Friday, November 30, 2012

Historical snapshots...Vietnam

Old photographs and maps. 
Hard to resist.
I walked into a shop in Ho Chi Minh City,
and spotted a stack of photographs tucked away 
in the back of the shelf. 
I pulled it out, sat down on a little stool 
and slowly took each one in.
I selected my favourites.

A snapshot of history..
Photograph of Ho Chi Minh...1951
Photograph of Richard Nixon on visit to Vietnam...1953
Landscape scenes...time and location uncertain.
Map of Vietnam...1976

It's the little things...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Street Life...Saigon

Walking along the side streets of Saigon can be an assault to the senses.
You never know what will happen when you pass from one
street to the next. It is one of the reasons why I am forever
fascinated by it all. It never ceases to amaze..

One thing you can always be certain of..
the smiles, always the smiles..

and flowers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Au Lac House in Hanoi

Sitting still in a restaurant is not one of my strong suits. 
My family sighs if we happen to get there before the crowds.
 It is a case of playing hide and seek.
This restaurant, Au Lac House
is a charming colonial French villa in Hanoi,
The food was good, would I say it is the finest dining in Hanoi? 
No...but there is plenty of that about. 
Would I go back? 
Yes..and I would head right to the terrace for tea.
It would be a great spot to catch up on your travel notes.

Au Lac House
13 Tran Hung Dao
Hanoi, Vietnam

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Morning Scent..jasmine and gardenia

In bloom, on my front step...
the most heavenly scent of jasmine mixed with gardenia. 
I am in search of this particular variety, a jasminum perhaps?

Or rather,
Murraya paniculata- Orange Jasmine or Jessamine, Satinwood.
I understand it to be a dwarf jasmine gardenia bush.
I plan to get to the bottom of that one.

Either way...
add the heavy Saigon heat to a flowering bush like this
and you are swept away.

On this 4th day of November 2012,
sharing morning scents from Saigon.

Photo by Jeanne Henriques

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The road from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

There was a brief idyllic moment on the drive from to Hanoi to Ha Long ...
all four hours of it, when I thought how lovely....
we are out of the 'toot toot' of the city onto greener country pastures. 
As I said, it lasted about a moment...ok maybe five. 
From that point onwards it was fast and furious...playing 'dodgem' to oncoming traffic. 
The 'toot toot' of motor scooters which by that point was music to my ears 
was replaced by the continuous honking of trucks and public buses on the move...
and yes, the silver car below...was going for it..they really thought they could pass that bus. 
The miracle of miracles..they all just managed to get by. 
I on the other hand, had completely worn the leather seat beneath me, 
gripping on for dear life. I did not let go...on the ride up to Ha Long 
or the ride coming back to the dark. 
You do not want to hear about that me. :)

Would I advise you doing the same?
Yes..but take a tranquiliser first, preferably a large one.

Was it worth it? 
Without question.

Ha Long Bay (or Halong) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
 featuring thousands of limestone rock formations. 
Many are covered in lush tropical plants and contain enormous hollow grotto's.
Fishing villages consisting of floating houses are dotted throughout the islands.
It is a way of life, like no other I have seen.

That's never ceases to be amazed.

With the sun moving in and out of the clouds..all the way to sunset.


images~jeanne henriques