Vietnam – Spring 2004

Please note that this is in the process of being written.

It is basically just an outline.

I entered Vietnam from Cambodia by boat along the Mekong river.

The first place I stayed was Chau Doc. Photos I have included some photographs of photographs. I came across a photography shop near the market and main square. I saw a photographer hand-painting photos, not with an airbrush, but ordinary paint brushes.

One thing that you must do in Chau Doc is a boat trip on the river. The girl rowing the boat acted as a guide. Part of the trip involved going to a Cham, muslim, village.

Walked round the market

Spent a night at Mountain Sam because the guidebook said you could see spectacular sunsets there. Actually the sunset was quite boring, but walking down the mountain after the sun had set did provide some spectacular sights.

I heard something going on round the back of one temple. I investigated and found that round the back of one temple, there was a Vietnamese theatrical group performing.

Then headed down Mekong and went to Saigon.

I think the most noticeable thing about saigon was the traffic, which was absolute chaos.

The must-see place is the War Museum and the Ho Chi Min Museum. I do not suppose that G.W. Bush has ever been there. A visit there might educate him a little, but I suspect not; he would probably smirk and admire the American technology of death. At least, his supporters might learn a little from a visit there. The photos of aircraft were actually taken at the Ho Chi Minh Museum, not the War Museum.

At the Ho Chi Minh museum weddings are held. I just happened to be passing in a cyclo and saw a rather splendid wedding, so I stopped the cyclo and got off. One couple was American. I spoke to them and congratulated them. They told me that they were already married but wanted the photoghraphs taken there. You can see them in front of Ho Chi Minh’s old car. Notice what is worn under the wedding dress in a photo on the staircase.

Cooking in Vietnam can be both a culinary and pyrotechnic art. Also, notice just where some people are eating noodles. Read the yellow sign above them.

Of course, there are also a few photographs of markets. If you want to work out the price of coffee in the market, 15,000 dong is on dollar.

From Saigon I headed up on an overnight bus to Nha Trang, which is a big city by the sea. Apparently, it used to have a nice beach. I took one look at it and the huge road running beside it, and got back on the bus.

From Nha Trang the bus went to Hoi An. The route was most scenic. Photos

I really liked Hoi An and spent most of my time there. Photos.

across the river

arts and crafts



cooking class

cua dai

down the river 


Marble Mountain

Near Hoi An

near red bridge



I rented a motor bike in Hoi An and used this to make trips out to the surrounding countryside.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the trip was travelling up to the Ho Chi Minh trail There are many hilltribe people in this area. Although few people speak English. They are extremely friendly. It was quite hard to explain by sign language that I did not really want to drink the local liquor because I had to ride a bike.


Ancient ruins at My Son