A couple days ago, a reader wondered about the absence of turtles at Hoàn Kiếm lake. Here’s a shot of baby turtles at the bigger West Lake only a few kilometers away. The turtles were being sold so that they could be released and set free, a common practice called “life release” in Buddhism.
Meanwhile, Hoàn Kiếm lake had many spots where people from all over the world came to take or have their pictures taken. In the following shot, the two young ladies were wearing the traditional long tunic (áo dài). The tunic is not often seen these days, except at weddings and other formal occasions. They are pretty, flattering, but not too convenient for riding motorbikes.
As we were sitting on a bench admiring the lake, a bridal party made its way to a photo shoot.
I think the bride was wearing a white áo dài, but I wasn’t fast enough to get a good shot of her.
After a few minutes, the following couple also showed up. The young soldier was apparently overdressed for the heat.
A curious balloon vendor watched them for a short while.
On a side street, a flower vendor nodded as she took a brief afternoon nap, but other vendors did not.
The sky, which had been cloudy for several days, cleared up a little allowing me to take a good shot of the red bridge leading to Jade Mountain (Ngọc Sơn) Temple.
Finally I tried to take the following night shot of traffic around Hoàn Kiếm lake. I don’t know what happened, but it turned out much different from what I expected. Maybe it is an apt illustration of the chaotic traffic in Hà Nội, and in the larger cities of Việt Nam.