First, a history lesson:from 1010 until 1802, Hanoi was the most important political centre of Vietnam. It was eclipsed by the city of Hue (gonna visit it in about a week) ;), the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945). In 1873 Hanoi was conquered by the French, and they built a modern administrative city south of Old Hanoi, creating broad, perpendicular tree-lined avenues of opera, churches, public buildings, and luxury villas, but they also destroyed large parts of the city, shedding or reducing the size of lakes and canals, while also clearing out various imperial palaces and citadels.From 1940 to 1945 Hanoi, as well as most of French Indochina and Southeast Asia, was occupied by the Japanese empire. On September 2, 1944. The Vietnamese National Assembly under Ho Chi Minh decided on January 6, 1946, to make Hanoi the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam, and it became the capital of a reunified Vietnam in 1976, after the North’s victory in the Vietnam War.
Now, that’s being said…We really liked Hanoi. The feel of the city, busyness, that vintage street views, motorcycles everywhere… So we wondered, what is it like at nighttime. And, let me tell you…IT IS CRAZY. Maybe, we got lucky, because we were here during the weekend, but they close a few streets around the wider city centre and they put stands there selling everything you can possibly imagine-and I mean everything. And even more so, there’s 10 stands of the same merchandise in 50m of the street, so you can have your pick. If someone doesn’t want to bargain, the next one sure will. Food, beverages, clothes, backpacks, handbags, perfumes, toys, books, candy, underwear, socks….it’s like the busiest and biggest market you can imagine, spreading accross 10 streets at least. And on top of all that, there are the colours. Bright, shiny lights everywhere…a true festival of lights.
You can see what I mean in a movie below…Enjoy!