The old quarter of Hanoi, the area around Hoàn Kiếm lake, is one of my favourite places for street photography. It can be a claustrophobic place with narrow streets and narrower buildings. The walls are painted in faded pastel colours. Countless scooters weave around pedestrians, then speed across intersections without stopping, meshing together and emerging unscathed on the other side. The women wear conical hats and carry baskets on polls over their shoulders. At lunchtime you find a street cafe and squat on a low stool to drink a strong cup of coffee and eat bowls of pho.
I first visited the Vietnamese capital in 2006 and I’ve been lucky enough to return several times. Whenever I do, I look forward to a day spent wandering around the old quarter taking photos.
Here are a few of my favourites.