The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #137


A reader writes:

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.


Oh my god, you people are dicks. I picked Havana, Cuba. Because, they have balconies. And laundry.


Aieee, there are no reference points here. It’s obviously from a crowded city in a developing world. I think the piece of clothing at the top of the picture is a sari, therefore India. I’m going to go with Pune, just because it seems a better guess than Mumbai or New Delhi.

Another is on the right track:

It is neither Greenwich, CT nor Sandpoint, ID.


I never win so I never play. And I am not searching the web for picture matches (really, an algorithm is going to win if you are not careful). But this is Cairo. OK, maybe Tangiers. But it so charming I’ll go with Cairo. Where in Cairo? I’ll go with Zalamek.


Barcelona? I have no idea, but I’m going with that only because I schlepped myself around there after college and lived in a flat with a similar view – balconies crammed with plants, stray junk, plenty of laundry, even a flag. I’ll say the Raval quarter near the water: cheaper, a tad dangerous, popular with lower income ex-pats (at least in the ’90s.) Subscribing soon, btw!


Even though I’ve only participated once (I was one of the “Sausalito300″), I imagine the VFYW contest is what will give me the necessary push to subscribe once you put up your meter. I don’t think I could tolerate seeing the picture every week and never finding out where it’s from.

The lack of location clues or monuments in this week’s picture probably means that I have as good a chance as anyone. I’m going to go with Taipei, Taiwan, because the architecture and clothes hanging outside suggest a warm Asian locale. I’ll guess somewhere in the Datong district, near the Dagiaotou subway station.


This must be in Sampaloc, a district of Manila, Philippines. What else to say, but this is my birthplace. I miss home (I am currently living in California). I still hang my clothes in my backyard, even though I have a washer/dryer at home. And Filipinos are proud to display the US flag, even if it is a tattered one. No disrespect intended to the US of A.


It has the feel of Southern Europe or North Africa, but the pillars with balls probably are European. I see a lot of blue and white (buildings and textiles), the same color as the Napoli soccer team. So my guess is Naples.


I’ve never guessed before, but the close-up shot rather than the landscape shots you usually pick got me excited. The Israeli elections are coming up, Ramallah is the seat of the PA, and I just came back from Israel and stuff looks like that there. Plus I think that’s a tattered US flag on that balcony. I’m not spending anymore time on this!

Another nails the right country:

I’m going to guess Da Lat, Vietnam. They love narrow, multiple storied buildings like the one pictured.


The architecture looks like it’s showing both Chinese and French influences. So Vietnam, maybe? I don’t have time to study maps, I’ll go with Da Nang. As a port, I’m sure it’ll be a popular choice, and even if it’s wrong you’ll probably have a reader who’s been there, to that exact city and can tell you the names of the families drying their laundry across the street.


Hanoi? The skinny buildings, the balconies, the laundry on the line: This looks a lot like the view from the fifth floor balcony of the Lucky Hotel at 12 Hang Trong in the city’s Old Quarter. I was only there once, 11 years ago, but recall the clockwork bustle: the city woke up at 7:30 in the morning and was in bed by 8 that night. My favorite sound was the screeched electric jingle, blaring from loudspeakers on the ice-cream carts: the Southeast Asian Mister Softee. If this were a “Sound From Your Window” contest, there’d be no mistaking it.


That view looks extraordinarily familiar.  I would guess it’s in the Ba Dinh district of Hanoi, just off one of the alleys of Doi Can street near the B-52 museum.  It looks hauntingly similar to a view through the window of a girl I used to date.  Granted, almost all views in Hanoi look like that.  I know she’s not there anymore but that house was always full of expats. If this is the correct house then that window opens up to a mini balcony, and it might be worth noting that a burglar once hopped onto balcony and robbed my girlfriend blind while she was sleeping.

Another nails the right city:

Reminds me of scenes from the 1995 Vietnamese movie Cyclo.  So I’m looking for an urban-ish area, thus lacing me in the neighborhood of Tan Quy, Tan Phy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

About a half-dozen readers correctly guessed Ho Chi Minh City. To break the tie, we went with the guesser who participated in by far the most contests, 12. The winner writes:

This has got to be either Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, very likely in District 5.  There aren’t building that tall in Hanoi.  But which neighborhood?  I have no idea.  Kudos to the Dish-head who can find something from that picture to solve the puzzle.

Details from the submitter:

The photo was taken from the Tan Hai Long #1 Hotel, 14 – 16 Le Lai Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  But my room was at the back of the hotel overlooking Nguyen vfyw-contest-embedHere‘s the map from the hotel. I’ve attached a photo of the hotel back entrance, from Nguyen An Ninh Street.  I’m 99% sure our room was the one in the middle at the top of this photo, which I think was considered the 3rd floor, though I confess I can’t recall the room number and could have been the 4th floor. (I do know there are two parts to the hotel, and we were in a room in the “B” section.)  I’ll check to see if my friends remember.  Fortunately, given the relatively narrow building, there aren’t many choices (though I’ve learned not to underestimate Dish readers and their uncanny abilities in these contests).  Worst case, I can call the hotel if we need to break a tie.

I was there with friends for a Habitat for Humanity trip; we were in HCMC before heading down to the Mekong Delta for the build.  We all loved HCMC, and our hotel location was great because it was right next to the Ben Thanh Market, where we felt like big spenders because the exchange rate is around 20,000 dong to $1 US.  (However, as you might imagine, telling people that we blew thousands of dongs on our trip felt wrong for lots of reasons…)

Thanks for picking the photo.  I’ve read and been a fan of the blog for years (and became a subscriber this month!), but haven’t sent in anything before. Thanks to you and your colleagues for all your hard work. I look forward to seeing the guesses!