Someone said "No matter how tall and skinny a building, it seems that there is always room for more storeys." This is the reality of Vietnamese architecture
and I'm not sure that you can see this anywhere else in the world. Because Viet nam doesn't have much land and our population is increasing unbelievably fast, property in Hanoi and in other big cities is very expensive and the price rises everyday.
The artful mixture of colors and houses in Hanoi makes this place so beautiful. French colonial and art-deco architecture with mostly yellow paint are the most impressive.
The long tube houses in Hanoi may make me wonder about how it is possible to live in such tiny holes but that's the way it is in Viet Nam because we say, " Land is Gold".
If you have a good look inside a typical house, you may be surprised because there may be about 8 0r 9 people living in such a small area. In Hanoi, the basic house consists of the first floor, which is a welcome room, the second floor has bed and bathrooms and the drying room for hanging the clothes is on the top. However, do not be surprised if you see Vietnamese people hanging clothes in front of their houses or on the electric lines. Sometimes they don't even have a permanent bed, a garden hardly ever. They only put mattresses or mats down before they sleep then they fold them back up in the morning. And imagine, there is only one tiny kitchen and bathroom in one house.
In addition, throughout the city, you can see some big Soviet-style buildings such as the Hanoi railway station and the post office. Many of the pagodas and temples have been influenced by Chinese architecture. Some rich Hanoians who live around West Lake in nice big villas. This is a really quiet area but very expensive and secure.
These days, there are lots of crazy ideas for building and house design in Viet Nam which is not surprising when you think about our history. In the big cities and even in the countryside, there are so many big architecture firms. I just hope the planning authorities manage to protect the character of Hanoi by preserving the old quarter and many of the French buildings and oriental temples and pagodas.
Labels: Architecture, The North, The South