Cafe culture, colour and caves: an Instagram journey through Vietnam

Monday, 2018-03-05 12:52:11
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Chris Schalkx captures Vietnam’s vivid palette in the streets of Hanoi and Hoi An, its caves and rivers, and a Ho Chi Minh City tower block devoted to cafes.

Good morning Vietnam: Few cities can match the charm of Hanoi, with its lakes, tree-lined streets, crumbling pagodas and French heritage buildings. And if the streets weren’t vibrant enough already, flower ladies add a colourful touch.

Sweet street: Sample all the pho, bánh mì and spring rolls you want – but leave room for dessert. Chè is a sweet soup that comes in many forms but those with fresh fruit, coconut milk and yoghurt are the biggest crowd-pleasers.

Paddy power: Ninh Binh, around a 90-minute drive south of Hanoi, offers a welcome respite from the clamorous city streets. Pictured are the Mua Caves, which offer views over the paddy fields below. It’s a steep 500-step climb, though.

Hats off to Hoi An: The old centre of Hoi An is painted in golden hues, which makes this little town one of Vietnam’s prettiest. The tourist crowds here are no joke, so get up early if you want the streets to yourself.

Cafe society: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a street in Ho Chi Minh City without a cafe. The Café Apartment, a block filled with cafes, shows just how much the Saigonese love their brews.

Mekong meander: Among the winding waterways of the Mekong delta, two hours south of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find a dazzling patchwork of rice paddies, flower fields and villages. Its canals are best explored by sampan boat – but come at the wrong moment and you might find yourself stuck in a waterside traffic jam.

The Guardian