A hot day in Hoi An



A quiet day in Hoi An

It was a hot day and the air heavy. Not a day for doing much._MG_7780

the lie of the land

the lie of the land-1

_MG_2872-2 _MG_2893-2


Some don’t like it hot

Some don't like it hot

Keeping out of the sun and heat is no fun at all.

Where do the children play?

In the streets mainly. But sometimes they’re in the streets after a day’s work.

Along the way

At work

Building sites, roadworks, market stalls, rice paddies: women were everywhere, working from early morning till late. Along the hiking trails in Northern Vietnam too, I saw far more women than men, and learned that they walk dozens of kilometres daily in the hope of selling some of their handmade goods.

Market colours

A good night’s sleep

First night in Mai Chau, spent in a wooden stilt house. Beautiful and rustic but bloomin freezing! Rice wine helps you sleep though! Washing involved a bit of keep fit. Nice tea cosy: a hollowed-out coconut.

Rice paddies in sunshine village

In the Yen Mo district. Was it just my impression or is most of the sheer physical labour and commerce in Vietnam done by the women?

Ancestor worship

In the Yen Mo district of Ninh Binh

Views of the bay

Ha Long Bay is made up of countless limestone islets, some of which are huge. According to legend, these islets were formed when the gods sent dragons to help Vietnam to defend itself against attacks. These dragons spat out jade and jewels which then turned into the numerous rocky formations around the bay, preventing potential invaders from gaining ground.

Even when the sky was overcast or a dull dark grey, the bright jade hue of the water was astonishing. But the tourist debris and visible environmental pollution were a real disappointment. 

Hassle-free hotel

The guide books tell you that Hanoi’s hotel staff pester you to buy their tours. Not true of the peaceful place where I stayed, just a couple of streets south of Hoan Kiem Lake. All I saw and heard were smiles and greetings in Vietnamese, with a word or two of French and English here and there – enough to pay the bill and work out that the wifi connection was an off-on affair.

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