Think your apartment is too small? Take a look at this ‘cage home’ in Hanoi

By Ngoc Thanh   July 26, 2017 | 11:09 am GMT+7

This super-tiny apartment in the heart of the capital has been home to two men for 20 years.

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Completely hidden in an alley on Thuoc Bac Street in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District, the apartment measures only 2.2 square meters (23.7 square feet).

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This is where Chu Van Cao, 70, and his twenty-something son have called home for the past 20 years. The old man said it used to be a 16-square-meter apartment before his wife left, leaving him a big debt born from several bad business ventures.

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He had no choice but to divide the small apartment up and sell it off piece by piece, keeping only enough space for a bed.

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Cao loves reading. He usually borrows books and newspapers from their neighbors. “I used to have a small TV but it took up too much space and used electricity so I sold it,” he said.

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“Every generation has its own story. This is all I have, and my son has understood that since he was just a little boy,” Cao said when asked if he and his son have plans to rent a bigger place.

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A shelf on the wall that faces the bed. “It’s small but if you know how to keep things in order, it’s good enough,” he said.

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This "cage home" lies in an old and downgraded building.

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Every morning, Cao walks to his friend's coffee shop to do the cleaning. This is how he earns a living.

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Cao always looks happy despite his tough life, his neighbors say. “I’ve met many people who are much poorer and more miserable than me, so I think my life is just average,” he said.