Clips on Hanoi

Hanoi on the small screen.

What we say: 3.5 stars

Recently, Hanoi Grapevine alerted me to the YouTube launch and initial success of rap song and associated video Oi Gioi Oi. The tongue-in-cheek song and video by Hanoi Sessions features EP rapping about those things in Hanoi that make you say “Oi gioi oi” — an expression that can be used to express surprise, annoyance or delight (I will leave you to determine an appropriate comparison in your own language). Indicator lights that haven’t been switched off (oh, so common), Hanoi’s weather and the noise are all referenced.

Get to know Hanoi through film, not just pictures

Get to know Hanoi through film, not just pictures.

It got me thinking about other videos I’d seen about Hanoi that may be enjoyed by those familiar with the city as well as those planning a trip. So here are a couple of other YouTube clips worth a look.

Hanoi Timelapse is 3 minutes and 42 seconds of footage of the streets and sights in Hanoi throughout the day, on high speed and mainly taken from rooftops. Look out for the swan boats on Truc Bach and West Lake (taken from the rooftop bar at the Sofitel Plaza I believe), the aerobics class in front of the statue of Ly Thai To, and motorbikes riding through flood water. Yes, there are plenty of traffic shots, but there’s a lot more besides.

This tourism video takes a slow wander around Old Quarter. The footage is clear and wide-ranging and the commentary is informative, although a bit slow — it could do with a bit of life — and ends with a tedious sales pitch about Ha Long Bay. Have a look if you have seven minutes to spare.

For another side of Hanoi, this five-minute clip about the CAMA Festival in 2011 proves that quality live music does make it up here every now and again. There’s also a video about another CAMA event, Go-Go Japan, featuring one of my favourite live bands — Okamoto — playing their hearts out. While events like these don’t happen regularly, venues like Hanoi Rock City are hosting international class acts and DJs more and more often, so check their website for details.

If you missed the First Time Filmmakers in Vietnam series shown last year, it’s worth a look. The “Jam Busters” film, made with the participation of VOV Traffic Channel, gave a close-up view of the traffic issues facing Hanoi and is entertaining as well as concerning.

Another Hanoian issue, poor construction quality, is clearly shown in this short video of a building collapsing. This five-storey building in Dong Da district was to house a new Pizza Hut — it is believed that too many of the walls had been replaced with glass. No-one was injured in the collapse. Full story here in case you’re interested.

Onto food and some food porn that shows the variety and appeal of Vietnamese cuisine. “Vietnamese food up close spring 2011” is a bit repetitive in its style of footage but has some shots that’ll make your mouth water.

“Mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes on the streets of Hanoi” is more documentary style, as its American “star” tries sugar cane juice, pho, sticky rice, ice cream, green papaya salad and bun cha. Food footage is interspersed with clips around Old Quarter.

To end on light tone, comedian Craig Lillard does a nice skit about the difficulties of learning the language.

Last updated: 24th October, 2014

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