Showing posts with label Vietnam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam. Show all posts

11 December, 2012

Happy Birthday 'L' (and Thematic Photographic - SHADE)

Today, you would be 43... You are forever missed...


This weeks 'Thematic Photographic' (check out Carmi's post) is all about the shades... My take of this, is looking at the cause of the 'shade' and that is a cloud... Carmi explains much better than I the technical difficulties about shooting a shade, but here we can see the Vietnamese sun, glaring through and piercing the clouds to form brilliant sunrays. The adverse effect of this, is of course, that there will also be shades cast onto the earth underneath...

Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays
Clouds of shade and sunrays

So make sure you go and visit, come back through the week, and see if I post another shade, and I promise, there wont be 50 greys either!!

Hoo roo for now...


05 December, 2012

Wordless Wednesday No. 68 - Mellow Yellow Caves of Vietnam

Ok, NOT quite wordless, as it is also "Thematic Photographic - Mellow Yellow" as well...

Here, we are deep in the 'Surprise Caves' of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. The theme (mainly due to the types of lights used) has a distinct yellow hue about them. First, we have the "Pointing Finger", even though an English Gentleman (well into his 70's if not 80's suggested his 'magazine' suggested otherwise).

"The Pointing Finger"
"Pointing Finger"

Here is a hsot of the roof of the caves, it was difficult to photograph inside, given the low light, number of people and the speed in which we had to walk...

Caves Roof
Caves RoofDeep into the cave
Deep into the caves...Caves Exit
Caves Exit

Hoo roo for now...


28 November, 2012

Wordless Wednesday No. 67 - Colours of Vietnam

Saigon SunsetIMG_6332.jpg
IMG_6340.jpgSaigon by nightHoi An Lanterns
Hoi An - LanternsSapa Waterfall
Sapa WaterfallHa Long Bay Sunset
Ha Long Bay - SunsetHanoi Street
Hanoi Street

Hoo roo for now...


19 November, 2012

Vietnam - Hanoi Day 2 & 3

Today was to be the catch-up 'Hanoi City Tour' that we moved due to a sickness earlier in the trip. We had breakfast, and got ready for the guide to meet us nice and early - 8am!

Our first point of call was the tomb of the late Mr Ho Chi Minh ('Uncle Ho' as he is known). We were told that we could NOT take in cameras or mobile phones, and happily packed everything up and left with our guide. There was also a 'tourist' entrance and a 'Vietnamese' entrance (which also had a priority, but still, NO phones/cameras! Anyway, we made our way through security, yes, bags x-rayed and walk through a metal detector - much the same as in any airport! Anyway, we joined the very long, snaking its way around corners, regular guards along the way. The asian (chinese I think) girl in front of us, pulls out her phone and started to take photos of the long line! Even the Japanese guys behind us saw this as an invitation and got theirs out!!! The girl in-front, even used it in front of a guard!!!We eventually made our way to the door of the tomb, where Uncle Ho was laid in state, and the guards were telling people to 'shhh'. M even got told to remove her hands from her pockets! There were four guards around Uncle Ho, each looking at the passing crowd, ensuring silence, and NO photos etc. The tomb is closed for a month every year, to allow him to be restored, our guard later told us that he never wanted to be on public view like this, yet the public wanted to view him! It was alomst sureal to see him, and I left with very mixed emotions to what I had just seen...

We then walked through the grounds, past his house and 'Stilt House' before coming out to the front of the Mausoleum.

Uncle Ho's MausoleumUncle Ho's Mausoleum - WideUncle Ho's House

As we were walking back to the bus, we passed by the bike parking area... All I could think of was, "now WHERE did I park my bike...?"

Where's my bike?

Next up, we stopped at the 'West Lake' Pagoda, quite a nice (large) lake... And not too bad of a Pagoda either!

West Lake PagodaM photgraphing the PagodaOfferings

Next stop, was the Museum of Literature, which was more of a University of sorts... We were somewhat lucky, as in a couple of days time it was the graduation day for students! And today, a lot of them were here giving thanks to the teachers (National Teacher Day) and were also praying for success in the Higher Examination coming...

Museum of LiteratureStudents Formal DressGod of LecturesStudents in GownsPosing

Our final (we dropped the 'shopping' tour of the 'Old Quarter' in Hanoi as we do that of an evening) destination for the day was the Museum of Ethnology. This was looking back at the history of the Vietnamese people, and the housing used by the minority people; primarily to the north. There was a lot of fascinating things to look at here, especially the differing styles of housing!

