On leaving Hanoi
I’ve lived in Hanoi for a long time. I’ve had two spells in the city, the first from the summer of 2008 until the end of 2010, and the second from the autumn of 2013 until now. And now my time here is coming to an end. In a couple of days’ time, I will be leaving Hanoi and moving to Yangon. I’m incredibly excited about the move. I took two trips to Myanmar in 2015, and the idea of one day living there lodged itself in my head fairly early in my visit. Having slowly marinated the idea in my brain for a couple of years, things suddenly started moving very quickly over the last month, as I found myself a new teaching job in Yangon and finally started making concrete plans. I don’t want to tempt fate, but I have a very positive feeling about this new start.
But I will miss Hanoi. It’s been my home for many years, and has shaped me in ways I probably won’t fully appreciate until more time has passed. I’ll miss my lunchtime bún chả or phở gà. I’ll miss my afternoon coffee by the lake. I’ll miss the friends, old and new, that I’ve made along the way. I’ll miss scooting about town on my Honda Wave. I’ll even miss the casual lunacy of the Hanoi traffic. But I won’t miss mouldy March.
I can’t even begin to fully describe Hanoi in words. It’s a truly unique place, and everyone who’s spent any time here has their own take on it. It’s not always an easy place to live, but for all its frustrations and imperfections, there’s something about this city that gets under a person’s skin.
Choosing the pictures to include in this post has been a difficult task. On another day, I would have made a different selection, but these are the pictures I’ve taken in Hanoi over the last few years that most seem to mean something to me today.
Things might be a bit scattered on this site over the next few weeks. I still have some more pictures from my trip to Indonesia to post, some more from Ha Giang that have been on the backburner for a while, and a few bits and pieces that I’ve shot in Hanoi over the last couple of weeks. And of course, I hope to be out and about shooting in Yangon as much as I can, and sharing some of my early impressions. There’s a lot I could write about what I’m looking forward to about life in Yangon, but for the rest of this post, I’m just going to wallow in photographic nostalgia.
Hẹn gặp lại, Hà Nội. See you again.