The Hanoi Opera House was literally glowing in late afternoon sunlight when I came upon it. Completed by the French in 1911, the building is a reminder of Vietnam’s past as a colony of France. The Vietnamese flag flying a top the building, however, leaves no doubt about who is in charge today.
The park Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword) in the heart of old Hanoi is a beautiful public space and a center of public life in the city.
The building in the background is the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, part of the imperial structures that served as the capital of Dai Viet from the 11th to the 18th century. The building, very much in a Chinese style, is in the center of Hanoi. The boys in their bright tee shirts with a yellow star against a red background – the Vietnamese national flag – were part of a coed group of 20ish kids, I presume a university class on an outing. All of the boys were wearing the red tees. I rather liked the contrast: young people wearing the symbol of modern, socialist Vietnam against a traditional background representing the country’s imperial past.
The workmen on the right walking and talking through the wedding photo shoot made for an amusing scene. Why the photographer has the happy couple standing so far apart is a question I cannot answer. The old government buildings that are the backdrop for the shoot are lovely.