Contemplation at Hà Nội's West Lake

Silhouette of group sitting railings by lake. The lowering sun, trees, and the slight cooling that the water of the Hồ Tây (West Lake) provides, make this esplanade (beside Thanh Niên Road) one of Hà Nội's many delights Man with long shadow by lake railings. The sun is already below 45 degrees, and, disconcertingly for those living nearer the poles, will be gone in a few minutes Hà Nội is a city of lakes. There are more than 20 of them and they range in size from vague marsh areas through to the expansive West Lake (Hồ Tây) which is some 17 kilometres (10 miles) around its shore - a route that can be followed at the water's edge for nearly the whole circumference. It does not present too much of a danger to locals for its average depth equates with the average height of the population - and it fluctuates little. While Hồ Hoàn Kiếm offers an array of cultural and historic associations and artefacts, and sits at the heart of the city, and of the country, it is Hồ Tây that provides a place of rest, notably in opportunities to fish (not allowed in Hồ Hoàn Kiếm), and importantly as a space to relax and reconnect. The top of the page has photographs taken from Đường Thanh Niên. This is a road on a causeway, a causeway which forms the separation of the siamese twin lakes Tây and Trúc Bạch. The next page, in Picture Posting, turns attention to that partner lake. Here the hope is to reflect a sense of peace and repose. Silhouette of fisherman and tree against lake. Two key methods of relaxation: fishing and the swan pedalos Group of men seen through trees by the lake. There are few ordinary houses near here. Given the climate, it is not surprising that the Vietnamese walk as... Bicycle standing with view of the lake. ...little as possible, so any group of people implies transport, this is normally provided by bikes; motorised or not Two pedalos further off, floats at top of nets which hang in the lake, in the foreground. These pedalos are greatly valued by young couples. The dense living arrangements (near here 30,000 people per sq. kilometre) of the city put privacy at a premium. What better place to be with a special friend than alone on a lake of an evening! The small floats are supporting nets which corral the fish ready for... Dark shadows to left with rod point upwards, floats on the lake. ...fishermen (and they are mostly men) such as the one disguised by these shadows Moored restraunt boat, couple on motorbike by railings. This boat sat just beside the pagoda (below) offering a restaurant on water - apparently no longer in action Far skyline of lake with two pedalos, towering cumulus clouds above. A reminder that pedalos are not entirely risk free. These towering cumulus clouds tell of the torrential rain that descends here on summer afternoons By backwater of lake, thick vegetaion and pagoda above. The Trấn Quốc Pagoda, six levels of which project above the trees, sits on an islet beside the Thanh Niên esplanade Looking along lake side towards houses with large hotel above them. Next to the pagoda is the Lake View Hotel, one of many luxury hotels in the district... Two story building out into lake. ...and on its own little islands (at the top of the luxury range) is the Intercontinental Hotel, more... Skyscraper above lower white buildings, three men at water's edge nearer. ...conventional, above the intercontinental's entrance, is the Sheraton. A be-hatted fisherman fishes Man Man squatting on blocks in lake, far horizon of city - continued in next picture. Moving around the lake to its south side a hunkered fisherman fishes, the centre of the city... Same man sitting on his blocks witht he view in the other direction - man in next picture. forms the horizon, showing how even by 2009 there were hardly any skyscrapers in central Hà Nội Closer shot of the man (in the last two pictures) squatting on his blocks. That man and his rod; keeping his feet dry 1 of 3 linked pictures, man with rod at back of throw. But some welcome cool water. Back... 2 of 3 linked pictures, man with rod forward. ...swing... 3 of 3 linked pictures, man with rodtwisted away from camera. ...throw Two younger girls on seat looking out across the lake towards city centre skyline. And here no excuse needed for these two girls (their long hair tells they are so) to simply enjoy the prospect 1 of 5 man rod behind. Another man sweeps his rod round... Couple on motorbike passing trees and fisherman. And while fishing and just sitting account for much of Ho Tay's contemplation, there is an alternative: to do what I had done when this photograph was taken; cruise round the lake on a motor bike, enjoying the fresher cooler air the bike engenders 2 of 5 man squatting with net for fish. ...and catches something? 3 of 5 man looking into net to see what he has caught. He thinks so 4 of 5 man reaching into net after fish. Yes 5 of 5 fish head visible in net. A decent size for a couple of meals Shot with tree up centre, seat with two boys, fisherman and standing man. Contemplation: friends talk, a man fishes, a man stands Trailers... Man fishing into large reflection of hotel in lake. The next Picture Posting page takes you across the esplanade to the abutting lake -
Trúc Bạch.
The Feis rois Ceilidh group, violins, guitar and harp. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'It Just Is'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 14th January 2023 Murphy on duty to this site

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