Water PuppetThere IS a bike underneath all of this!HousingBedLong BoatHousingStepsHousingHousingHousingHousing

We then headed back to the hotel to rest up, have dinner, and get some sleep...

The following day, was a mad-dash shop around the streets to grab a few last minnute bargains, before the flights back to Saigon and home. It will be good to get back home...

Hoo roo for now...


16 November, 2012

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay (2 day post)

The train trip from Sapa to Hanoi was over, THANK GOD!!! The train was HOT, uncomfortable and down right disgusting... But hey, we survived!! It was now time to find our way out to Ha Long Bay for a Junk cruise... This part of the trip, I think, I was MOST looking forward to! Our driver arrived at the hotel, but as we didn't know, he didn't know us either, so we both missed each other by accident! But, the hotel guys introduced us to each other and we loaded our bags, and the 3 hour drive had commenced (and me in the shotgun seat)! At first, not even out of the first street, I didn't know if I should be happy or scared!

About 90 minutes into the trip, we stopped into a 'service center' type place, selling everything from marble statues to long stitch silk artworks. Here we grabbed a drink, some snacks, and I also swapped shotgun! Along the way, J took a short video of a near miss, but we had an even closer one where we were on the other side of the road, overtaking that was WAY TO CLOSE! Vietnam has no road rules I am sure now! Another 60 minutes down, and we were pulling into the Ha Long Bay Marina area.

Upon arrival, our bags left with a porter, we were assigned our junk, and a small tender took us out to it. We also had to put on 'Life Vests' (Personal Floatation Devices)! We had to go upstairs where we were welcomed aboard with welcome drinks, a small briefing (what was happening rather than a safety briefing) before heading to see our cabins. The cabins were actually not too bad space wise, although more on that later... We quickly unpacked, got out clothes that needed to be washed, and tended to that, before getting ready for the afternoon tour. By this stage, we had already sailed a fair distance, and had just dropped anchor. The tour this afternoon was through a local fishing village, that actually live on the bay itself!


When we got back to the junk, J had stayed behind as it was his turn to be a little unwell, we did a quick look at photos, before getting ready for dinner. There was a large French tour group, c. 24 people, a honeymoon couple and another 3some onboard, and an aged English couple! We also felt a little 'underdressed' for dinner, but who cares, we're on holiday!!

Dinner was delicious, we all had the Australian Steak, as opposed to the fish. It was a five course meal, and was mostly, very nice indeed! After dinner, we did some 'squid fishing' (dangling hook with lure) all to no avail...


The following morning, we woke to grey skies, no rain, and a coolish morning, which was pleasant. However, when J went into M's cabin, there was a very distinct smell of gas! This only compounded other issues that had been in the room!! The shower door would not close, so water went everywhere, and the drain would not drain, so water WAS everywhere! The a/c turned itself off overnight, and the extra wall fan did not work either!! And, to top it all off, the cabin had NO Life Vests (PFD's) either, so not a very safe cabin to have been in at all!! Needless to say, we reported it to the Cruise Manager! There was only a light breakfast being served, a slightly more substantial brunch was to be served later... After breakfast, we headed towards the 'Surprise Cave', and the tender was to take us across to it. We were told that there was 600 odd steps along the way, in three parts, up to, inside and the way down. The walk through the cave, was fantastic, lots to see, and was well worth it!


We were soon back on the junk, and heading back towards the marina and the drive back to Hanoi. The drive back though, was a quicker affair, and much smoother... Forgetting the fact that along the way, it was often quicker and easier to simply drive on the opposite side, in excess of the speed limit... And then we took a turn off, that seemed to go into the 'who knows where' area, a small concrete (single car width just about) road along a ridge, but thankfully he did this, as in no time at all, we were pulling into our hotel... It was nice to see we were 'home'!

We took a moment or two to freshen up, and then headed out for dinner and a walk up the street markets, and that was extreme with cars, bikes and people moving every which way other than the way we wanted to go!! but, I got a bargain, a new belt... Starting price was 450,000VND, but, with bargaining and more bargaining, I walked away with it for 260,000VND (he wasn't at all happy with my bargaining style...)

Hoo roo for now...