In between loads of work, we made a 24-hour trip to Ky Son with a bunch of friends. Ky Son is a village about an hour's drive from Hanoi. The countryside provided some much needed clean(er) air and green scenery, a nice change from the bustling city.
During this year's autumn break we traveled to North Sulawesi, one of Indonesia's slightly off-the-beaten track destinations. North Sulawesi is all about nature in its most diverse offering: from rainforests to coral reefs, from active volcanoes to deserted islands, from tracking endangered primates to snorkeling with sea turtles,... It's all there. Needless to say all four of us enjoyed it tremendously.
Last weekend (an extended one thanks to Vietnam's National Day being on Friday 2nd September) we made a short trip to Luang Prabang in Laos. From Hanoi it's a perfect weekend getaway. The town itself is small enough to discover on foot or bicycle, but at the same time there are quite a few sights in the area.
While dad was working, mom and the kids had some fun in Ninh Bình this week. Together with friends who were traveling around Vietnam, they visited Tam Cốc, the so called 'Hạ Long Bay on land', as well as the Bái Đính Temple. Here are some photos Griet took of what was a great day out.
Ever since a friend told me about these brick factories on the banks of the Red River west of the city, I wanted to visit them. Today was the day to go and shoot some pictures there. The factories themselves looked rather ominous but the workers were extremely friendly, welcoming this strange Tây to their workplace. They proudly showed me around, even though everything they explained basically got lost in translation...
Today I made a quick stop at the quirky and atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. The light wasn't as good as I'd hoped for, so I might have to revisit sometime. One tip for future visitors: don't forget to check out the huge tree in the courtyard (last photo below). Its vast web of tangled branches is amazing!
As I was selecting some photos for the summer holiday post, I decided to do a separate post with pictures of the Belgian coast, taken during our stay there in July. Mocked by many Belgians as being one of the uglier parts of our country, I happen to like this area a lot. I hope it comes through in the photos.
Griet recently visited some projects of Mekong Plus, a Belgian-led NGO that does some amazing work in Vietnam. If you're looking for a project to support, this could be the one. Enjoy Griet's photos of her trip to the beautiful southern regions in Vietnam.
My name is Wouter. I'm a Belgian living and working in Vietnam. This blog, Xin Chào Bỉ, is a personal photographic narrative of life in Vietnam and beyond. Expect cliches and surprises, smiles and tears, concrete and forests. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking around here as much as I did clicking the shutter.
All images and words © Wouter Vanhees. All rights reserved.