|Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam 2016|
largest city in Vietnam has much history including having been a French
colony and a significant role in the Vietnam war. It was founded in
1698 and renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976.
It is very colourful at
night and, as you will see by the photos, I was fascinated with all the
scooters and their versatility. Our guide said there are 8 million
people and 5 million scooters.
Also in this album are a few fotos of
a day trip to the Củ Chi Tunnels. This 75-mile long complex of tunnels
was instrumental to the Viet Cong in the gruesome 1960’s Vietnam War.
|Mỹ Tho, Vietnam 2016|
Tho is in the heart of the Mekong Delta with its vast rice fields and
beautiful landscapes. Mỹ Tho was founded in 1680s by Chinese refugees
fleeing China. There are many scenic and interesting islands on the
Mekong River that are fun to visit.
On the way from Ho Chi Minh City,
stopped at the Vinh Trang Pagoda which has several enormous Buddhas and
an impressive temple. Built in 1849 by a Buddhist monk named Hue Dang .
|Hội An, Vietnam 2016|
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hội An Ancient Town on the Thu Bồn River is
an exceptional example of a South-East Asian trading port dating back
to the 15th century. Buildings and streets reflect indigenous and
Hội An's is also famous for its handcrafted lanterns which are a real treat to see at night.
|Mỹ Sơn, Vietnam 2016|
by UNESCO as a world heritage site, it contains many Hindu temples
constructed between the 4th and 14th century AD by the kings of Champa
and dedicated to worship of the god Shiva. It was a palce of religious
ceremony for kings of the ruling dynasties of Champa and a burial place
for Cham royalty and national heroes.
The site once had over 70
temples and many stone slabs with historically important inscriptions
but the majority was destroyed by US carpet bombing during a single week
of the Vietnam War.
An interesting place to spend an afternoon.
|Huế, Vietnam 2016|
was the imperial capital from 1802-1945. The 19th-century Citadel which
is surrounded by a moat includes the Imperial City with its palaces and
shrines as well as the Forbidden Purple City, once the emperor's home
and seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Made a UNESCO site in 1993, there
are many historical areas around Huế including the Tomb and Palatial
Retreat of Emperor Tự Đức.
During the Vietnam War, significant damage was done to the Imperial City. Of 160 buildings, only 10 major sites remain.
It rained the entire time I was there so the fotos are a bit “moody”.
|Hanoi, Vietnam 2016 |
Founded in 1010, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city with a population of 8 million people.
1954 to 1976 it was the capital of North Vietnam and became the capital
of the unified Vietnam in 1976 at the end of the Vietnam War.
of the most interesting things for me is the rather colourful Old
Quarter where people eke out a living with shops specializing in all
manner of things.
|Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam 2016|
Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose name literally means
“descending dragon” bay. It covers an area of 1,550 km2 and includes
2,000 islets, most formed out of limestone over a 500 million year
period. Research has found evidence of human presence as far back as
It is a visually stunning place inhabited by a community
of 1,600 people in four fishing villages including Vông Viêng which we
|Siem Reap, Cambodia 2016|
Reap is a resort town noted for its proximity to the Angkor
Archaeological Park, a major historical tourist attraction. It is a
small town whose main attraction, for me, is the Old Market.
to feel for the Cambodian people who have had a difficult history
including the horrible genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge from 1975
thru 1979. During that time, one quarter of the 8 million Cambodia
people were killed by the regime.
The people are friendly and quite resilient in adapting to their environment and situation.
|Angkor Archaeological Site, Cambodia 2016|
Archaeological Park spans 400 square kilometres and contains
magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire of the 9th
to 15th centuries. Most famous Temples are Angkor Wat, the Bayon Temple
at Angkor Thom with its many sculptured heads and decorations, and Ta
Prohm where one of the Tomb Raider movies shot.
The Park was
declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992 and placed on the List of
World Heritage in Danger due to looting and other issues. It is a
fascinating place to visit.
|Tonlé Sap Lake, Cambodia 2016|
a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997 due to its biodiversity - over 300
species of fresh water fish plus snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles,
otters and more than 100 varieties water birds including storks and
In dry season it covers 3,000 square kilometers, depth of 2
meters. During monsoon season, water flowing from the Mekong expands
the surface to 10,000 square Kilometers and a depth of 14 meters.
1 million+ people living in the Tonlé Sap area make their living by
fishing and agriculture. I found it quite inspirational how these
hard-working people have adapted to their difficult environment.
|Bangkok, Thailand 2016|
is the capital of Thailand and dates back to the 15th century. The
Bangkok Metropolitan Region has a population of 14 million and the city
spans 608 sq miles in the Chao Phraya River delta.
It is a city of
contrasts. With over 580 high-rise buildings, it is ranked number 5 in
the world yet many of its people live in dilapidated houses along its
many canals. It has many marvels of wealth from bygone days including
Wat Traimit that houses a 5 ½ ton Golden Buddha, Wat Pho which houses
150 ft long Reclining Buddha, and the Grand Palace grounds that seem to
have come directly from the pages of a book of fairytales.
The flower and vegetable markets and Khlong (canal) boat cruises were among my favourite things in the city.
|Maeklong Railway Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand 2016|
Maeklong Railway Market, is an open air vegetable, fruit and fish
market where the vendors’ stalls are right up against the tracks of an
active railway line. When the trains come through, the vendors move
their stalls and awnings out of the way and then put them back when the
train has passed … a very efficient process. The train did not come
through while I was there but you can find several videos on
www.YouTube.com. Search for “Maeklong”.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating
Market is the floating market you see in most Bangkok postcards. Locals
from the area paddle their boats with their goods - vegetables, fruits
and food vendors who prepare food right from their boats. It is chaotic,
colourful and fun.
Both markets are about 100 kilometres west of Bangkok.
Also in this album is a visit to a coconut sugar farm where sugar is created for authentic Thailand sweets and desserts.