Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snacks on the move

Overloaded vehicles are common around the city. This one is a motorbike with a trailer attached to the back

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vinashin "Hoa Sen" in Cam Ranh bay

I do not know much about boats, but I do know that Vinashin is one of Vietnam's largest companies. I took this while coming into land at Cam Ranh airport, which services Nha Trang. Any ideas on what the boat is used for?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Office with a view

Our project partners at the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang do it pretty tough, having to stare out at the ocean all day. The Pasteur Institute is part of a global network of 24 foreign institutes devoted to medical research in developing countries

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Phu Tho racecourse

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Vietnam. Locals can participate in a myriad of lotteries or they can head out to the race track and bet on little horses ridden by what seem to be 25 kg teenagers. However betting on the ponies is only allowed on weekends, so there will be no Melbourne Cup actually at the racetrack this year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Notre Dame Cathedral

I really like the view of the rear of the cathedral, the series of cloisters and plenty of down pipes give the church an antique yet patched together feel

Friday, October 23, 2009

Various salted fish

You can pick up all manner of salted or cured fish and shrimp in Ben Thanh market. Although the thermonuclear glaze and questionable hygiene may put off a purchase for some

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lao Cai beer

Lao Cai is the capital city of Lao Cai province, in the north east of Vietnam and bordering China. It is home to Vietnam's highest mountain, Mt Fansipan, the mountain town of Sapa and some notable ethnic minorities such as the Hmong, Tay and Dao. It is a place definitely worth checking out, and the beer is OK too

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silver Waterfall

Outside of Sapa near the Tram Ton pass is Thác Bạc (Silver waterfall). For a Vietnamese waterfall it is relatively undefiled.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hmong women

The mountain town of Sa Pa is home to ethnic minorities such as Hmong, Tay and Dao (pronounced Dzao). The black Hmong, so called because of their dark indigo dress, populate the market and streets of the town, flogging their wares to the tourists

Black Hmong on the streets of Sapa

Hmong mother and child

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beer Professors

The translation may read Stelae of Doctors (these are lists of graduate names on stone tablets at the 900 year old Hanoi Temple of Literature), but it also translates nicely as Beer Professors.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Cover Drive

At the end of a long and cold day in the hills we sat down in a fire warmed room and slugged a bottle of Jim Barry

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IJ goes Red Dao

Walking through the village of Ta Phin near Sapa, home to the Red Dao (pronounced Dzao) people, IJ decided that she had had enough and started to whine. Now the whining does not affect me that much and I just told her to continue walking. However one lady obviously did not have as much tolerance, and decided to carry her on her back the final few kilometers. IJ now has a full Red Dao outfit as a result.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Postal packaging

Right outside the international post office are a few shops offering packaging services. Just turn up with the goods you want to send and then get these guys to do all the rest, and really cheap too

Friday, October 09, 2009

Perfume counter

There are a few perfume stalls inside Ben Thanh market that look identical to this one. I like the look of them because they are back lit and crammed full of colourful bottles, however friends tell me that the authenticity of the bottle contents is questionable

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ben Thanh Tourist

I am not really sure what this logo is supposed to symbolize. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fahasa bookstore

Quality bookstores are a rarity here, although the Fahasa chain is gradually improving over time. What cracks me up about this place is that each store has an entire section devoted to selling kids toys, fake flowers and clocks. It is therefore a great place to shop for children's parties, as well as the latest novel

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dragon and fireworks at Mid Autumn Festival

The story of the Mid Autumn Festival, or Tết Trung Thu, is slightly different to the Chinese version. The Vietnamese version is a classic as a bloke gets sent to the moon because his wife pissed on a tree. Children use lanterns to light a path for the bloke to get back to earth. While the myth of this story is not lost on the children, you still see a lot of people publicly urinating around the city.

Lion dance and acrobatics at the Mid Autumn Festival

Synchronized drumming at the Mid Autumn Festival

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

More flooding

This flooding is tidal and is not related to the devastating aftermath of typhoon Ketsana. Even though we are 1000 kilometers away, we usually get some wash out from the annual central coast typhoons. Strangely this has not really happened this year

Thursday, October 01, 2009

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