It’s a cliche, but in Hanoi it’s true: When it rains, it pours. Incredibly intense downpours – and poor drainage – produce flooding of up to two and a half feet in under a half an hour.

I decided in a fit of temporary insanity to ride my own motorbike out into this mess to take a few photographs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Model on Motobike

I finished taking photos of Saint Joseph Cathedral and rode over to Hoan Kiem to take some photos of the lake. On the way, I stopped at a corner to capture some street shots, as well as a pic of the iconic City View Cafe.

When I was done, I glanced to my left and saw this young woman sitting on her motobike (they’re called “motobikes” in Vietnam, the “r” is dropped … and the term “scooter” is completely unknown to the locals). I don’t know if she was waiting for someone or just taking a break from the traffic, but she didn’t seem to be in any hurry, so I approached her and asked if she’d be willing to let me take her photograph. Somewhat to my surprise, she was completely comfortable with it.
I quite like this photo. I think it’s got a mood to it that represents Hanoi’s nights pretty well. The only real flaw (as far as my amateur eye can tell) is it’s a little blurry around her head and face. She did an excellent job staying still, but I had the camera set at a pretty slow shutter speed (0.8 second) and there was some slight movement.