Hanoi Under the Skin

Woman Selling - Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is a place where filthy abundance and noise follow you everywhere and the action takes place low to the ground. The fluid movement of traffic resembles a drift, like dunes. Time slows, suspended in particulate-filled air. While locals make business and take draws from traditional pipes, the sound waves of motorbike horns and tonal conversations compete for space … [Read more...]

Hanoi’s Social Enterprises, Part I

Smile Cafe's Staff - Hanoi, Vietnam

As I was told by the General Manager of Craft Link, Ms. Tran Tuyet Lan, not-for-profit organizations have to sell quality products in order to survive. Charity isn’t sustainable.But Hanoi’s Hoa Sua School and Craft Link try. The customer gets quality food and handicrafts, respectively, in addition to the warm fuzzy feeling from contributing to a good social … [Read more...]

A Taste of Hanoi

Crab, Herbs, Vermicelli Noodles - Hanoi, Vietnam

Everyone raves about the food in Hanoi. However, we found our street-eating selves a bit stymied the first few days of our visit. Not sure if it was the fickle weather, our outlook, or the fear of being served a surprise chicken foot or pig ear, but our initial impression of the cuisine was not quite impenetrable, but less than accessible.Many street stalls offer … [Read more...]

An Honest Look at Vietnam’s Subsidy Period

Street Scene in Hanoi, Vietnam

Our visit to Hanoi's Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology included all the requisite colorfully embroidered and woven clothing, agriculture tools, religious artifacts and sample living quarters in an ample demonstration of Vietnam's surprisingly wide and diverse variety of ethnic minorities. The extraordinarily honest and introspective exhibition on the difficulties of … [Read more...]