A quiet side of Hanoi

Hanoi is often seen by visitors as a bustling city but there is a more secluded and quiet side to it that not many people discover. Life is happening right here and right now in many dark small alleys in the Old Quarter, where serenity represents the quiet endurance of the local people living around the area.

This, in fact, has added a charm, one that is indispensable to make the 36 streets of Old Hanoi a beautiful and ancient place.

The narrow space and complicated daily-life routines found year round in lowly lit alleys are normal parts of the age-old and crowded city of Hanoi.

Time has turned street corners into a green mossy colour. It connects and bonds people together, but does not make the worries go away for the people who live in these alleys.

Below are a series of pictures that were captured from the many corners and alleys of Hanoi.

In the Old Quarter, alleys often become a playground for children.

Notice board used by the locals living in one alley.

Ten households are currently living in Alley No.47 on Hang Bac Street.

...living space is shared among different households.

...A recent fire has turned the residents lives upside down.

A rare corner where light is able to shine through is used to dry clothes.

A stylised entrance gate to one of the alleys.

Each alley has a communal area where daily living takes place.

Despite having to live with extremely narrow alleys, many people don't want to move as they have gotten used to it.

Every possible inch is used for something.

Natural lighting is hardly found in some alleys.

Some would like to settle somewhere else.


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