In Hanoi they drive on the right hand side of the road. Mostly. Lane markings are merely a suggestion and footpaths – such as they are – are very much the domain of scooter parking. In between the parked Hondas, Yamahas and knock-off Chinese-made machines locals make their living selling, cooking, crafting and repairing.

There are more than a thousand restaurants in Hanoi. The streets of the Old Quarter are home to many small eateries where fresh produce is shaped by expert women tending knives, woks, pots and fryers to extract exacting flavours from the dishes they prepare. Like witches, each cook has a recipe they’re renowned for and draw audiences to their eatery through the art and alchemy of steam and fire and fresh ingredients that attract diners to the short plastic seats huddled together between the motor scooters that crowd the footpaths.

From the essay > Streets of Hanoi: Unfocused

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