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.
143 thoughts on “Ode to Hanoi”
Fantastic shoots!! congrats!!
Your pictures are amazing! And I’d love to visit Vietnam once 🙂
Reblogged this on Conversations I Wish I Had.
Beautiful images–brings back many memories of my times there.
amazingly rich and vibrant compositions.thank you.
These photos provoked some serious reminiscing. Thanks!
What a beautiful, colourful montage that speaks to all the senses.
It looks like you feel the same way about Ha Noi, that I do about Sai Gon. I don’t know how I’ll be able to say my eventual good byes to my beloved city.
Thanks for your wonderful work ! Hanoi and these people are eternal. Remind me so deeply my life there.
Great photos!!! We were considering to visit Vietnam this summer (for a brief week) and we were inclined towards South Vietnam but now, after seeing your photos, I’m not that sure… Any tips?
We Vietnamese usually say this “có bước chân đường xa đó, có bước chân trở về” (There are steps walking aways, there are steps coming back). Hanoi is always your home, a place that always welcome you to back. I am sure that Hanoi loves you and will miss you dearly too. Thanks for the great captures of Hanoi. I have been away from my Hanoi for 4 years, the life out there is full of excitement but deep down nowhere can be compared to this place 🙂 All the best for your coming adventure, Aaron!
i like Vietnam a lot!
Reblogged this on A Journal of a Daydreamer and commented:
A vivid testament to a great city, my adopted city. Hard to believe that you were able to leave..but then, I am more set in my ways than are you. Mark Rapoport (a Hanoian for the last 14 years).
Nice photos! hanoi seems attractive …
keren sekali travel kali ini
wow, amazing especially the fishing men. love them.
Seems to be amazing place to visit nice clicks
Loved visiting Hanoi! Beautiful ode
Reblogged this on Deszy_Diamond Blogs.
Stunning. Amazing shots. Beautiful sequencing.
Great! Love it!
Oh my! Stunning – running the gamut from glam to punch. Powerful.
You can find street shops with amazing street food around Hanoi. Especially at the Old Quarter.
Amazing Anh Aaron oi!
Miss you so much Aaron! Wishing you all the best and hope to see you soon!
Reblogged this on abhedkant.
kegiatan yang menyenangkan sekali
Reblogged this on Penfun.
Amazing shot. Genius! 🙂
I am going to sent mr jang bao xin at wattai airport go to bang kok
Reblogged this on jesusxi.
Such inspiring photos and your stories of living in Hanoi. I am from the southern part of Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City, I only visited Hanoi twice but fell in love already. Hope you have a nice experience in Vietnam!
Reblogged this on Pearlie and commented:
Such inspiring photos of Hanoi 🙂
Amazing photos and even more amazing story.
7 years of clicking & look what you’ve got after cataloging the best ones, amazing 🙂
Reblogged this on Một góc vườn nhà!.
It is basically ridiculous to glorify the former capital of North Vietnam a country who terrorized and abused their countrymen in the name of communism and chaos wow
Amazing photos! 🙂
Reblogged this on FAÇA ORÇAMENTOS DE PROFISSIONAIS NA SUA REGIÃO and commented:
Que afortunados somos por fazer parte de uma Empresa tão única e celebrar juntos os 30 anos da Frantec Engenharia em Estruturas Metálicas !
Somos testemunhas significativas dos marcos no desenvolvimento de nossa Empresa ao longo dos seus Trinta anos, como implementação de melhorias para os empregados cliente, e fornecedores , construindo Hospitais, Escolas, e Obras ,Fendêreis e Privadas entre outras iniciativas, para melhor atender às necessidades de nossos Clinetes No entanto, no meio de todas essas mudanças, três componentes vitais permaneceram: nossa visão, nossa união e nosso compromisso com os valores que nos guiam, nos inspiram e nos fazem ser quem somos.
Beautiful photography!!! 🙂
Reblogged this on knolo0505.
beautiful collection of images!
Every time you take some pictures of a random place, you make people want to go there.
Great post. Follow me please n reblog this on https://fbharga.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/pabrik-tas-konveksi-tas-jakarta-tangerang-serang-bekasi-kota/
Your writing and photos are fantastic. I’ll learn to love Hanoi more from your work and pls allow me to reblog it on lasonf.wordpress.com. Thanks
I`ve never been to hanoi, but the moment I see you photos,I fell in love with the city! Thank you so much, your pictures are inspireing and they make me want to go instantly.
Its amazing! And it inspired me to go to Vietnam.
Great photos! Congrats on being freshly pressed! I created a new page last month called Real Life Natural Wife. I hope you’ll check it out and leave me a comment with your thoughts. Have a great weekend!
Very true to the soul of the city! ❤
These are amazing, I especially love the black and white photos featuring people.
I love these!
WOW all great shots
Reblogged this on innocentogah and commented:
Paying a tribute cannot be any more better…
wonderful ! have been there 20 years ago, seems like Hanoi kept its character, beautiful photos – thanks !
Wonderful shots and post. Your love for this place clearly shines through.
Lovely pictures. A great choice that must have been hard to make. Your writing is sublime too.
