...so where are Hanois graveyards located? Particularly where the locals used to bury the Hanoians sometimes around 50-100 years ago? Im trying to track some Westerners, missionaries and merchants, buried here then, so any information is appreciated.
2. Any 2nd hand markets around somewhere?
all the burials that I know of happen at Van Dien, about 10km south of Hanoi on Giai Phong (the saigon road). These days I think it is exclusively cremation, and I didn't investigate the cemetery much, so I don't know if there are older / western burial plots there.
Incidentally, the location of this cemetery apparently gave rise to the Hanoi slang "Move South" for "Pass away"
There is an old map from the French times that shows two cemetaries in the south of the city. Thye were called the foreigners cemetary and the 'Saigonais' cemetary. (no idea who they were)
It was in the area off the motorbike parts market off pho Hue. Between Nguyen Cong Tru and Thinh Yen, just west of Hai Ba Trung Temple.
Try google.com.fr and maps of hanoi and you should find it. Or if that fails pm me and I'll try to find it again in my files.
In the early 1930s, there was quite a scandal with two different cemeteries. One was just east of the train station and was moved, with much acrimony, to allow for the draining of the area. It was quite swampy and thus malarial. The second cemetery, as the previous poster, opera, pointed out was where the Hai Ba temple is. The movement of the graves from this area caused quite a contentious--and very interesting from the point of view of an historian--public debate about the conflicting interests of devout Vietnamese visitors to the cemetery and the use of urban space for burying foreigners, be they missionaries or not, foreign or Vietnamese.
The majority of the graves were moved to Van Dien, as grubby pointed out.
I don't know how old it is but there is a cemetery at the back of Ciputra. It is quite weird as it looks like (somebody told me ) that they have buried the corpses not horizontal but vertical, I mean standing - once again here to save space as land is expensive.
If you want to go I'll give some more explanation of the exact location. It is really adjacent to the wall of Ciputra ghetto.
The Social Sciences Library (Thu Vien Xa Hoi) at 25 Ly Thuong Kiet has a database of photos. There are a number of photos of the French grave sites. I entered 'Hanoi' and came up with about 3,000 photos. The graveyard ones were at about 2000 (???)
Guess you could enter cemetary in Vietnamese or French ....
To get access to the library take a letter of introduction from your place of work. They probably only look at the letterhead as the women I talked to didn't speak English. Take your passport and fill out a form. dob, nationality etc.
If they look at you sternly never fear - I think they're not used to foreigners coming in ... the head lady and I eventually ending up laughing a lot as we tried to find what I wanted.
You may also try the Hanoi Library. It will open on Ba Trieu at Tran Hung Dao (new building with a circular entrance) on 10/10 (DBP anniversary) Currently they're in the citadel area. Go to the entrance at 15 Hoang Dieu (? across from Vo Nguyen Giap's house) and go through the gates at the far end of the lane past the Royal gates. Look to your left and you'll see some doors open - the library is temporarily in there. Ask about their photos. They're in envelopes at the moment but they seem to be able to find things I wanted.