top10: Vietnam

Time for another top10 post. This time, I’ll be putting up photos that have never been seen on this blog before, because I haven’t got around to writing about Vietnam yet. Don’t worry, I will. But until then, this teaser will have to do.

I’m sure you remember the basic format by now, but for those that are new or forgetful, here’s a brief recap of the rules:

  • I will upload the ten best photos taken in each country.
  • They must be my photos- directly taken by me.
  • No fakery is permitted- nothing is intentionally misleading, and I haven’t done anything just because it would make a good photo.
  • Photos are chosen because I think they show something particularly interesting, characteristic of the country, encapsulating a vivid memory I hold of that place, or just for being pretty.

The Vietnam top10 is unfortunately handicapped from the start – I lost a huge amount of photos thanks to a corrupt flash drive, and dying camera. That means that quite a few of these are going to be low quality, and taken from my phone. I hope you’ll agree there are some good ones though.

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#10
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Vietnam sure thinks a lot of itself- statue in Hanoi.

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#9
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Cobra wine. It seems you can get pretty much any type of dangerous animal pickled in booze in Vietnam. I saw snakes, scorpions, spiders, lizards, and at least one (young) crocodile.

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#8
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Matt, my companion on the motorbike trip down the country, in traditional hawkers dress. We bought some fruit from the seller after playing with his hat.

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#7
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I’m not sure whether this is supposed to be Buddha inspiring the animals to listen in, or whether this monkey-man is just some kind of religious peeping tom. Either way, it’s an unnerving tableau.

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#6
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This is a terrible photo, but this is the moment that I knew that buying our motorbikes had been a brilliant idea. Moments before, Matt’s pack had slipped on his bike, causing what was very nearly quite a serious crash. As it happened he was fine, just shaken.
We decided to stop and recover a little, and grab some lunch.

We were well off the beaten track by this point, but managed to find somewhere to grab some food, by heading towards where a group of men were drinking. Despite having zero common language, we managed to signal that we wanted some food, This girl came out, sat with us, and hand rolled some fresh chicken spring rolls for us to eat.

They were delicious, incredibly cheap, and came with a couple of beers bought for us by the guys at the next table. We had got away from the hoards of backpackers and found some of the ‘real Vietnam’. It was a defining moment in my travels. This would rank much higher if it wasn’t such a poor photograph.

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#5
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My backpack, securely bungee’d to the back of my bike. This is everything I owned at that point, and was plenty. It was definitely a pain in the ass untying and retying that every day though.

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#4
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Any colour you like! I had one handmade at a slightly more reputable tailor later.

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#3
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This is not rush hour. It is terrifying trying to cross the road in Vietnam, let alone learning how to drive a motorbike in this madness!

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#2
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A traditional style boat on the Mekong. Most of the motorbike journey was at least this pretty. I’m not sure why the boat seems to be party made of bricks though.

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#1
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This is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken. That’s a cow (I was originally told it was a horse, but it looks more like a cow to me), and it’s alive. I saw lots of crazy things being carried on the backs of bikes – dead pigs, extended families, fish tanks, a fridge – but I think the live cow might be the best. I love this guy’s nonchalance too- look how relaxed he seems, leaning back on his cow, and with no shoelaces either.

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