Obama fever: Hanoi & Saigon styles

By Kim Thuy   May 25, 2016 | 06:23 pm GMT+7

In his first visit to Vietnam, the U.S. president was welcomed by Hanoians and Saigoneers in ways he's never seen before. Cheering crowds of Vietnamese waving flags, ready to snap a photo of Obama followed his every step.

Obama was everywhere. Pictures of the president flooded social media, advertising banners and the streets as people carried posters designed especially to greet him. From the very first moment he came to Hanoi, locals had been lining up the streets, waiting for hours to greet the president. His every actitity was tighly watched by the public with huge interest. Every place the president came attracted huge crowds no matter the weather or time of day.

"On this visit, my heart has been touched by the kindness for which the Vietnamese people are known for, and the many who have been lining the streets, smiling and waving, I feel the friendship between our peoples," Obama told a conference in Hanoi on May 23.

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People have been waiting for hours outside a hotel in Hanoi where the president was expected to stay. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

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The Hanoi crowd. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

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A Hanoian with a big photo of the president. Photo by VnExpress

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Hanoians taking pictures as the president heads to the Presidential Palace. Photo by VnExpress

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Under the heavy rain, people line up on the streets to see the president when he stops by a village in Hanoi to buy some 'com'. Photo by VnExpress

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Waiting for the president to come to Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Hieu

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"Hello president," cheer Saigoneers. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Hieu

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Saigoneers ready to snap a glimpse of Obama on their phones. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Hieu

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Photo by VnExpress

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Streets near the Jade Emperor Pagoda where the president visited. Photo by VnExpress.

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People waving Vietnamese flags to welcome the president to Saigon. Photo by VnExpress

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People in Saigon fill the streets along the president's way with American and Vietnamese flags. Photo by VnExpress

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A crowd of Saigoneers awaiting the president. Photo by VnExpress

Working under the rain for the safety of the president...

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In Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress

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Photo by VnExpress

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Hanoi Police on duty during the president's visit. Photo by VnExpress

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Photo by VnExpress

The food he tasted, the stores he had visited - all became famous overnight.

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The cheering crowd waves at the president after he has had some 'bun cha' and Hanoi Beer for diner on May 23. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

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Outside the 'bun cha' place in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Facebook was another channel for people to show their feelings for the president. Those who were lucky to have a selfie with the president proudly showed their pictures while others congratuled the lucky ones and expressed jealousy.

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People trying to have a selfie with the president after a conference in Hanoi. Source: Facebook

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A Vietnamese artist shows her palm-leaf conical hat with a hand-drawn picture of Obama on it. 

Posters to welcome the president could easily be seen on the streets at the places he planned to visit.

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Saigoneers invite the president to try some 'ca phe sua da' (ice coffee with condensed milk). Photo by VnExpress

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Photo by VnExpress

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A poster near Jade Emperor Pagoda which the president visited on May 24. Photo by VnExpress

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The president is so famous that some stores in Hanoi used his image for advertising. Photo by Reuters

Vietnamese media and the pulic had been trying to record every moment of this historic visit.

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The president says goodbye to Vietnam and heads for Japan. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Phuc