Archive for the ‘Vietnam’ Category

Blowing my own trumpet   1 comment

YES!!! A commendation on the Intrepid Travel website for one of my pictures. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/inspirations/win/photocomps/2012_june_winners.php

Fair play to the winner.  A superb picture.  We had an amazing time travelling with this company through China and Vietnam.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 19/07/2012 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Dig for Victory   Leave a comment

I drafted this post a couple of months ago.  Straight after our visit to the tunnels.  I always do this with the intention of adding the photos when I get around to processing them.  Unfortunately I appear to have lost the photos.  So to illustrate the post I have pulled a few pictures off the net.

Today we ventured out of Saigon to the Cu Chi Tunnels. About 65km out of the city. These tunnels were used by the Vietnamese during the war with America to evade capture and maim and kill US soldiers.  There were some lethal booby traps that we were shown and had gleefully demonstrated by the guides.   Some of the tunnels entrances were just uncomfortably small and obviously built for the slight Vietnamese soldiers.  One that wasn’t quite so small I climbed into (Kerry passed on the experience…..wisely).  Just the crouching and crawling 20m was unpleasant in semi darkness.  The soldiers were brave souls to navigate them, especially with shells and gunfire going on above ground and US troops looking for them.  The guys in front of me missed the exit in the dark and I had to call them back, it was all a bit disorientating. That was only level one. Each level down, the tunnels get smaller and smaller. Not for me.  Just to add to the experience on the same site was a gun range, so while we were clambering into the tunnels we could hear gunshots in the distance.  All in all a very disconcerting experience.

Again after a bright promising start to the day it bucketed down by lunchtime . The tunnel site had compressed clay footpath. You can imagine the state they were in pretty quickly.

Here’s a link to more info about them

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 16/12/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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The Vietnam Seaside   Leave a comment

We stayed in Nha Trang for a week, diving, swimming, dodging the rain and generally doing very little else. It’s a nice little resort frequented by mainly Aussies, New Zealanders and oddly Russians cos it’s so close to home (like Brits travelling to Spain). The bay we sailed out of to get to our dive sites was fantastic. There is a pleasure park on an island opposite the main bay called Vinpark accessed by cablecar. A new shopping mall provided me with the opportunity to buy new sunglasses. The town planners had the forsight not to overcrowd the beach area. As a result there are only two bars (both with their own beach/lounger areas). The rest is lovely green gardens. A nice buffer zone with the main road, masking all sound. A leisurely breakfast overlooking the beach on our none dive days was great, even with the rain.  One evening we ate fresh crab on the beach prepared by a Vietnamese family.  It was amazing.  The family were friendly and grateful for the money.  It was nice to help real people make a living and not the corporate entities for once.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 25/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Siagon   Leave a comment

The city of Siagon conjured up images of exotic mystery. Does it live up to the hype? We arrived in Siagon at 05.00 after a seven hour over night train trip, in which Kerry attempted to sleep and failed. I edited photos. For a major city the streets were surprisingly empty. Immediately it struck me, even in the early hours, the city was for more affluent than Hanoi. The streets looked cleaner, there were more skyscrapers, more shopping malls and the residents were better dressed. Our hotel was smack bang in the centre, in district one. The street we were located on had shops of every possible variety. Barbers, hair salons, art shops, clothes, every conceivable resturants, books, stationary, gifts and electronics. It reminded me of a UK high Street 25 years ago, before out of town shopping centres took all the trade. The street sellers in this city shuffle and mubble around trying to sell fake lonely planets and cigars/cigarettes. Scooters were again in abundance…..everywhere. The French influence is evident is some of the older architecture. It was a welcome surprise to see a classy colonial style residence amongst the standard Vietnamese concrete construction. We stumbled across a very British feeling church while trying to find a coffee shop complete with neon halo. From the outside shot you can just see one of the huge shopping malls in the distance. Did Siagon live up to the hype? Yes and no. It was an interesting fusion of France and Asia with some American influences thrown in for good measure.  However more and more I see cities around the world becoming standardized, even westernised with familar global tech, food and hotel brands all available. I’ve seen this even in my short 20 years of travelling the world. What a difference our parents and grandparents must have seen in thier lifetimes of travelling! It was a welcome break to get out of the town to visit the Chi chi tunnels. It is only when we travelled out into the sticks did we see the real countries.  Not many photos on this post due to heavy rain again and when you’ve seen one mall you’ve seen them all.  I did get a stunning shot of the sunset as we flew over Vietnam en route to Malaysia though.

 

Stefan Palmer

Posted 19/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Tailors shops, taxi boats and a little less rain   Leave a comment

Hoi An, Vietnam.  Our next stop after rain soddened Hue.  Unfortunatley we were greeted by more rain here and on the journey.  The air con was leaking on our bus and dripping the whole journey.  Well it dripped on whichever one of us was sitting next to the window.  After an hour of the trip Kerry demaned to swap places to dry out.  I therefore rigged up a rainproof shelter acrosss of seats using a broken umbrella, my water proof and 4 of Kerry’s hair clips.  All much to the amusement of our fellow passengers.  Despite a few odd looks it was very effective.

Hoi An was a lovely town with its main attraction being the vast number of tailors shops.  It is also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  We seem to be racking these up on our travels.  Here you can have, shirts dresses and suits all made to measure in a day.  It was tempting to get something made, however again, we had no spare space for anything.  The town was a great place to stock up on replacement t shirts and shorts all at bartered down next to nothing prices.  Due to our itineries matching we met up with Chris from the China trip.  He had continued with Intrepid into Vietnam and who we last saw him on Cat Bar Island in Halong Bay, two weeks ago

It still kept on raining.  We did have some fine weather to check out the river front, chat to and photograph the people who run  boat taxis up and down the river.  It was a nice chilled out town.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 19/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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More Hue, Vietnam   Leave a comment

Following on from this post about a rain soaked Hue afternoon.  Here are the morning shots taken with my proper 5D before the heavens opened.  Again, so much decay’s taken hold on these once beautiful buildings.  Along the Perfume River from Huế these monuments include tombs of several emperors, including Minh Mạng, Khải Định, and Tự Đức.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 01/11/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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Hue Citadel and lots of Rain   2 comments

Previous posts have mentioned the amounts of rain we experienced in Vietnam.  Kerry and I booked a tour of the historic sites of Hue which are UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.  Another post will cover the dryer morning sites we saw.  This post covers the afternoon tour to the Citadel, which were  the walled fortress and palace in the former capital of Vietnam and home to the Vietnam Royalty.  Built in 1804 the Palaces follow a similar theme to the Forbidden City in Beijing and cover a vast area with temples and gardens.  Unlike Beijing these temples are on the whole derelict.  Most of the buildings were destroyed in the Vietnam war.  By the afternoon of our tour the rain was lashing down and my camera was safely in my rucksack and the rucksack had its rain proof cover on.  I took the below pictures with my camera phone, which despite having a 5 MP sensor as a crap lens.  However with a bit of tweaking the shots have come up quite nice and atmospheric.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 25/10/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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