Urbanist Hanoi

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Hanoi Postcard No. 10: Capital City Claustrophilia

Cramped alleyways thread through the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter like arteries, carrying not just people and goods, but also intrigue and fear.

Some of these labyrinthine spaces, ominous and rat-filled, require bravery to enter. Yet once inside, one’s romantic wonder transcends physical boundaries; as a line in a poem by Che Lan Vien reads – “Ngõ rất cụt mà lòng xa thẳm” – which translates as “the alley is narrow, yet our hearts are wide.”

Take a look below (clip to flip for text):