2 – Halong Bay: rice & souvenirs

..or structure and drywall, harsh reality and opulence.

Green hills and clouds reflect themselves on the water mirrors of the paddies. As far as the eye can see, they stretch on the sides of the street that links Hanoi to the other cities of the North of Vietnam. Fields are dotted light poles that come one after another at regular intervals and cone-shaped hats of bowed farmers intent on reaching rice plants with their leg and hands immersed in the water.

 

Continue reading “2 – Halong Bay: rice & souvenirs”

4 – Hue & Hoi An: American nightmare & American dream

To fly is not for everyone. On Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi to Hue we board on in the early morning we are those dressed worse. From the capital city in the North we are moving to the central part of Vietnam Once landed, taxi drivers have to fight for making us get on their car and take us to the city center, at the Imperial city. The winner is the first who succeeds on taking our suitcases and load them on the back of the car. He had to fight with the others, but he finally gained our 8 euro, yeah. Continue reading “4 – Hue & Hoi An: American nightmare & American dream”

3 – Ho Lua & Tam Coc – the deep Vietnam

Third day in Vietnam, another guided tour. Despite the tour we are going to attend it is a planned touristic visit, Vietnam can surprise you in ways you do not expect, as for instance in our guide.

This good smiling easy going guy make the foreigners call him Kimi and his figure looks more like a comedian than a tour guide, although he is very well prepared. Continue reading “3 – Ho Lua & Tam Coc – the deep Vietnam”

6 – Saigon & Mekong: money doesn’t stink.. fish does

Our arrival in Saigon already tells us a lot about the city. Whether in Hue taxi drivers were fighting to conquer us, here things work differently. The great number of foreigners and tourists do not make them feel the need to fight for get the run. When we ask one of them for the price to get to the city center he tells us 150.000 Dong. Good price, we accept but suddenly his boss come and ask for 250.000 pretending that the ticket for parking the taxi in the airport parking is costing 100.000 Dong. We don’t fall in the trap, these days in Vietnam taught us that it cannot cost more than 20.000 Dong. We deny expecting to start a negotiation but it does not happen: Saigon is the most visited city by tourists and foreigner businessmen, they will find someone else to fool with the price (still very low if compared with western standards).

We get to our hotel and fall into our beds, the Mekong River is waiting for us the morning later.  Continue reading “6 – Saigon & Mekong: money doesn’t stink.. fish does”

5 – My Son & Da Nang: the old & the new

  We woke up early in the morning to go to see the sunrise up on the hills in My Son, where there are groups of ancient temples. Although up on the hills, the war got here too: bullets are still visible on the ruins of temples and statues, bombs have destroyed groups of sacred buildings and left deep craters now covered by vegetation that completely dresses these hills. The streams running through them used to provide the water that was being drunk during religious rituals: today that water still has chemical agents due to the bombs dropped by Americans. Continue reading “5 – My Son & Da Nang: the old & the new”