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Bread seller outside the kitchen of the Long's home near the West Lake.

Twice a day vendors ride bicycles through the neighborhood alleys calling out what they have to sell: bread (banh mie), pork buns, vegetables, etc.


Proprietor of a small grocery stocking imported items catering to Western tastes, near the home of the Longs in a district favored by expatriates.

When the Longs first moved to Ha Noi four years previously, it was very difficult to find such imported items; now they are readily available throughout the city.

Market scene in old Ha Noi. Most older buildings are painted yellow, giving Ha Noi a pleasant uniformity reminiscent of a small Mediterranean city.


Young woman preparing lunch at a storefront restaurant along the Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) street, near the Population Council.

Ha Noi abounds in public eating places, ranging from elegant formal restaurants to places to squat on the sidewalk and slurp down a bowl of Pho. This place, run by a family of very jolly and energetic women, is several steps up from the sidewalk but is operated in a similar spirit.

The women stand by their pots haranguing anyone passing by, stretching out a hand and flicking down the wrist in a gesture that means 'come in, sit down.'

After getting this treatment several times myself, I finally took them up on it and had an excellent multi-course meal including seafood spring rolls and fried noodles. Though I spoke almost no Vietnamese, they kept up a constant one-sided conversation as they prepared the meal, served it and laughingly watched me eat.

On the grounds of the Temple of Literature, a thousand-year old school in Ha Noi.

Here coopers build giant drums in preparation for the upcoming celebration of the founding of Ha Noi nearly 1000 years ago.

Typical street scene in the old town (36 streets) area of Ha Noi.

Ho Chi Minh's house, Ha Noi.

Famous for living simply, Ho supposedly preferred this elegant but simple craftsman-like house to the ornate colonial-era presidential palace next door. It is unclear how much time he actually spent in it, since he moved frequently and his frequent presence would have made it a tempting target for American bombers.

Ho Chi Minh's tomb, Ha Noi, lit up in the evening.

Erected against Ho's express wishes (he wanted to be simply cremated) this massive monument usually contains his embalmed corpse. At the time this picture was taken, however, Ho was in Russia having his fluids redone.


Street cleaner pushes a cart past a corner of the former Hoa Lo Prison ('Hanoi Hilton'), built by the French in 1896.

Most of the prison has been razed and replaced by an office building, visible in the background, a joint venture between the Ministry of the Interior and a Korean conglomerate.

Most of the museum exhibits focus on the shackles, instruments of torture, isolation cells and guillotines used by the French colonial forces.

This room purports to show comparatively benign prison conditions during the "American War." The central image in the row of prisoners in the display is that of John McCain, whose plane crashed in a lake near the center of Ha Noi. That incident is commemorated by a monument at the edge of the lake, showing the wounded flyer being fished out by a group of young men.

A fleet of cyclos (three-wheeled pedicabs) taking a bridal party to a wedding near the Temple of Literature, Ha Noi.

The women carry gifts in traditional round red and yellow lacquer boxes.

Young dancers from the "Children's Palace" in Ha Noi, performing a traditional Vietnamese dance at a benefit run by the League of Overseas Women.

Patrons on the central staircase of the Ha Noi Opera House (Na Hat Lon, or "House Sing Big.") This elegant building, originally constructed in 1911 and modeled on the Palais Garnier in Paris, has recently been renovated.

This performance featured an internationally known Vietnamese tenor performing with a female chorus in a program of classical Western and contemporary Vietnamese music.

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