picnik

posted in: hanoi | 1

… is a nice little website application that I found, when trying to figure out how to isolate a single colour in a photo.

here is the result:
HN pomelo
-some pomelo vendors on my street in Hanoi

HN ton duc thang traffic
-common traffic scene on Ton Duc Thang street, Hanoi (you should see it live)

It’s pretty easy to use picnik, though it is a bit slow. Upload your photo (don’t even need to register) and it will take you to the ‘Edit’ tab. Switch to the ‘Create’ tab instead and select Effects. There is a basic effect called Black & White which lets you “paint” over the sections of the photo you want in black and white (or in colour). Good for people like me who don’t have software like photoshop to do it with (and who can’t figure out how to do it on graphic converter).

lenin statue park

posted in: hanoi | 0

possibly my favourite park in hanoi, lenin statue park (not to be confused with the larger Lenin Park) is always filled with kids in the evenings: skateboarding/breakdancing hip-hop teenage kids, or–as shown here–young kids being driven around in remote-controlled cars rented by their parents.

all under Lenin’s proud gaze.

lenin statue

driving in hanoi – 2

posted in: hanoi, video | 0

actually, this is me cycling on my way home from work. traffic is the number one thing travelers to Hanoi notice most, and it took me a month of cycling before I got the guts to go for the motorbike.

this is fairly light traffic, but gives you an idea… note the lack of traffic rules and the liberal use of the horn. my roommate makes the apt analogy with downhill skiing: just mind what’s in front of you, not what’s behind you (signaling is rare, and lots of people actually remove the rearview mirrors because they just take up space on the bike). heck, people don’t even follow traffic lights when there are any. and they don’t look down the road when shooting out of alleyways: a colleague claims this is a remnant from the French, who had some weird traffic law giving right-of-way to those coming out of side streets. some advice: don’t ask yourself questions like, “why is the car parked horizontally across the road,” or “isn’t this a one-way street?”–you’ll just confuse yourself endlessly. and never, ever get road rage. no one else cares.

temple on kim ma

posted in: hanoi | 1

spent a day with my roomie, Seth, wandering around town, shopping, eating at our fav veggie restaurant (Ha Thanh), and also… visiting the temple on kim ma street.

kim-ma-temple3

it was fairly quiet (well, compared to the chaos outside on the street), though there were a few people inside for the mid-month worship. like the other temples around town, this one had a chinese design (must be from the 1,000 years of rule and all). a lot of the time these temples also have really cheesy and ugly chinese sculptures… this one wasn’t too bad though, and even better: there was vietnamese AND chinese characters on the gate. cool!

kim-ma-temple5

close up:

kim-ma-temple-words

lotteria

posted in: food, hanoi | 0

do you know what’s amazing about hanoi? no McDonald’s. no Starbucks. ok, granted there is KFC, but can you imagine such a glorious thing?

do you know what’s not amazing about hanoi? Lotteria. Read More

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