There is something about Hanoi that mesmerized me. The city is moderately small if you compare it with Jakarta. The skyscraper buildings are countable and it does not have the big malls that Jakarta is very familiar with. Its road is rumbled with traffic and ruled by motorcycle drivers. Yet, this seemingly chaotic scene, took my heart away.

The people of Hanoi owns the city thoroughly. They take part to ensure that every inch of the city is alive as the people in it lives. Their mornings are filled with exercises – centralized at Hoàn Kiếm Lake yet also spread in numerous parks that filled the area. School starts with the view of children holding hands to their parents as they crossed the street.

I loved how the flower sellers rode their bicycles with their peasant hat and old bicycles to bring the freshest flowers to the houses. And I absolutely enjoyed my afternoon drinking coffee at the street side with the locals which led throughout the night with a glass of Bia Hơi.

Their humble civilization had travelled impressively from the era of Văn Miếuthe country’s first higher education system derived in the Chinese dynasty period. I think that their history of educational rooted into the wisdom and virtue that the people of Hanoi shared.

The beauty of the city is visible in every corner as the buildings embody the energy of its people. And with that, Hanoi continues to whisper story in a silent roar. – Rassi Narika.


Some images are private collections of Arif W. Brago. Thank you, Brago!