Holy Hanoi: a sensory overload pho sure

17 Nov

Sitting down to write this post I find myself saying the exact same thing I did when I stepped out of the airport taxi into the center of the Old Quarter distract: “Where the hell do I begin” to be honest I think that was my second sentence that actually followed “so, we have to cross that traffic with this luggage; how good were you at playing Frogger?”
Okay then, just as I did in the Old Quarter, Hanoi : I’ll start with traffic laws. There were none. There weren’t stop signs or cross walks. There weren’t traffic lights, not red, green, yellow or blue. There were seemingly no police officers or traffic cops or crossing guards. There was no end to the honking. There was no law and no order.  However, there seemed to be some rhyme and reason within the chaos. Most of the time the streets were like a perpetually moving organism and as long as you didn’t collide with it; it somehow seemed to keep spinning.

Other times, it came to a complete halt with you stuck in a van, trapped in the middle of an intersection, surrounded by hundreds of honking cars, weaving scooters, bell ringing tricycles, pedestrians with no sidewalk, push carts and pull carts, and ladies carrying huge baskets of fruit, all of us heading to some destination and no one getting there anytime soon.

After successfully crossing the street and therefore feeling as if we had completed an amazing race challenge, next up was finding food. I’m sure that Anthony Bourdain would have just sat at any one of the hundreds of “restaurants” that occupied literally every side walk, but as a recovering vegetarian I was a little suspect, but fortune favors the brave. We sat down on the tiny little step stool next to the miniature card table.  We didn’t need to order because she was only serving one dish and a damn fine dish it was. Bun Bo, immediately became our favorite Vietnamese dish.

Image courtesy of Eat Drink & Be Merry

Served with two draft Tiger beers, our “restaurant” also became a perfect place to pause our turn on Frogger, take in the sights, smells, and sounds; and watch the beauty buzz by us as we sat on the tiniest of stools, on the sidewalk in the middle the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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2 Responses to “Holy Hanoi: a sensory overload pho sure”

  1. Joshua November 17, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Beautiful shots. How were these processed? Do you use something along the lines of Topaz Adjust or Lucis Art, or are these regular HDRs with the correct layers “fixed?”

    I really like the effect on the moving scooters.

    • Thanks Josh! I used a combination of Photomatix and Photoshop for these shots, as I do with most of my HDR work. It works the best for me, although I am interested in trying out Lucis Art and some other programs. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

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