The Postcard Trail....

First postcard to Mariana in Glasgow...from Hanoi

My postcard list is growing and I am delighted! If you asked for a postcard from me on my last post, consider it duly noted. If you would still like to receive one, please leave a comment or email me  I would be happy to write to you!

When I dusted off my postcard mailing list I realized we have travelled wide and far since I started writing at Collage of Life in 2009. Myanmar, Morocco, England, Israel, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Philippines, USA, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, France, Japan, India...this is where my postcard trail has taken us. 

I have travelled and many postcards?  I have no idea, but it's been plenty and I have enjoyed writing them all. Mr. H and I are always fascinated by where the requests come from...France, Canada, Australia, India, Malta, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Indonesia, Germany, Jordan and all across the USA. It truly is a collage of life! ;)

I started the most recent postcard trail last weekend from Hanoi.  Mr. H and I went along for a mix of business and pleasure. I never have difficulty keeping myself occupied when he is working, I am a fine tuned travelling spouse when it comes to following Mr. H. We have been to Hanoi several times and like to take each trip as it comes. I had two shops I wanted to check out and he had a restaurant he wanted me to try. When in Hanoi, you want to take it slowly because seriously, as you will see from the photos below, there is so much happening, you can miss it in the blink of an eye. Stopping to savor Hanoi in sight, sounds and taste is the best way to go...and oh yes, the shopping is good too!

I will skip right to the food
because I love Vietnamese food.
When in Hanoi, 
with a view to Hoan Kiem Lake
at 73 Cao Go Street, Hoan Kiem


All of these are worth every bite!

Fried Soft Shell Crab with Garlic Rock Salt
Cua bay rang muoi toi

Marinated Banana Blossom with Shredded Chicken Salad
Goi ga hoa choi

Deep Fried Crispy Tofu with Lemongrass and Chili
Dua trunk chien sa ot

Royal Lotus Fried Rice
Com chien hang bao

Traditional Grilled "Lang" Fish with Local Herbs
Cha ca lang co truyen

Those Vietnamese know how I love those herbs.
And a word on the 'fried' wouldn't even know it.
Each dish was as light and delicate as the next, the way we like it.

I had spied Hanoi Design Centre 
several times on past visits and always wanted to stop. 
So this time we pulled into 91 Au Co, Tay Ho 
and stayed a while.

The Centre is a one-stop showroom for buyers and tourists
 featuring the work of Vietnamese and International designers. 
You can find all sorts of Vietnamese treasures here and here.

We picked up the handwoven rattan vase
 on the right to tuck away in a corner of Tahilla Farm
and the hand woven fabric hanging from the ceiling below.

All and all it was a good shopping trip 
and well worth the visit. 
Our bags below are a testament to a job well done.

Tan My Design has been on my radar as well.
You can see the glass storefront along the sidewalk below.
It is located at 61 & 63 Hang Gai Street.

The view below is from the inside looking out to the street. 

I have not ventured into the hand-painted silk dress just yet
 although it did cross my mind that it would be a fun idea 
for a mother of the groom/bride dress. 
I am going to hold onto that thought for the next wedding. 
One down, three to go. ;)

We enjoy Vietnamese art as much as we do the food.
Hanging on the wall...a sea of conical hats.
If only we had the room...

I found a few little pieces at Tan My to tuck away for future gifts
and made a note to return another time without the Mr.
who is a good shopper but not a great shopper.  

Shopping mission accomplished, 
we did what we so enjoy doing in Vietnam.
Walking and taking it all in...slowly.

I love street scenes...
especially when I am on the go and no one has caught on.

Because eventually they do.

Couldn't resist the fist sign of spring on the balcony above. 

If you travel to Hanoi, a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake is a must. 
It was a dark and drizzly kind of day in Hanoi...even then, it has it's own charm. 
I should mention that they experience four seasons up north (Hanoi) as opposed
to our endless days of warm sunshine in the south (Saigon). 

To be honest, I find the grey a nice change at times, but not all the time.

Along the lake, gardens are under way with the first spring plantings. 
This was a reminder for me to stock up again on my conical hats for Tahilla Farm.
They make great gardening hats and are the perfect shape if you need to
cover yourself in mosquito netting. Which I do...

 Ladies everywhere (except me) were making efforts
 to protect their hair from the rain. 
I got a kick out of the pink plastic bag brigade below. 

and there you have it...our day in Hanoi. 
For it all happened in one day. 
We were on the run on Sunday..looking at Hanoi 
from above as we flew back to Ho Chi Minh City. 

We will be back in Hanoi in a few weeks time.
I wonder what I will get up to next?

Beep Beep from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City!

có một ngày tuyệt vời!
Have a great day!

