It may be a communist country politically, but there are no signs in the streets that point you to this fact (except for the red flag ...). Vietnam is one dynamic capitalist economy - it reminds one of China in the early 90s when Deng Xiaoping opened the Special Economic Zone that would transform China forever, or South Korea in the early 80s when the country was just at the cusp of becoming one of the major tigers of Asia. In Vietnam, there are entrepreneurs in every street corner (and ambulant ones too as you can see in the pictures above and below).
The broad brushstrokes of neo-Impressionist style combined with the sun drenched colours of this Vietnamese oil painting caught my eye. I loved the brushstrokes and the daring colours of this and other works spotted in several galleries in Hanoi. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Hanoi School of Fine Arts began life as École Supérieur des Beaux Arts de l'Indochine in 1925?
Slogans and propaganda of a bygone era. Great wall decoration items found in Hanoi.
A dear friend of mine in London has a collection of vintage Mexican masks beautifully decorated made of papier maché. I thought they were so decorative and original for a child's room, so I bought these reminiscing of those Mexican masks. These are flat woven baskets painted on the back, used for fun in festivals.
Built in 1911 by François Lagisquet, Hanoi Opera House was modelled after Opera Garnier, Paris
Built in 1919 by Adolphe Bussy with a portico in style of Art Nouveau. All government buildings are now painted in this beautiful ochre colour.
Simply delicious Nems !
Bun Cha - Hanoi street food not to be missed! In the Old Quarter of Hanoi