc Looking Back: Hanoi

Huc Bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake

Hanoi (May 26, 2002) — Out of Buddhist altars and herb sellers blurred into hemivision. Out of old men begging for the tourist dollar, their faces as pinched up and scarred as a tractor tyre lashed to a pier. Over St. Jospeh’s Cathedral and The Huc Bridge. Out of tinbox makers and gravestones giggling past my doorway. I, sitting at the vortex of this carousel, weave butterfly nets of words with which I chase down the barefoot beauty of the women curling through traffic. The memory of their faces as impermanent as a fragance.


We’ve started a new category on our blog called ‘Looking Back’ that will include an occasional entry from our journals that date back to 2001 when we first began writing about living and travelling abroad. We’ll present these paired with a photo in the form of a verbal postcard. Together, these postcards provide an (in)formal and often (in)coherent narrative of the trips we’ve taken!


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Category: Looking Back

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. His latest book, The Physics of Flocking, gathers his favourite writing featured over the past two years on Two Go Round-The-World in columns like 'Looking Back' and 'The Whole Picture'—along with new reflections.

Comments (6)

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  1. Jen Laceda says:


    I can’t wait to read more of these snippets from your past travels!!

  2. Shannon OD says:


    Beautiful shot – I didn’t get to Hanoi on my last travels, but I am really hoping to make it there – your description is so lyrical it makes me get itchy feet! :-)

    • Daniel says:


      Hanoi is a beautiful city, ~18 lakes (Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake) surround the city—and with their surrounding gardens and trees provide a welcome source of greenery. Something I found was lacking in HCMC. It’s a beautiful place!

  3. Gourmantic says:


    I like the contrast between the green foliage and the bright red of the bridge. Looks like legs are holding up the bridge, and they’re about to walk…

  4. Social says:


    Wonderful picture and really moving words. Sort of sums up Hanoi really as well as a lot of other locations around South East Asia.

    You can really tell that the writer had a close connection with the surroundings. Will look forward to the next one.

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