Hanoi was always an easy place to love. A sense of history and a culture that slowly but surely began to embrace change and modernity. Chaos and charm in equal measures. A coldness that opened to warmth at the smallest provocation. Crumbling walls on ancient temples and less ancient French villas. Smiles and leers and sideways glances. Streets that smelled of petrol and burning things. Wet markets where the din of the street sellers drowned out most other conversation. At times the capital would be plagued by gray skies, but when the sun broke and shone and lit up all the yellow walls like so many gilded golden aisles, there was nothing more magical.
I lived in Hanoi for seven years and I wouldn’t take back a single moment. But now there are other cities and horizons to explore. Other towns to unearth and get lost in. Other countries to discover just as intimately as the one I’ve called home for so long now. So here’s an ode to Hanoi. A song for everyone. A long and winding visual journey through my time there. I’ll miss it but maybe you only ever miss the things you hold closest and most dear.