Hanoi's "Sidewalk Iced Tea" Culture
La Sinfonía del Rey Hotel & Spa
23.12.2019

Selling glasses of iced tea to customers, there only needs to be a small table or foam box and a few plastic chairs. Though simple and rustic, these sidewalk iced tea places are where the most interesting conversations and stories about life and society are born. The sidewalk iced tea culture has been such a quintessential part of the city's cultural fabric and contributes to rustic and unique charm of the thousand-year-old capital, as it reflects the most mundane and ordinary of the everyday lives of the Hanoi citizens yet exudes so much history and traditions preserved and passed down through generations, where people find joy in the little things and talking with others. This sidewalk iced tea has also been an endless source of inspiration for many street photographers in Hanoi. 



If you are from Hanoi, or have lived in this city long enough to understand Hanoi, it is impossible to miss the familiar image of the sidewalk iced tea vendors. It is omnipresent throughout the streets, from the bustling neighborhood next to luxury shopping centers, expensive restaurants, cafes …to the narrow streets and alley ways of Hanoi. 



At an iced tea stall on Hang Giay Street, every morning there is usually a group of elderly people who gather to have a glass of iced tea and chat about life.



On the corner of Hang Vai Street, the sugar cane juice stall sells both green tea and waterpipe tobacco shopping. Many people say that living in Hanoi,when you walk out of the house, you walk to the street and you see an iced tea shop immediately. 



Across the streets, roads, alleys, everywhere you can spot the scene of people drinking iced tea.



No difficulty in preparing, easy to please the taste buds of most people, sidewalk iced tea is friendly, casual and simple. Pictured here is the iced tea shop on Bat Dan Street, which used to be the inspiration for many street photographers.



At the iced tea shop on Hang Dieu Street, there is a thermos bottle, a tea pot, a candy jar, a plow and a few bottles of soft drinks, and a few chairs to attract customers. Places like this often have a lot of life and social information, from the price of electricity, water, street incidents, housing, buying and selling …



The laborers gather at the iced tea shop in Hang Chi alley to watch the current news. The tiny television from the "ancient times" still attracts the audience.



The old lady sells ice tea at O Quan Chuong. She said this year she is over 80 years old and has sold iced tea for decades. "I don't need anything for the house, but I like to sit and sell tea for fun, and listen to the stories of the people," she said.



If you've ever wandered the streets of Hanoi, spent the student life on the land of  thousand-year-old Thang Long - Hanoi, iced tea is a not strange thing, it is a unique and familiar culture. Not difficult to recognize.



On Hang Chieu Street, the "comfort" of an iced tea shop is sometimes just a foam box cut into a table or a few plastic chairs.



An old man is resting on an iced tea shop on Hang Luoc street. Iced tea is not a luxurious drink, not in the list of tea art of Vietnam, but it is everywhere, from the countryside to the city. It has become such an indispensable part of the city's cultural fabric. 



The grandmother and grandchild are playing while away from customers on Gam Cau Street.



The equipment needed to have a tea shop are just a few charcoal stoves, thermal water bottles…



A tea shop nestled on the ancient street of Nguyen Quang Bich.



Specifically Huan (82 years old, in Quynh Mai area, Hai Ba Trung district) confided: "I have been selling for nearly ten years. Waterpipe tobacco smoking and iced tea have been a hobby since my youth in the countryside. Now in the street, I sell goods just to earn a little money, just to give back to the homeland. "



A boy drinks green tea at a restaurant on Hang Tre street. Iced tea is served and cater to all people, from students, motorbike drivers, to government officials ... Iced tea does not distinguish class or personality ... even some cultural researchers of Hanoi also named it "Iced Tea Culture - Sidewalk Culture".



It's simple, but the habit of iced tea on the sidewalk is the nostalgia and affection of young people away from Hanoi, is the curiosity that inspires others to discover this land of thousands of years of civilization.


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