My name is Don. I teach Kindergarten in Hanoi, Vietnam, but I am originally from Calgary, Canada. This is quite the adventure, and right now I'm trying to figure out what to write about once I have finished talking about the traffic.

Vietnamese MiGs at the Noibai Airport outside of Hanoi. 
The Beer that is really hard to order.

Habesco, who brews Bia Hanoi, brought out Hanoi Beer a couple years back now; they marketed it as a premium beer- higher percentage and more hops. That said, it really is a step above Bia Hanoi (and miles ahead of that garbage Bia Saigon). 

Here the trick though. Bia = Beer in Vietnamese. Ergo, Bia Ha Noi means Hanoi Beer. So, if you order “Hanoi Beer” you usually get Bia Hanoi. I usually got around this by saying “toi muoin mot bia Hanoi Beer” (I want one beer Hanoi Beer”). 
Worked sometimes, sometimes it didn’t. 

On a side note, the Habesco Brewery, just down the street from my house was built by the French in the late 1800’s, but the Vietnamese generally don’t like hoppy beers, so they retrofitted it with the help of the Czech brewers in the 20th century.

Hang Be Street, Hoan Kiem (Old Quarter), Hanoi, Vietnam.


Rice wine - Mai Chau

Bad memories of Zio….well….half memories.



Rice wine - Mai Chau

Bad memories of Zio….well….half memories.

(via thankyouforyouropinion)

I don’t usually reblog, and I wouldn’t ever reblog a pic of a bike, but this warrants a reblog for a special memory.
I remember sitting at a light in Hanoi, when a guy pulls up next to me, in full leathers and a full helmet (mind you it’s at least 40C with 90% humidity outside), and this little tiny Viet girl on the back, in only a little flimsy helmet. The light goes green, and the guy pins it, and takes off, and the girl nearly falls off, while the guy things he’s in a race.she bobbed along in the back like one of those little dashboard chihuahuas. 
I love Ducattis by the way.

saturdaysreprise said: Just came across your page and it's always interesting to see Hanoi from the expatriate perspective. Greetings from a Hanoian in Edmonton :)

Awesome! It’s really difficult to find Hanoians outside of Vietnam

How women revolutionized Vietnam:

"In 1989, as state-owned enterprises and the military laid off a million and a half people, the streets were ‘opened’ and Vietnam’s street-food revolution began. Women led the way. They took control of the means of production: a charcoal burner, a large pot and a few wooden (later plastic) stools, and began to support themselves and their families by selling tea, pho noodle soup [sic], bun cha, lau and all the other homemade delights for which the Vietnamese food has now become justly famous"
- from “Vietnam, Rising Dragon”, writing about the transformation of Hanoi from rural to urban after the Doi Moi, or the Great Leap Forward.

Above is a view from my terrace in Ba Dinh, overlooking B-52 Lake. Sorry about the quality- I was shooting at 200mm at night, with no tripod.
The old traditions don’t disappear easily, no matter how much money you make. This is an alter for the ancestors in one of the most exclusive housing areas in all of Vietnam. Note the golf net in the background. For those that are curious, this is just inside Golden West Lake, off Hoang Hoa Tham and Thuy Khoe street.
The local beer store….or a neighbour that is planning on an epic party.
Not all propaganda is bad; this is a huge misnomer. Not all propaganda is pro-state either, and this is a good example. Kudos to the government for finally acknowledging the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
"At that time Nguyen Mink Hoa’s grandfather was asked to look after a house on Hang Gai (now better known as Silk Street) by a friend of his who fled to the south. He took two rooms on the first floor for himself and his two young sons and invited the original owner’s relatives and friends to occupy the other five. The ground-floor room next to the street want wanted so it was ‘donated’to the city authorities. The maternal side of Hoa’s family owned a large house on Ma May street. They decided to to divide it up themselves. They kept the first floor, invited a brother’s family to take the downstairs rooms at the back and gave the rooms looking on to the street to a more distant relative. Both streets lie within the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the triangular maze known as the ‘36 streets’ where roads were named after the items they specialised in selling"
- from “Vietnam, Rising Dragon”, speaking about the period before the Doi Moi of the 1980’s
In the picture is a rather large house on Ma May street, very possible that it’s the house he was writing about.
All you need to know about ordering Vietnamese Coffee, courtesy of my friends at Le Pub, 25 Hang Be in the Old Quarter