So here I am, back from a 5-day conference in freezing Hanoi. It was a pleasant stay at the charming Metropole Hotel - French culture preserved alongside Vietnamese culture. "Bonjour Madame" the staff chirps cheerfully to me as I pass. Didn't enjoy the cold weather though. Thankfully, it was nice and warm inside the hotel, which is a huge blessing if one has to be stuck indoors 98% of the time.
I did manage to sneak out of the hotel for a walk around the romantic Hanoi West Lake.
Lanterns on trees and their reflection in the water create fairy lights
On my last day in Hanoi, I stumbled upon a mysterious doorway.
I was first drawn by the old iron gate - and led further in by hanging lamps which, entwined with the vines above, seem to literally grow out of the trees
This shabby debris is stark contrast to The Metropole Hotel that's just 50 metres away
It's somebody's courtyard!
The streets of Hanoi are somewhat noisy and polluted. It was difficult to cross a street without running into a motorcycle or two. The honking never ceases. That was why The Metropole seemed like such a santuary. Nevertheless, the very early Saturday morning was quite peaceful.