Vietnam is a unique place with colorful unique characters at every turn. As far as street photography goes it is a dream. These are from a decade or more as I was learning to use digital cameras, and figure out light and do more than just click and point. I also learned to how to interact better with those on the ground in order to share the lens as a fun tool and not an intrusive weapon. Places like Hanoi and My Khe always have great scenes!
The ladies above were at the Cho Dong Xuan market in the center district in Hanoi,Vietnam. It is a covered market where vendors (mostly wholesale) sell all the usual stuff you find at markets world wide and especially in south east Asia. From clothes to foodstuffs to toys to furniture…you name it. I had to act quickly and I wish I had taken a better shot but I kept it because of the mood of the photo in B&W. Looking back I learned that many folks are not as trusting of a camera and that stealth is quite important.
On the Streets of Hanoi
With these two little darlings, I was lucky, They wanted to show off their world famous Hello Kitty shirts! Markets are usually full of children, especially those of the vendors as well as the shoppers. The younger generation of Vietnamese are much more accustomed and at ease with foreigners than their more jaded older family members in my experience.
These energetic boys are just the kind to show you here and there for a small fee. And they know your not broke if you flew all that way!
This lady strolled by wearing the famous Asian conical hat. It is actually called a non la, or leaf hat in Vietnam, with different local names in other Asian locales. these are light and made of straw or in Vietnam palm leaf is popular. It is as part of Vietnam as anything. Notice in the background the vendor is selling cotton bucket hats which are seen a lot in south east Asia also.
The men in green will be seen around Hanoi. The local constables. This one tried to look very serious and intimidating so I wouldn’t take a photo but he couldn’t stay serious at all. He turned away as to not be in the photo but I was still there when he started laughing and turned back around!
Anyone who spends time in Asia, especially south east Asia is familiar with seeing everything on motorbikes from full families of 5 to all kinds of merchandise. This photo is typical of the streets of Hanoi. Also you can see a couple of ladies in the background wearing rice hats as well as my friend Ricardo taking a picture from the other side of the biker. In over a decade I never even noticed this as this is a photo kind of “lying around”. Also an Irish backpacker is walking down the street to the right. She was traveling several days with us.
The shoulder pole in Vietnam is as ubiquitous as the conical hat. Used just about everywhere from fields and countryside to city streets to carry goods and items. Also it is even seen while riding a motorbike!
In the above photo, a Vietnamese woman is wearing long sleeves and pants to protect herself from the heat of the sun as well as the burning/tanning element. Even her face is prepared to hide behind the scarf. Sometimes what we consider pajamas are worn by some of the younger girls here.
Other Random Locales
Above is a lady hiding from the sun in the beach side destination of Nha Trang. She is a local park worker who, like many local ladies, goes to what many westerners consider extremes to hide from the rays of the sun. Meanwhile, the western backpackers are tanning under the mid afternoon sun yards away.
A common scene is motorbikes at the beach. In the mid afternoon many beaches are not crowded as in the west unless a group of westerners happen about. Locals don’t partake in mid afternoon tanning and you can see in spite of the August 90F (32C) temps the ladies are fully dressed, though loosely fitting garb.
Here we have my buddy Ricardo at My Khe beach. As I am trying to learn a digital point and shoot as is all the rage at the time he goes back a decade for a Pentax K1000 film 35mm. He was retro before retro was cool and I was always playing catch up!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed seeing some pics in my memory lane post! As always, leave a comment below!