Vietnam was the first big holiday we had when we first ventured out to Asia a long time ago. There were only two of us in those days so we did exactly as we pleased! So, 14 years later we decided to head back. It was the perfect combination of seeing how the place had changed and meeting up with old friends.
Every holiday there seems to be one destination where everyone goes. Having worked in several countries in the region we have disparate groups of friends (Plus those from home) and there always seems to be one place that pulls people to it each holiday. This time it was Vietnam. We had arranged up to meet up with two different groups of friends and former colleagues as well as a group of my oldest friends from university who were out from the UK. In addition, we bumped into a friend in the middle of central Saigon and arranged to meet up with another couple who we know from China. Small world and top times!
One of my memories of Vietnam are these street vendors flogging souvenir T-shirts. You'd see these tiny tressale tables piled high with all sorts of Vietnam themed shirts. Also, I remember people flogging loads of knock versions of guidebooks and other novels. Not no more! They've gone!
It seemed to me that the whole place has been tarted and tidied up and, generally, gentrified. It has definitely lost some of its character, but the upside of that is that it looks a lot more affluent which, I suppose, is far more important to those who live there.
Although in some ways it hasn't changed its now a lot busier than this 14 year old impression gives. Also, far less sitting around doing nowt.
Although the amount of motorbikes is still nuts its not as manic as I remember. Perhaps I've just got used to the madness that is Asian traffic.
The first two pictures below are from 14 years ago.
Compared to now...
I did notice when I was looking back through the old pictures that pretty much everyone now wears a crash helmet now though which they certainly didn't before. As I say, still busy just not as mad, also, increased wealth can be seen by the sophistication of the machines being ridden.
My final observation on the changes is the amount of cafes and bistros that have sprung up. They are everywhere! Perhaps this can be taken as a sign of embracing some of the good things that the French colonial era left behind??
The images below are the interior of a lovely little cafe called, for obvious reasons, propaganda.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.