After three weeks on a motorbike, I at last made it to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. This would be my second visit, so I wouldn’t have to run around seeing the sites. Rather, I could spend some time working on the blog, and drinking in the ambiance.

I always loved the energy of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, with its warren of narrow streets lined with old French Colonial shops and bustling crowds. Sure, the Old Quarter is the epicenter of tourism, and many of the shops are now guesthouses and tourist offices. But it’s also a real neighborhood, with shops selling mundane items that tourist aren’t interested in, and cheap Vietnamese cafes packed with local men. Butchers on the sidewalk sell fresh meat. Women carry baskets on poles filled with snacks, and push bicycles laden with fruit and vegetables.

Making it the perfect place to stop and work were all the nice cafes with fast wifi. Hanoi is a great place to spend some time, and plan the next leg of my journey. Here are a few of my favorite photos from my time there.

A local business.
A local business.
The Old Quarter is full of little temples.
The Old Quarter is full of little temples.
Off the busy streets are tiny alleys packed with businesses.
Off the busy streets are tiny alleys packed with businesses.
St. Joseph's Cathedral.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
Little bridge to Ngoc Son Temple.
Little bridge to Ngoc Son Temple.
Gateway to the temple.
Gateway to the temple.
The temple is an island oasis in the middle of Hanoi.
The temple is an island oasis in the middle of Hanoi.
Offerings at the temple.
Offerings at the temple.
Another view of Ngoc Son Temple.
Another view of Ngoc Son Temple.
A fruit vendor in the Old Quarter.
A fruit vendor in the Old Quarter.
There are all kinds of interesting shops in the Old Quarter.
There are all kinds of interesting shops in the Old Quarter.
Fresh meat for sale.
Fresh meat for sale.
Fresh fruit is never far away in the Old Quarter.
Fresh fruit is never far away in the Old Quarter.
Bicycle loaded with bananas.
Bicycle loaded with bananas.
More fruit for sale on the street.
More fruit for sale on the street.
There's always a lot going on the Old Quarter.
There’s always a lot going on the Old Quarter.
Cyclo drivers are eager to get you to sit down.
Cyclo drivers are eager to get you to sit down.
A basket shop.
A basket shop.
The French took over the old citadel, so now there is a mix of architectural styles there.
The French took over the old citadel, so now there is a mix of architectural styles there.
French Colonial architecture at the citadel.
French Colonial architecture at the citadel.
Terry
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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