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These beautiful shiny bowls were neatly arranged for display at one of the stalls catering to tourists in Can Cau market, Vietnam. Pleasant to look at, yet makes one wonder if they were made locally or had been imported solely for sale to tourists visiting the area.

Founded in 1871, Cha Ca La Vong in Hanoi Old Quarter serves only one dish. The place certainly looks its age. The steep, narrow steps leads to the first floor where several tables and chairs are cramped into a small room. The kitchen is just behind.

I don't know what is this called but it was delicious! The humble white noodle is a common staple food in Vietnam. It is often prepared and eaten in a myriad of ways.

Behind the Can Cau market, there were stalls and more stalls selling cooked food. The Hmong people groups gathered here for their weekend shopping and enjoyed a good time of catching up with each other. Others, like this Flower Hmong woman, helped a mother to feed her baby, which was strapped on her back.

This mother was taking a break with her child at the hillside Can Cau market. At the bottom of the slope, there was a disorderly crowd looking and examining the also disorderly herd of bulls and oxen. Sellers stood next to their four-legged 'products' to attend to their prospective buyers' enquiries.

Bac Ha White Plateau is so called due to the Tam Hoa plum trees that blanket the mountainous area with their white blossoms every year. It is said that decades ago, the head of Bac Ha Plant Breeding Research Centre and his colleagues had successfully created this new variety of plum through cross-pollination.

We'd stopped at the home of this tribal woman and her son while visiting the Can Cau Saturday hillside market. The humble abode had a big unsegmented hall with the bed at one side, covered with a cloth as a veil. The manual sewing machine stood alone next to the wall just behind the woman. The attic served as storage space for the farm produce such as corn cobs and hay. The house floor was raw earth ground. The cooking area was placed at one of the corners.

In the Northwest Vietnam highlands, there are many tribes of people groups with their distinctive traditional wear. Each tribe has an identifiable style which clearly differentiates them from the rest. In this image, the womenfolk here are from the Flower Hmong people. They are distinguished by the cheerful bands of multi-coloured embroidery that adorn their clothing.

The first tomb we visited in Hue was for Emperor Minh Mang, who ruled from 1820 to 1840. The luxuriant gardens and man-made lakes with the imperial temple, seen here in this image, would have been easily passed as a massive park. One can't help but feel completely peaceful and serene walking around the grounds.

Boats still anchored today in the Thu Bon River that cuts through Hoi An. In the olden days, these rows of golden yellow shophouses must had been thriving warehouses brimming with precious goods from the east and west. Hoi An was one of the major ports in Southeast Asia back then catering to vessels from China, Japan and Europe. Products like high-quality silk, brocades, ivory, fragrant oils, fine porcelain, weaponry and precious metals were traded here.

The houses in Hoi An dates back to the 18th and 19th century. Some had been lovingly preserved by successive generations of families living in the houses up till today.

Smoke from incense embers choked the air in this Hoi An temple. Rays of sun light shined through the few transparent tiles of the roof and penetrated the smoke-filled atmosphere. Local devotees came here for their regular ancestral worship and prayed for blessings.

Coils and coils of red incense hung from the roof of this assembly hall temple in Hoi An. The Chinese traders from the 16th-18th century settled down in Hoi An and established their respective assembly halls for celebrations, community meetings and ancestral worship. These merchants came from Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan and Chaozhou.

Lanterns hung down from lines strung across the road, courtesy of the shop on the right foreground. It is common to find lanterns strung across like this all over Hoi An. This ancient river city is well-known for its lanterns.

Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

A little about me

Josh For some, it's shopping therapy. Others, movie therapy. Yet more, reading therapy. For me, it's writing therapy.
Why writing? When I travel, I enjoy first-hand the experience like in shopping therapy. But when I write about my travels, I live vicariously the experience again, as if like a movie sequel (or more like GroundHog Day, except that this is fun!). Yes, writing evokes the memories, the fun and the not-so-fun but all-in-all it gives the satisfaction of reliving the sense of place once more.
With images, it enhances the experience down one's travel memory lane. With this in mind, I hope to share my travel stories in words and images with you. For your escape therapy! More...

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