A reminder...
if you would like to hop on the postcard trail.
You can write to me

My day to day photos are posted on Instagram.
If you would like to follow me, click here


  1. Jeanne, this was another beautiful post. Soooooo interesting...makes me want to hop on a plane and travel to a place I would never have thought of before reading your posts. Can you tell me the name of the gallery/store that had the conical hat painting? It was mesmerizing! Thanks for these wonderful insights, Jeanne. Angela Muller

    1. Thanks so much Angela! I found the conical hat painting at Tan My Design. The details are in the link above. It is a very large painting, what I showed in the photo is a portion of it. I can send you a photo of the actual painting if you like, you can then use it to refer to. Just let me know, happy to do so!

  2. I love the picture of your shopping bags...treasure trove!
    And the conical hat seems like what my wardrobe needs, as no matter what hat I wear in the garden I always seem to get a sunburn on the back of my neck of the tip of my nose.
    Will you paint your own silk dress? I've been toying with the idea of trying that with cotton this summer. Would love to see your creation!

    1. Hi got me on the silk dress, I had never thought of painting my own but now that you have mentioned it, what a clever idea to commision one in a design of my choosing. You have given me lots to think about....loving the idea by the minute. ;)

  3. Oh Jeanne -- I do so love your blog. Great photos and suggestions. I love the insight you give me into your life and the places you live. I feel sure we would be friends if we ever met (as I m sure do most of your readers)as your interests, humour and pleasure in life and places feels so familiar! Best wishes from London. Ceri x

    1. You are a sweetheart Ceri, thank you for your kind words and for reading along as long as you have. I love that you do! We are due for another letter catch up...time to update the booklist. ;) xx

  4. Delight post, thank you
    Great shopping.
    I love the what looks like a shorter ao dai, top in the window on the sitting mannequin. The crickets at her feet are unexpected and quite charming.

  5. You have such an amazing life, Jeanne. Thank you for sharing it with us! I loved ALL of this. :)

    1. Ha! Sometimes it feels more like the amazing race Heather! Thank you.... :)

  6. YOU DO get around!I'm thrilled to SAY I have one of YOUR GORGEOUS CARDS!Keep traveling and for SURE KEEP POSTING!!XX

  7. The Vietnam Tourist Board should hire you! I'm ready to book tickets. I love it all: the postcards, the art, the street life, the food... One day, long ago, you mailed me a postcard from London. Such a wonderful and generous gesture. An idea that I hope to emulate in my travels. Ah-h-h... I rarely use my penmanship, and it has certainly deteriorated. I hope to overcome that obstacle.

    1. Thank you Marielle...and you bring up a very good point. I neglected to mention (purposely) that penmanship was not a subject I excelled in. Mine is more like a scrawl...I call it a creative effort. I hope everyone else thinks so. ;)

  8. Jeanne,
    I treasure every postcard I have received from you. I would be delighted to receive another card at any time.
    Kristin Freeman
    1346 River Street
    Missoula MT 59801-1716 USA

    1. Absolutely Kristin, we are all set, thank you!

  9. Oh my goodness, what wonderful pictures! Marielle is right, you should be hired by Vietnam Tourism! I'm ready to go too. I love the postcard idea and must have missed your post on that. We seem to have lost (misplaced?) the art of penmanship, and it's nice to see it being used as you have.

    1. Thank you Larissa...just returned from 'Teapot Hill' with you...loved it! ;)

  10. Enchanting. You always seem to find the perfect place to shop or to eat. Grey is good sometimes. Very, very good.

    1. Thank you Loree...I can understand why you would appreciate the grey too. ;)

  11. Hello Jeanne,
    Your trip looks fascinating and exciting. I love your purchases. I would encourage you (should you need it!) to buy one (at least) hand painted silk dress(es).
    I agree with you that Hanoi looks moody and attractive wearing a grey cloak.
    Happy Easter.
    Helen xxx

    1. Thank you lovely would it be if you hand painted a silk dress! I would love that! Sending you warm wishes from Saigon for a Happy Easter! xx

  12. Wonderful photos....I love Vientnamese food. When we go to the big city...that is our lunch of choice. Vietnam is very near the top of our bucket list. We have been to Thailand and Malaysia...the food in that part of the world is amazing...

    1. Thank you Ali....I havent been to Thailand or Malaysia yet. On the bucket list, I hear wonderful things. :)

  13. It's so wonderful to travel Vietnam with your photos-the food, the streets, the villages, the culture, the sceneries.

    I love the hand-painted silk dresses, the rattan woven baskets and banana blossoms.

    Thank you Jeanne.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Edgar, I have to remind myself to do this more often. I have plenty more where they came from. ;) Happy Easter!

  14. Jeanne, I loved following along on your adventure shopping! As well as being included on your post card list, I have loved my post cards from England, and Vietnam.

    I hope that you enjoy whatever time you have led there and are ready for the next adventure!

    Happy Easter!

    hugs, Elizabeth

    1. Thank you Elizabeth...I am going to find a fun one for you. Stay tuned... ;)

      Happy Easter! xx


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