NHA TRANG

View of the Bay from the 4th Floor of the Blue Star Hotel
View of the Bay from the 4th Floor of the Blue Star Hotel
The Pool at The Diamond Bay Resort
The Pool at The Diamond Bay Resort
Saggy Pants
Saggy Pants
Ba Dai Beach
Ba Dai Beach

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Cheap and Plentiful Seafood
Cheap and Plentiful Seafood
Lobsters on Nha Trang Beach
Lobsters on Nha Trang Beach
Cheap and Plentiful Seafood on Nha Trang Beach
Cheap and Plentiful Seafood on Nha Trang Beach
Thich Quang Duc. Self-immolation 1963.
Thich Quang Duc. Self-immolation 1963.
White Buddha at Long Son Pagoda
White Buddha at Long Son Pagoda
Drummer Monk
Drummer Monk
Sweet Dreams
Sweet Dreams
Reclining Buddha at Long Son Pagoda
Reclining Buddha at Long Son Pagoda
White Buddha, Blue Sky
White Buddha, Blue Sky
Buddha in the Distance Above the Temple
Buddha in the Distance Above the Temple
Sunset Over Nha Trang Beach
Sunset Over Nha Trang Beach

Pictures: JUN09. Nha Trang, Vietnam. (Sony Camera and Lens)

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TAM COC & HOA LU

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TAM COC. Poetically penned ‘Halong Bay on the rice paddies.’

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Tam Coc is named after the low caves through which the Ngo Dong River flows.

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DINH TIEN HOANG Temple
DINH TIEN HOANG Temple

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Pictures: JUN09. Tam Coc,Hoa Lu, Vietnam. (Sony Camera and Lens)

NINH BINH

Woman and Bike
Woman and Bike
Man Working in Field
Man Working in Field

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Phat Diem. Important center for Catholicism during the French era. There was also a seminary here. The Bishop ruled his own private army here until 1951. The cathedral featured prominently in Graham Greene’s novel THE QUIET AMERICAN.

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The 1954 division of VN caused Catholics to flee South, but it is now functional again and there are about 120,000 Catholics around here.

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Vietnamese Catholics worshipping their motorbi, I mean…in mass.

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Covered bridge dating back to the 19th century.

House and its Reflection
House and its Reflection
Abandoned church
Abandoned church
Woman walking over the bridge
Woman walking over the bridge

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As I was driving my rented motorbike back, I saw this complex behind the storefronts. A girl’s volleyball game. They were terrible. No recruiting possible. But, the rally went on forever. bump.bump.bump.set.bump.bump.bump….and when a girl finally bumped like the 324th contact into the net, everyone, including the coaches just laughed and clapped…oh, they have a lot to learn…(former player and coach, so I can judge)

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Doubles. Just as bad. But great platform. Toes should be pointed inwards, though. I had to get outta there before I made everyone run laps.

Pictures: JUN09. Ninh Binh, Vietnam. (Sony Camera and Lens)

DONG HOI

Billboard in Dong Hoi
Billboard in Dong Hoi

“The board says: get the F*** off drugs, live a healthy and lovely life! [including the weight lifting]…and stay away from prostitutes! (Ma Tuy) — Vietnamese are VERY straightforward on their signage…love it!”

Fishing Shack
Fishing Shack

ImageDong Hoi was the center of the country til 1954 and the North/South partition. After that it became a kind of frontier town. Dong Hoi went to the north and Dong Ha went to the south.Dong Hoi is working hard to rebuild and beautify.

Destroyed Building
Destroyed Building
Destroyed church with one pillar left standing
Destroyed church with one pillar left standing

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Fishing Boat
Fishing Boat

The fishing boat picture is displayed on the wall of Com Coka, a Vietnamese Restaurant in Kobe, Japan.

Bridge Reflection
Bridge Reflection

All Pictures: JUN09. Dong Hoi, Vietnam. (Sony Camera and Lens)

SAPA, VIETNAM

View from my balcony. 'Luong Thuy Family Guesthouse.' VND90,000
View from my balcony. ‘Luong Thuy Family Guesthouse.’ VND90,000
Center Square
Center Square
Church in center
Church in center
Sapa town
Sapa town
My street food. Thit Bo. Roasted Sweet Potato.
My street food. Thit Bo. Roasted Sweet Potato.
 H'Mong women
H’Mong women
Sapa valley
Sapa valley
Water Buffalo. Literally.
Water Buffalo. Literally.
River rapids in the valley
River rapids in the valley
Trekking through Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages
Trekking through Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages
Village children
Village children

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Rice fields
Rice fields
Village house
Village house
Two boys herding a buffalo up the mountain.
Two boys herding a buffalo up the mountain.
Rapids
Rapids

All Pictures: JUN09. Sapa, Vietnam. (Sony Camera and Lens)

 

VIETNAMESE FOOTBALL FRENZY

In December 2008, I was staying on Dong Khoi, the premier street in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Looking out my window, I could gaze upon the historic Hotel Continental, a favorite haunt of author Graham Greene, and the Opera House. One night, I got to witness the streets of Saigon go crazy in celebration for beating Thailand in the Suzuki Football Cup: the first time-ever for the Vietnamese to be champions in Southeast Asia. Below are some photos depicting their insane pride.

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All pictures: DEC08, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.