Squeezing through Hanoi's alleys, where size really does matter

By Ngoc Thanh   July 28, 2017 | 02:34 pm GMT+7

Don't have a big breakfast if you want to explore these tunnels through the capital. 

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter

Two small alleys running parallel on Hang Thiec Street in downtown Hanoi.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-1

Locals say these alleys were built dozens of years ago when parents split houses to provide entrances for their children.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-2

An alley on Hang Dieu Street is 60 centimeters (24 inches) at its widest point, just enough for a person to walk through. “I’ve been here for 40 years. I’ve got used to it,” said Nguyen Thi Hue (L).

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-3

Even pulling a 40-centimeter cabinet down the alley is tricky.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-4

An alley on Hang Bong Street is just wide enough for a motorbike.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-5

This alley on Hang Dau Street is one of the smallest in the capital at just 46 centimeters wide.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-6

Families share around 10 square meters (12 square yards) at the end of this alley and use the space as a kitchen.

squeezing-through-hanois-alleys-where-size-really-does-matter-7

Some alleys expand into tiny restaurants.