Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saigon, Streets and Life

Saigon. It is still there under all those new buildings.

Saigon HTML
Saigon Flash

Can Tho Floating Market

Hong and I did a 4 day trip through the North and Northwest parts of the Mekong Delta. We stuck to back roads via Sa Dec, Ca Be, Long Xuyen, Choi Moi, Ap Hoa Hao, Can Tho, Go Cong Dong and then home. While the trip was to gather some images of Hoa Hao villages and the main Hoa Hao pagoda, we did some fun tourist things as well. I've never done the floating market, so this time Hong and I rented a small boat and headed off for 4 hours of floating fun. The market was interesting - I found the people more interesting than the commercial aspect of the market.

On the way back around to Can Tho, we stopped at an Orchard, a pretty common tourist activity in the Mekong. The tide was high so the orchard was too wet to hike through so we spent some time with the proprietor - sampling a local Rice whiskey comprised of a tangle of snakes and one bird. Yeah, wtf? It tasted very clean and not strong at all. Maybe I should finally open that jar of medicinal rice wine out back after all.

iPhone friendly
Can Tho Market, HTML

flash enabled
Can Tho Market, Flash

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saigon and the end of Eden

From 1975 to 1992 is 17 years. From 1992 to 2010 is 18 years. In roughly the same amount of time from the reunification of Vietnam and the time elapsed from my first trip to Vietnam, I've watched Saigon grow. I've watched it grow from inside, from being there in person as an active member of Saigon. I love the city like a second hometown - that place you went after college to settle down and make yourself.

Although I don't live there and haven't for a decade, I visit every 2 years. I'm married to a fantastic Vietnamese woman that has all of the things I love and remember about Vietnam and is my equal and balancing 1/2. When we visit we see family and friends. I drive a scooter everyday like 90% of people the Vietnamese still. I drive from Go Vap to work or downtown everyday. We go to the beach; to Long Hai or Nha Trang, sometimes Phan Thiet. Sometimes we go on longer trips around Vietnam when we visit, but the place I spend most of my time is Saigon. Saigon for me has always been that place where you change from what you were to what you became and it is still shaping and steering parts of my life.