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Notes on the Geography of Vietnam: Post-Colonial Hanoi

Glimpses of the contemporary city.

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Vietnam: Post-Colonial Hanoi picture 1

The river runs as ever.

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Riverside temple.

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The boundary between streambank and city is as sharp as can be.

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Busy, busy.

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One of the striking things about the city is the narrowness of building frontages.

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Narrower still.

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Narrow and high.

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Stylistic juxtaposition on a high-rent street.

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French is no longer the only language of international allure.

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Blonde models, importing the Chinese neurosis.

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High rise offices.

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Apartments in the Vincom City Towers.

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Inside the same building.

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Outside, on the streets.

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Heading to the suburbs.

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Could be many places.

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Wake up and wonder where you are.

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Here, on Tran Duy Hun, we've come to a Bangkok-owned hypermart. The inflated tube says with a straight face, "Honoring the Beauty of Vietnam."

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Busy, busy.

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The triumph of French civilization after all.

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America in hot pursuit.

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Sideshow.

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The neglected Cho Buoi or Buoi Market, a leftover from Socialist days.

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Dead, dead, dead.

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Meanwhile, new construction relies heavily on imported icons, adapted without much respect for their customary proportions.

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Grandeur on the loose: the entrance to Ciputra Hanoi International City.

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Inside, high rises loom over a corrupt version of even a Las Vegas corruption of Europe.

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"Very expensive," a passerby says admiringly.

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Meanwhile, the crowds continue to gather at Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, built in 1975 and already from another world.


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