Nice shot! :)
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Hanoi: pretty, charming, slightly communist, dusty, reminiscent, historical, bustling, small, growing. Thought I’d share a few thoughts and tips for anyone thinking of doing this trip.
When I went December 2013/January 2014
When to go I’m not sure if I would advise travelers to come to Northern Vietnam during winter season. Although what the Northern Vietnamese would call ‘winter’ is quite mild in comparison to other places (like, say, Beijing), the cold can be a inhibiting especially if you’re planning to do the Halong Bay and Sapa side trips.
For the first time in 50 years, in fact, it snowed in Vietnam (northwest region), which stopped us from doing the Sapa tour. I read that it can be quite miserable in the area during winter – you will barely see anything because of the fog/mist, and heating is inadequate; luxury accommodations are supposedly unheard of, so you won’t have the comforts of a warm and cozy place. Well, that decided it for me. For us (my family and I), actually. No way were we venturing into snow flurries – I had left Hong Kong for Southeast Asia to escape the cold, and here I was…
In Halong Bay, meanwhile, you won’t be able to swim, sunbathe, or whatnot at wintertime. I can imagine what it would be like during the summer (the full moon parties of Koh Phangan in Thailand come to mind) – but then again, we were on a family trip, so we were fine without. Also, the waters of Halong Bay were much too murky for me to even want to dip into anyway… (I’m from the Philippines, so I’m spoiled as hell when it comes to beaches and sea water).
Excellent report! :)
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Literally sidewalk cafe.
Nothing is like sipping Nau Da Coffee (a type of Vietnamese coffee with black coffee and condensed milk) with sunshine sneaking through the green foliage above. Besides me are people sitting on the sidewalk with nothing but pieces of used newspaper underneath, chatting away while snacking on some of Saigon’s most common street food: sour mangos mixed with spices, peanuts and the like. The merry sound of birds chirping mingles with sounds of people passing on the busy streets – this place is like a peaceful haven in the chaotic Saigon.
A street vendor preparing sour mangos.
Sour mangos, peanuts, and sesame crackers are not the only delicacies to be found here on the sidewalk. Here boasts a variety of Saigon specialties: mixed Banh Trang (a type of rice noodles), Banh It, and Meat Ho Lo (like sausage, only better) – Saigon takeaway food.
Mixed Banh Trang – Vietnamese super-fast food, served in plastic bags and eaten with disposable chopsticks.
Basically rice noodles combined with mangos, herbs, chillies, and other spices, mixed Banh Trang is not at all impressive or too complex a dish. But the ingredients with their distinct textures and flavors are so precisely balanced (okay, NOT too precise) and so well combined that it will make you hungry for more. Simply delicious.
Really nice imagery! :)
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During this voyage I realized that traveling alone is the biggest experiment I can conduct on myself. I say that because since I am the only person making decisions in new places, I can see the immediate results of my decisions and how exactly I react to new environments. I know I can see how decisions and environment affect me at home, but not quite as explicit as when I am this isolated and controlled subject. I can trace exactly how I met a person and what I did that lead to my circumstance right now.
When traveling alone, I’m an isolated variable and my new contexts are new experiments.
Hoi An is a beautiful port city with buildings painted with bright colors like yellow and turquoise, once colonized by the Chinese for its premium location in Southeast Asia. In Vietnamese, this dreamy city’s name means ‘peaceful gathering’ and when I was here, the open spaces and clear air refreshed my mind that I almost forgot about all the busy ruckus left behind in Hanoi.
Nice shots! :)
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Day 191/365, f/3.2, 1/160s, ISO 400, 35mm
Excellent shot! :)
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“Someone working” (photo taken in September 2010)
another entry to take part in our friend’s challenge on Facebook, #30diasdeclicks under the title “Someone Working.” I found this picture both litterally and in a humorous manner to be adequate for the challenge.
In Hue, Vietnam.
Well, he is “at work” :)
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WordPress give us a weekly photographic challenge. This week it’s Street Life as a topic.
I saw this woman on a small back road in rural Vietnam, moving her household belongings from one part of her village out along this little lane to another. Her little cart was loaded with bedroom and dining furniture and I imagined at the time she was a newly wed woman moving into her new husbands home.
Fantastic shot! :)
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Cool shot, he sure looks comfotable! :)
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Wonderful shots, colorful for sure! :)
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Falling in love with Hoi An, Vietnam is an easy thing to do. Effortless really. So much so that all it took was a brief walk through the stone streets of this old French town to have my heart aching with love. I had been wanting to visit Hoi An for years after seeing photos of it in a magazine or online (I can’t remember which), and was incredibly happy to discover that the city is even more beautiful in person. (see the whole post here.)
Wonderful shot, wondering if that’s as easy as it looks? :)
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A happy snap from a junk on Halong Bay, Vietnam.
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I am currently on a four month journey, traveling and eating my way around Southeast Asia. The attached video is from my recent trip to the Green Hope Lodge in Cát Tiên (Nam Cát Tiên sector), Vietnam’s largest National Park. The lodge grounds overlook the Dong Nai River and the lush forest surrounding my bungalow offered the much needed fresh air which Saigon lacks. I spent the day lounging on hammocks, writing in the riverside wooden cabana and eating impeccably fresh, authentic Vietnamese dishes. This video was taken during the afternoon downpour, a daily occurrence in the monsoon season. I laid there, relaxing and safely covered from the rain, while Mother Nature gave us relief from Vietnam’s overwhelming heat.
Nice shot! Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t seem to like that video format :(
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Beautiful shot, you both look so happy! :)
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