A visit to modern day Indochine

Bonjour Darlings, I’m always looking for Travel inspiration being that I don’t exactly have a list of places to visit (can you belive no list) & so after watching the movie ‘Indochine”, what better place to journey to than Vietnam, in particular Northern Vietnam to experience the French Colonial & Vietnamese Communist stronghold as seen in the movie.

Our First stop would be to fly into the city of Hanoi from NY on Cathay Pacific into Hong Kong & then on Vietnam Airlines to Hanoi which takes 1 hr. Love those small destinations after an 18 hr hurdle…

First glimpse of early morning in Hanoi, the flower seller with long stalks of gladiolus…such the Francais touch

flower seller

Then the fruit seller balancing baskets laden with clementines & wearing a conical straw hat for protection against the sun.clementines

more clementines

You know you’re in Asia when you see locals tucking into soup for breakfast, sitting on low plastic stools barely 12″ from the ground

soup

And here’s the soup station itself with its concotions perfuming the air. Here its called “Pho”, a rice noodle soup with chicken & greens…mild or spicy…made to order.soup stationj

Infact, street side dining on those low plastic stools & catching up on gossip appeared to be the norm for the youth of Hanoi

sitting

Not only the youth but also the elder community were seen sitting on those low plastic stools having coffee & a smoke…the Hanoi style corner smoke shop …so cosy…

tea

ofcourse, the French left their mark & patisserie / bistros abound with cane chairs et all, someplace that Catherine Daneuve would have hung out while filming “Indochine’, although only part of the film was filmed in Hanoi but these were the local haunts.

cafe

 Left over from French colonialists were these quaint French colonial buildings now turned into galleries, cafes & quaint boutiques. Quintessential emerald green French shutters & faded mustard yellow buildings all reminiscent of Hanoi’s heritage. Elaborate doorways leading into

door

the Vietnamese world of handicrafts, embroideries, lacquerwork abound

ofcourse to maneuver oneself amongst Hanoi traffic with all its mopeds is an art for the traveller & far worse than anything elsewhere in Asia  but isnt that part of the thrill ?

viet traffic

You know after a day of walking around the Old Quarter of Hanoi…we’ve only just seen a glimpse…there’s more but those will be another set of postcards …au revoir darlings…

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