American brightens up Hanoi alleyway
  • By Mai Cham | | April 12, 2017 09:13 AM
Scott Matt from the US has been repainting an alleyway in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and hopes he can paint all alleyways in the city.

His action has been praised by many people on the social media. Even though many support Matt, they also worry about the fact that he's breaking the laws.

A Facebooker named Thanh Thanh said, "I appreciate his kindness but will he be fined? You can't spontaneously fix and paint the Old Quarter."



Scott Matt wants to paint all alleyways in Hanoi

Facebooker Giang Nam said, "I'm not sure if he will be fined but he's contributing to the community and making the old roads look prettier. He's doing more than those people whose responsibility is making the city look good."

Matt graduated with a bachelor degree in Business Engineering from Drexel University and is teaching at an English centre in Hanoi. He came to Vietnam for the scenery and cheap living costs but had come to love the life in Vietnam. Matt said he wanted to make the alleyways nicer so that travellers would feel happier when they travelled through them.

According to him, the alleyways are one of Hanoi’s most lovely characteristics, however, visitors prefer the wide streets for safety. He hopes he can change the perspective about the small alleyways.



The alleyway looks different after being painted

Not only does he want to create a difference for the alleyways but also to make them as famous as the Hoan Kiem Lake or Ta Hien Street. If it is allowed, he's willing to paint all the alleyways in the city.

In order to repaint the Alleyway 50 in Hang Bac Street, he had asked for approval from the residents living nearby and stayed up late, sometimes until 2 am, to colour the walls. The residents love his work and gave him funds to buy paint. Some people also paint with him.

Matt knows there are laws protecting the Old Quarter that's why he only painted the small alleyway. "The Old Quarter is still the Old Quarter, I didn't change its structure," Matt said.

He went on to say that he didn't demolish a house and replace it with a newer one. However, as time gone by, there are things that need to be fixed and changed to be more suitable and sustainable.

The residents like the foreign man and said despite the language barrier, they still found ways to communicate and taught him Vietnamese.

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