Considering I've just returned from a month's holiday in Xinjiang/East Turkestan (my first in an occupied country, I might add), I should probably pass along some photos from this past winter's holiday in Vietnam before I get too far behind.
I arrived in Vietnam just as they were preparing for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Above is the capital, Hanoi, and as you see, the streets are constantly abuzz with motorbikes. Even as you read and I write, I'm sure the city grid is zipping crazily with motorists and pedestrians. Though never able to live there, this created a sense of life Western cities, with their wide streets and multitude of cars, can never realize.
This is the Red River flowing through the middle of Hanoi, its sweat rising over the city.
These are some of the street vendors selling flowers for Tet. (Useless caption...)
This is just one corner of a much larger fruit and vegetable market in the city.
Again, the chaos known as street life in Hanoi. Trying to cross the street sets something alive inside you.
And one last photo from Hanoi's streets.
This is a place very close to Hanoi called Halong Bay. (I apologize for the defects in the photo. It is the result of the Chinese definition of 'quality'.) I spent two beautiful days boating amongst these islands, exploring caves and kayaking. Along the side of the island to the right you see a small floating village - complete with dogs (as pets you crazy people, they don't eat everything that moves.)
Another photo of Halong Bay, an absolutely beautiful place.
Next, Part II here…