The old town of Hoi An stretches out along the Song Thu Bon River. A mixture of Chinese, French Colonial, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture give the ancient town an interesting character. The central markets run from before dawn till after dark. Every imaginable vegetable is available. Some weird cuts of meat, live ducks, chickens, fish, prawns and crabs are also for sale. Everything is fresh each day and the activity is mesmerising.
Old Japanese Bridge
Meat and Cigarettes
For a few dollars this old lady will ferry you across the river.
Boats along the River
River Boatman (Hums Tom Waits Tunes)
Cast net Fisherman
Cigarettes and Incense
Purple Lanterns and Bougainvillea
Red Bridge cooking School where we cooked ourselves a feast and all became Vietnamese cooking experts.
Lunar Festival Dinner
Lunar Festival Paper Lanterns
On the coast of Vietnam, east of Hanoi, is the world heritage listed Ha Long Bay. Scattered throughout the bay are around 2000 spectacular limestone islands. The constant heavy mist (either coastal fog or Hanoi smog) adds to the mysterious appearance of the region.
Early morning bathers.
Paddling out to sea
Traditional Fishing Boat
Fishing Boat with net booms.
Artist in funny hat entertains local fisherman.
Traditional floating fishing settlement.
After the peace and quiet of Sa Pa the 9 hour night train jolted us back into the non stop chaos of Hanoi. Twenty four hour markets, swarms of bicycles and motor bikes, endless street food, fruit and flower vendors, people selling post cards, hats, cold water, warm beer, you name it someone on the streets of Hanoi sells it. It seems like the population of 7 million people rarely sleep and are all on the move at the same time.
Man caught napping
Blending Traffic, Hanoi roundabout
Fruit vendor and Bicycle.
To cross a street in Hanoi you simply walk slowly out into this swarming horde and somehow they all part around you.
Cruising the backstreets
Low Speed Delivery
High speed delivery
Joyride in a Jeep
Non stop wholesale markets.
Any color, any texture, any thickness, any size.
Loading and unloading zone
Late afternoon shopping.
Old town Hanoi
View through Wire.
How not to loose your bike.
Any color, any size, any fabric, any style
Railway at your doorstep.
From Hanoi a 9 hour night train delivered us to Lào Cai. A winding taxi ride took us up the mountains to Sa Pa. There are a number of local ethnic groups that congregate and sell traditional crafts in Sa Pa. Their villages are scattered throughout the surrounding terraced hills and valleys. The country side and villages are beautiful and the people are relaxed and friendly.
Red Dzao Markets
Food Markets – Sa Pa
Muong Hoa Valley
Muong Hoa Valley
Hmong women make yarn from hemp and weave it into cloth. They dye the cloth with an indigo, plant based dye and burnish it between a block of polished wood and heavy stone.
Wax resist batik is used to decorate some of the cloth.
Pigs to market
Red Dzao Women
Village kids hunting mice in the rice fields.
Tả Phìn village
Cat Cat Falls
Wandering through the old town area of Hanoi is about as chaotic as life gets. Thousands of motor bikes, bicycles and pedestrians squeezed into every square inch of open space. There seems to be only two road rules – Don’t hit anything and don’t get hit.
Electronic Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance
Motor Bikes Repaired, Rebuilt and Maintained