Vietnam: Images of country life

Villages along the Mekong River. In our recent trip to Vietnam (and Cambodia), we were lucky to have been able to visit some of the villages whose rhythm is very much tuned to the ebbs and flows of the Mekong River. For the most part, the villages border the river, with houses built to be able to fish from one side of the house and grow vegetables and raise a few cows and chickens on the other side. We did visit some workshops where villagers were producing a variety of products, including woven textiles, rattan mats, candy, and rice wine, but the countryside is most decidedly a water culture. Land not being used for homes and villages, or closer to the cities manufacturing plants, is cultivated – and flooded – for rice paddies. I will let some pictures tell the story.

Village street scene

Village street scene

Family compound

Family compound

Waiting for action

Waiting for action


Fresh fish


Very fresh fish!


Fresh chicken, including a local favourite, chicken feet (those aren’t French fries on the right)

I never knew there were that many types of rice!

I never knew there were that many types of rice!



Halong Bay. A report of our time in rural Vietnam would not be complete without some pictures from one of the world’s most scenic sites, Halong Bay. Many of us first became acquainted with this spectacular spot when it was featured in a James Bond movie, “Tomorrow Never Dies”, in 1997. Halong Bay was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and in 2012 was named one of the world’s “New 7 Natural Wonders”. The site is huge, and we certainly did not see it all. The core area alone is nearly 350 sq. kms, with nearly 800 limestone islets. The overall area is far larger. And it is as spectacular as it appears in photos. But, the extent of its popularity as a tourist destination was still a surprise. People can enjoy a day trip on a sight-seeing boat, or spend a night on a small cruise ship, locally called a modern junk. All is done in grand style, and in grand company. There were many, many such ships in the part of the bay we enjoyed, and according to our guide there is a fleet of 500 tourist boats operating in the area! Still, simply splendid.

No Boats

No Boats

Lots of Boats

Lots of Boats

Lots of lights. Good night, folks!

Lots of lights. Good night, folks!

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13 Responses to Vietnam: Images of country life

  1. jennypellett says:

    Wonderful pictures Jane. All that seafood makes my mouth water!

  2. jane tims says:

    Halong Bay looks amazing. Good you went into the yards and lives of these people. I remember going to Wyoming and feeling we hadn’t really touched down at all … most of our time was in our car and we hardly talked to anyone not with the tourist industry!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I agree, Jane, getting to know something about the history and the people is an important part of travelling. On the other, Wyoming has some places of geological interest and natural beauty that probably speak for themselves. Yellowstone certainly falls in that category, and the Grand Tetons. Now you’re making me want to go back to Wyoming! 😉

      • jane tims says:

        My happy place is there, in the Tetons. Not a fan of Yellowstone as I found it very alien. The natural history was phenomenal though. My great- grandparents were married in Laramie.

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Amazing pics. Chicken feet? Those varieties of rice, all grown locally. Halong Bay. You’d need to be able to swim with all the water around.

  4. smilecalm says:

    how beautiful to
    share this exceptional holiday!
    i remember boating, also
    in Halong Bay 🙂

  5. Emilia says:

    And if you never had chicken feet you don’t know what you missed!!! A common staple to make chicken soup as I was growing up not only does it taste delicious but the gelatine in it make your nails look beautiful….and that’s my piece for the day!
    What an interesting country.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Emilia, sometime soon you need to write your life story, and spare no details! If I had known that was one of your favourity things I would have considered buying some for you, although I’m not sure how that would have worked at Customs. 🙂 Vietnam is a very interesting country, indeed. And considerably warmer than here in eastern Canada at the moment!

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