I have been finding it an interesting challenge to find a balance between the “ordinary” of home and the “extraordinary” of places that naturally stimulate creativity in my photography. As I’ve been forced to travel less due to disability, I’ve been developing “mindful photography” to help me see the “ordinary” with fresh eyes. If you are interested –
This was a ridiculously great write-up and photo-essay, a perfect ode to Hanoi. Well done, enjoyed the creativity of your photos!
These photos are incredible!
Mad photo skills!
I love this pictures. Weldone
I would love you to visit my blog Xplicitmind.Wordpress.com and see what’s going on there. Thanks for obliging
Having just returned from Vietnam – I love this.
menambah wawasan dan bermanfaat infonya
Reblogged this on Darling, where to next?.
Reblogged this on jeichill.
Great post.. Amazing Photography..
Beautiful photos! I just moved to Hanoi myself and am looking forward to exploring such a beautiful city.
Reblogged this on dieuhuyen and commented:
I love reading about my hometown through foreigners’ thought. Thrilled to call this city “home”
These pictures are absolutely stunning! They really capture the essence of Hanoi, it was like I was transported there. Wow
makasih banyak infonya
This is so amazing 🙂
Reblogged this on mondjulio.
You have a beautiful collection of photos. Thank you for sharing!
Reblogged this on Chaosmammoth's Blog.
As a Vietnamese American who lived in Saigon this article and these pictures induce reflection for me. Maybe I should have went to Hanoi and spent some time there. Maybe it was dear to me because it was so close. Great writing, amazing photos, and epic perspective.
Have you been to war be cause at school we are learning about world war 2
Stunning photography !!! Defiantly putting it on my must visit list ❤️
Reblogged this on .
These shots are astonishing.
Reblogged this on MY VIETNAM.
BREATHTAKING SHOTS!!! WOW!
[…] A farmer burning off crop residue in Hanoi, Vietnam. […]
[…] A farmer burning off crop residue in Hanoi, Vietnam. […]
Reblogged this on cataleyax.
Today, I am so suprise and just say that so happy while searching for this blog. I am wondering with a question, are you a Vietnamese? I know that is no but your photos are really Vietnam!!!
Reblogged this on hanoi weather and commented:
Wonderful Photos of Hanoi Vietnam
Awesome photos. I can’t wait to see Vietnam.
Stunning representation of Vietnam.
great photos and story..enjoyed reading and staring.
love the images
Reblogged this on msamba.
Have heard so much about the place, just wanna get here one day and hug 20 random people from the street 😀
Wow, these pictures are amazing. Nat Geo worthy!
Woww ! just amazing to see how my city have been reflected in your pictures
Feeds dreams and provokes thought in equal measure – thank you!
[…] Editorial and documentary photographer Aaron Joel Santos publishes a stunning collection of street photography, portraits, and landscapes from Hanoi, Vietnam.Source: Ode to Hanoi […]
It’s so beautiful
[…] Source: Ode to Hanoi […]
Extremely well done. Very real and very unstaged. I felt the street value and appreciate that it focused much more on people than buildings
Wonderful photos, each one different, interesting to explore, making curious about the next one. Diverse but belonging to one series. Fantastic!
Beautiful. I’m at a loss for words …
[…] Source: Ode to Hanoi […]
[…] https://aaronjoelsantos.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/ode-to-hanoi/ […]
i love hanoi , sadly been there only couple of days but the place is magical…
Absolutely brilliant, Vietnam has so much beauty to offer.. Love this post and your blog!
Reblogged this on Người Đến Từ Bình Dương and commented:
These photo’s are incredible! I went to Hanoi, and travelled a little around Vietnam last year! It is such an amazing place and the people there always seem happy,strong and loving! Your photo’s bring that out 🙂
Thanks for sharing ! X
Great ode, Thanks for putting up collection of pictures!!
I remember flying over Vietnam in the Sixties and seeing the fire bombs bursting against the green jungle canopy, like orange blossoms bursting into bloom, and knowing that under the beauty of the orange and green, there was terrible human suffering happening.
Oh wow! what beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!
There are some beautiful images here. I especially like the set where the man is showing his tattoo on his back. But you can feel your style and energy throughout. Excellent!
its realy amazing and beautiful post. i love your post and photos its realy awesome.. excellent.
I like the picture of the two kids and parents all pilled onto one motorcycle! Were some of these pictures posed for? or just what you saw on the streets of Hanoi?
Lovely photos! 🙂
Very interesting. Was the aerial shot coming or leaving?
Incredible work, will share with my photography inclined partner!
Amazing photography. I can sense the real Hanoi. xx
Great photos Aaron! You make the ordinary things you seem to see everyday look so extraordinary 🙂 I particularly liked the fishermen fishing at dawn on Truch Bach lake (that was Truch bach lake, right?). You can see both the old and new aspects of Hanoi in your pics. Great work! Hope you’ll be happy in your new home and country, wherever that will be 🙂
Immense clarity on your shots. What camera do you use? Many thanks
Love the photos. Been to Hanoi a few times, and always loved it’s colour and the city 🙂
It is just wow!
Amazing capture. Keep it up.
Such a wonderful collection of images! Love all of these so much.
[…] Ode to Hanoi – Photos by Aaron Joel Santos after 7 years of living in Hanoi. […]