Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vietnam - I am coming back

Thank you all for following me thru’ the trip and hope some of you have already included this beautiful  country in your must visit list. Though I went as a tourist I have to thank my hubby S and his work with environment and climate change, for the added proximity I got with the nature be it in the tropical evergreen forests, the Mangroves or in the fishing villages by the sea . Though he was busy with his work, I as an outsider could enjoy the nature and experience it closely. Integrated watershed management,  Transnational river eco systems conservation,  sustainable development, maintaining ethnic biodiversity are some of the key words they work with and their passion and effort in that direction is commendable.  I always complain that he works too much – but not in this trip – becoz while he was busy working, I could easily spend my time going to the local villages or at a beach relaxing or shopping the myriad wonderful things to my heart’s content.  It was never a problem to be on  my own and there were always people willing to help or guide. All in all I had a wonderful trip and Vietnam I am definitely coming back
For its wonderful evergreen forests
For its exotic sea  

the floating fishing villages and fisherman - a part of my husbands work

For its rich culture

 For the arts and crafts

the silk thread embroideries
For its mouth watering dishes 

For the very nice people
 Oy and Tien helped me explore the wonders of Vietnam. See the bike below and my white helmet that I used as a pillion rider :-).

For the wonderful shopping 

YESS !!!! I am going back
hmmmmm.... but now I have loads of unpacking and laundry to do :-). 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vietnam - A day at the sea

Each day is getting better with something more added. After a half day shopping at the famous Bahnthan market in Ho chi minh city yesterday - we packed our bags to Nha Trang a coastal city. It was cool and breezy with azure blue waters and ofcourse a love at first sight.

Finished the formalities of checking in and here was the cosy room

Ofourse there was a blind if you wanted :-)

I am not intending to write a big post until Monday till I am back from the vacation.  Wishing you all a Happy long weekend with some inspirations from my tour. R and R at a beach, indulge in good food or shopping or in some song and dance.



a floating village

 Best Seafood ever eaten in the fisherman's floating hut.....

 the resort...

all photos - Self
linking to BNOTP

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A day with 'No land people'

I wanted to cover my Vietnam tour in sequence, but I decided to do day 3 and 4 in a later post as I cannot wait to share today. I knew I was going to the Mangroves  – was totally blank when started without any expectations and that’s when I think one really experiences the real wonders awaiting. Some days just comeby and go but today is a day that will live forever and ever.  

At about 8.30 Sekhar ,Ragnar and I set out on this wonderful trip with 'Oy' a natural resource researcher who specialized in Mangroves. What best way could we see a Mangrove forest with a Mangrove specialist who is a native Vietnamese.

After driving through the streets of Vietnam outside the tourist district  (these areas if you switch the faces with Indian faces can be easily passed off as any common Indian street ) we arrived at the jetty and the journey into the wonder land began. Put on your life jackets and jump onto the boat now. This is a picture intensive post but I promise you will enjoy it.

Many families in their colourful house boats, fishermen, boats carrying sand and mortar - all types big and small criss crossed us on the Saigon river.

This is the first time I saw this water coconut plant and it's cool fruit. Each component had its own small piece of white meat and they eat it with Sugar I heard.

We reached a place to switch to our 2nd boat that would take us inside the mangroves, From now for the next 5 hours it's just roots, plants, water, more and more boats, wild life and just nature around us.

Mangrove forests are special - they grow in  swampy areas where fresh water and salt water meet with aerial roots to breathe and flat roots to balance.

After a breath taking ride through the open channels now is the time to enter the small canals and so look who is waiting for us (For some reason I am not able to rotate the pic - I will do so soon :-))


She slowly and gently rowed us into the interiors where we could watch the Bats and fish Crabs. To our surprise we found this boat which is being decorated for the wedding. How romantic isn't it?

Her house is as beautiful as she is and I really liked how she brightened up the natural colors around her with blue's from her boat , windows and the bicycle

Got back to our motor boat again to reach the central area of the mangroves which had many  many attractions. I must say the tourism is well developed and is friendly. The people are calm and helpful, the nature is so serene and soothing. I can see myself coming to Vietnam again :-)

I love this basket boat and wanted to try it while Sekhar and Ragnar opted out and had fun watching the balancing acts and skreaks , finally I and Oy set out for rowing and what fun it was as the boat was just going round and round instead of moving forward :-). Ofcourse we did finally learn the trick though.

Yet another boat and another activity - This was scary as the crocodiles were ferocious. We lured them to the fish bait and clicked and clicked to the hearts content.

I told in the beginning itself - It was all about boats and now another one for yet another adventure

and this time to a Bird's paradise...

and now was the time for lunch and we enjoyed the sommersaulting and monkey deeds of our dear friend yellow cheeks gi bbon. I read that this is on the red list of the highly endagered species. We were about 2 to 300 metres from him on a deck and he was such a good catcher - didn't let go most of the peanuts we tried to bowl at him. Even guys like Malinga from the Srilankan team would be caught in the first couple of balls :-). I think our cricket team would do even better with some training from him.


and this little deer waiting for our attention as well.

returned once again to our motor boat  only to hop onto a local house boat to see what is it one needs to live and what all else is one wishes to have :-)and I will post that someother time.

Just as everything comes to an end so did our trip , but the end also had a silver lining . We laughed and enjoyed at the fun little Ly was having fishing oysters for her dinner along with her parents. This photo was by  Ragnar and OMG!!! OMG !!!! what a photographer he is.

Stay tuned as each day is getting more excited than the other :-).