Monday, February 25, 2013

Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong

I travelled through the USA last summer, 
and stopped in at one of my favourite book stores,
Diane's books in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Diane is one of those bookshop owners who tunes 
into your interests and offers wonderful recommendations. 
When I told her I had recently moved to Vietnam 
and was looking for books to help me understand the culture,
she grabbed this book, placed it in my hands,
held tight and said..
"you must read this will love it."

She was right...I did.

" A rich, sensuous journey through a Vietnam rarely seen by outsiders,
Paradise of the Blind tells the story of three women fighting to maintain
their dignity under a government that discards old values and 
tears families apart. Hang, a young girl growing into womanhood 
in the Hanoi slums, finally learns the truth about her father's disappearance 
and death during the era of government-imposed land reform.
 Meanwhile, Hang's self-sacrificing mother, a struggling street vendor, 
watches helplessly as her life is shattered by the political 
machinations of her own brother. And the mysterious Aunt Tam, 
who has accumulated wealth and bitterness in 
equal measure, fights for her niece's loyalty-and future.

Long banned in its own country, this moving novel captures the hunger, 
pride and endurance of ordinary people in a land of intoxicating beauty... 
as it provides a rare, insightful look into a changing Vietnam."

With thanks to Diane for recommending this book to me.
It has enriched my experience in Vietnam, immeasurably.

If you would like to discover this book for yourself, you can find it here.
If you happen to be travelling through Greenwich, Connecticut...
you can find Diane here.

book photo via

Art, Shop, Eat..Ho Chi Minh City

A new location, discovered yesterday,
 to add to my Saigon Favourites List.


48 Dong Du Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


I loved discovering Kim Phuong.
For beautiful hand-embroidered linen..check out


98 Le Loi Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I passed this shop a few weeks ago and had been
looking forward to stopping in.
It is hard not to admire the beautiful accessories 
handpicked  by owner Anupa Horvil..


9 Dong Du Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

We have visitors in town recently who were keen 
for fine French/Mediterranean cuisine.
We tried Camargue at the suggestions of friends 
and were very happy with the meal and service. 
I am happy to recommend...


74/7D Ha Ba Trung St
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
or phone
0835 204 888

You can find all of the above and more.. here

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photography etiquette in Saigon

I love catching the quick photo
with hopes that I may have caught something. 
As much as I love photographing people on the sly, 
I feel it is important to be respectful of their space. 
Having tourists jump up and down in front of you, 
with a camera, must be annoying in the best 
and worst of times. 

With respect, I try to be polite...

'Waiting in turn'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Peace on Le Cong Kieu St'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Afternoon pink'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Once upon a Notre Dame Cathedral...'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Quiet prayers, by candlelight'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Giggles in the moonlight'
Hoi An, Vietnam

'Mother Loom'
Dalat, Vietnam

"Watch me".
Dalat, Vietnam

'Greeting Father Ken'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Smiles of joy for 'Tet' '
Saigon, Vietnam

'Eagerly awaiting'
Saigon, Vietnam

'Photographer discovered'
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

  All photos taken by me...Jeanne Henriques