Street art and murals are not the first thing that you think of when going to Hanoi in Vietnam. In fact, Ho Chi Minh City has a much more active street art scene. In Hanoi, however, it is the very first things we saw as we left the airport. We saw elaborate graffiti (tags) and then we caught a glimpse of the 6.5 kilometer (4 mile) long mosaic. Street art turned out to be one of our Hanoi highlights.
We were intrigued and determined to see them up close during our visit.
Hanoi Highlights: The Longest Mosaic in the World
The Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural was conceptualized by Nguyen The Thuy in 2007. They were completed in time for Hanoi’s millennial celebration in 2010. You can’t miss them on the drive from the airport into Hanoi.
If you only see them that way, you’ve missed experiencing the longest mosaic in the world as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Hanoi mosaics show different periods of Vietnamese history, iconic scenes, tributes from other countries and other designs. Artists in the nearby village of Bat Trang made the tiles.
We walked to the mosaics from the Hanoi Opera house—it’s just a few blocks away and viewed them from across the street first. We were on a highway with motorbikes, cars and trucks whizzing by and beeping (you have to get used to the beeping in Hanoi).
It is best to see them from across the highway as well as up close.
The mosaics ran along the famous Long Bien Bridge originally built by Gustav Eiffel, more famous for the Eiffel Town and the Statue of Liberty. The bridge was bombed during the Vietnam War and then restored.
Tips for Going to See the Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural
The Murals of Hanoi
The murals of Hanoi, officially called the Vietnam-Korea Joint Project Public Art for Better Space (NGHE THUAT), is a joint Hanoi street art project between Vietnamese and Korean Artists. These murals are painted in the arches under the Hanoi railway. We loved the optical illusions in these murals—many people take pictures interacting with the murals as if they were real scenes.
Tips for Going to see The Murals of Hanoi
Street Art and Graffiti
Part of the fun of Hanoi street art is in the discovery. Most of the tags (see below) are on construction sites and easy to see, but the street art murals are harder to find. Keep your eyes out for narrow streets and alleyways—sometimes you’ll find all of the houses covered in murals.
Interested in Street art around the World? Check out:
Where is your favorite Street Art? Please leave a comment.
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