Photo: A public art project turned Hanoi's drab dyke wall into a colourful mosaic.

Mosaic wall

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Hanoi is home to the world’s largest mosaic mural wall, which snakes just shy of four kilometres along the Red River dyke running north to south to the east of city’s Old Quarter.

Sponsored placement.

The mosaic wall was unveiled to mark the thousand-year anniversary of the establishment of Hanoi, which was originally known as Thang Long and founded by Emperor Ly Thai To, in 2010.

A multitude of images are featured along the wall.  Photo taken in or around Mosaic wall, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

A multitude of images are featured along the wall. Photo: Samantha Brown

The concept was developed by Vietnamese journalist and artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, who wanted to create a piece of public art along the 800-year-old graffiti- and advertisement-ridden wall in order to bring local communities within Hanoi together. Several dozen Vietnamese and international artists along with hundreds of children, were involved in the wall’s design and construction, which started in 2007.

Every 100 metres or so a new design features on the wall: You’ll notice decorative patterns from different Vietnamese historical periods along with more modern artworks and children’s drawings. A smattering of recognisable world monuments, such as Indonesia’s Borobodur, also appear. Various companies, embassies and other organisations, like the Goethe-Institut and the British Council, sponsor some sections of the wall,

For a Vietnamese public display, the patriotism is fairly low key. Photo taken in or around Mosaic wall, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

For a Vietnamese public display, the patriotism is fairly low key. Photo: Samantha Brown

The tiles measuring three by three centimetres were created by local artisans, many in Hanoi’s Bat Trang ceramic village. Each square metre contains around a thousand tiles.

This is the largest ceramic mosaic in the world by area and is officially recognised as such by the Guinness Book of Records. It really is quite something, its colourful swirls brightening up an otherwise drab arterial road.

We wouldn’t usually recommend spending any time on the dyke road but the mural is worth keeping an eye out for, even if it’s just from a taxi en route to West Lake. In fact, viewing from a taxi or xe om is probably the best way to see it. The road changes name numerous times along its length but the section covered by the mosaic includes Tran Nhat Duat, Yen Phu and Au Co.


How to get there
From Old Quarter, walk along Luong Ngoc Quyen out towards Tran Nhat Duat. Directly opposite the end of Luong Ngoc Quyen you will see a large mural recognising Hanoi's 1,000-year anniversary. The mural runs to the left and right of this—you'll need to walk a couple of hundred metres either way to get past the road junction to the mural.

Mosaic wall
Dyke Road, Hanoi
Admission: Free

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Location map for Mosaic wall

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