Like many expats before her, staff writer Jesse Meadows stopped in Hanoi on a backpacking trip in early 2015 and just hasn’t managed to leave yet. A compulsive documentarian with a case of incessant curiosity, she loves buying one-way tickets, photographing dance parties and writing stories on the bus.
I find Vo Duc Anh early on a Wednesday night at Hanoi Rock City, the music venue he’s run in Hanoi for almost six years. He’s on the phone, cigarette in hand, lamenting a guitar without strings and asking someone on the other end to bring some. He hangs up and extends a slender tattooed arm to me.
Who needs the seaside when we’ve got the Red River?
Vietnam’s urban expansion hasn’t always gone to plan and some areas, particularly on the outskirts of Hanoi, remain uncompleted and unoccupied. They’re not ghost towns, but they might as well be. Photos by Julie Vola. Words by Jesse Meadows
Jesse Meadows visits that most mysterious of suburban phenomena; the gated compound. Photos by Julie Vola