World Travel Tales

Sa Pa, Vietnam

Vietnamese Farm Life

Small children are playing in the mud at the side of a rice field alongside their oxen.

Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/200 sec at f/5.6.

Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

A Very Busy Hạ Long Bay

We climbed to the summit of one of the steep little limestone islands that are scattered throughout Hạ Long Bay to shoot this photo.

Toourism is strong in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, with most tourists opting for a two or three day passage on a traditional junk, which is a two or three masted sailboat (that almost never actually sails.)

Location: Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/80 sec at f/8.

Somewhere in Vietnam

Tending the Rice Fields

The work in the rice fields doesn't end just because it's pouring rain.

Location: Somewhere in Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 800, 1/320 sec at f/5.6.

Tam Cốc, Vietnam

Fishing at Tam Cốc

Tam Cốc, which is Vietnamese for three caves, is a popular tourist destination. The Ngô Đống is a little river that flows through the marshlands and is surrounded by towering limestone crags. At the base of three of these cliffs are little caves which offer low ceiling passages for boats travelling along the river.

As a tourist, you can take a guided tour of the area in a boat that is foot paddled by a local woman. The oars are fixed in oar lock at the side of the boat, and the women sit back, often holding an umbrella in their hands to protect them from the hot sun, and push the oars with their feet to propel the boat.

When offered, I jumped at the chance to foot paddle our little boat! I think I was doing ok for the most part, but the other tourists in boats that I crashed into might give you a different story about how well I did.

Along the way, we spotted this couple who were out net fishing in the marsh.

Location: Tam Cốc, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/100 sec at f/5.6.

Hoa Lư, Vietnam

Flags at Hoa Lư

It seems that the capital city of Vietnam has changed several times. These colourful flags decorate the grounds at Hoa Lư, which was the Vietnamese capital in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Location: Hoa Lư, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/8.

Near the ancient city of Hue, Vietnam

Staricase at the Tomb of Khải Định

The staircase leading to the Tomb of Khải Định features four massive dragons carved out of stone to form the bannisters.

Location: Near the ancient city of Hue, Vietnam

Related Link: Tomb_of_Khải_Định at Wikipedia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/250 sec at f/8.

Imperial City, Hue, Vietnam

Ancient Gate to the Imperial City

A large citadel and moat surround the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam. This is the former capital of Vietnam and includes an ancient fortified palace, the Purple Forbidden City, temples, courtyards, gardens, and many other buildings.

This structure serves as one of the gates to the Imperial City and remains standing even though much of the Imperial City was damaged or destroyed during the Vietnam War. UNESCO has declared this a World Heritage site.

Location: Imperial City, Hue, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 250, 1/320 sec at f/5.

Mountian village near Sa Pa, Vietnam

Exploring Near Home

We rented a scooter and toured ourselves around the winding mountain roads outside of Sa Pa.

We stopped for fuel at a little store where fuel was sold in old Coca-Cola bottles, and while we were fuelling up the scooter a swarm of children surrounded us and ran along side us as we pulled away to continue our day.

Not far from there, we spotted these little girls exploring by themselves in a steep green meadow filled with wildflowers. I shot this photo as they were scrambling over some large loose stones that probably formed a wall of some sort in the past.

Location: Mountian village near Sa Pa, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/80 sec at f/5.

Sa Pa, Vietnam

Sa Pa Mountain Guide

In Northern Vietnam lies the beautiful mountain town of Sa Pa (aka. Sapa). The surrounding mountains are filled with small villages and tiny settlements where farmers use terraces on the steep mountain slopes to grow rice.

In town there are plenty of traditional mountain guides who know their way around the hills and who offer their services to visitors of the area. Although we weren't looking for a guide, this woman spent about a half hour walking with us and chatting happily in Vietnamese while we walked around the town. She was super friendly and fun to be around - maybe we should have taken her up on a two day trek to a remote village.

Location: Sa Pa, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/60 sec at f/8.

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Floating Market in the Mekong Delta

Floating markets are quite common in SE Asia. The women often load up their boats with fruits and vegetables that they've grown, and head out onto the river during market hours.

Location: Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/320 sec at f/8.