Si and I are currently spending a couple of days in Hanoi. It was a short notice trip with really no set itinerary, but changed into many plans as we got to experience different parts of Hanoi with new friends.
Today I learned about the area, which will become a part of my own family history. Generations of Si’s family from his mom and dad’s side lived in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. His whole family were uprooted from Vietnam in 1978 from the Sino-Vietnamese War because they were ethnic Chinese. Due to the war, his family dispersed all around the world to North America and Europe.
Si gave me the tour of his old neighborhood. He was only two when they had to move, so he does not have any recollection of the area. However, his mother showed him when they made the first trip back in 2005. Si’s old house is on Hang Bac street, one of the oldest streets in the Old Quarter. We walked into the entry way where it led to the narrow hallway and staircase with the original black and white tiles still intact. Another family lives in their home now; neatly placed shoes were outside the door.
We walked along the street of his grandparent’s house on Hang Bo street adjacent from Hang Bac street. A couple of streets over, his cousin’s old house is now a restaurant.
After our walk around his old neighborhood. We headed to Hoan Kiem Lake, a frequent date spot for his parents. We strolled around the lake as his parents did over 40 years ago.