The delightful elderly folk of Hanoi - Rusty Compass travel blog

The delightful elderly folk of Hanoi

| 01 Jul 2015
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01 Jul 2015

Thinking about the beauty of the elderly people that line Hanoi’s streets.

If you’ve visited this blog before, you probably know the enormous affection I have for the elderly that you meet travelling around in Vietnam. They invariably have incredible life stories of war and hardship. And despite their experiences of hardship, they usually display grace, warmth and good-humour. 

Nowhere are Vietnam’s elderly more visible than in the chaotic streets of the capital Hanoi. You’ll catch them working, sitting, chatting, exercising or watching the world go by along most city streets.

The visibility of the elderly is one of the most striking things about Vietnam’s capital. It lends some softness to a city with more than a few hard edges.

Hanoi’s wonderful elderly folk are the focus of these two videos.

The first was shot several years ago after chatting and photographing the elderly around Hoan Kiem Lake.

The second was shot a few weeks ago in the midst of Hanoi’s heatwave. Temperatures passed 40 degrees but the woman I speak with, about to turn 90, was still working, selling in the Old Quarter. Despite the heat, her spirits were high and she was keen to pass on a few eternal gems for a long, healthy life. Take note.

A delightful old girl she is.


Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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