Hi Ann, Vietnam

The Vietnamese Port That Got to See Ships


blessed rest
Two villagers rest in the shadow of the gaudy facade of a Hoi An temple.
A fluvial bustle
Boatmen, vendors and porters work on vessels much smaller than those the Thu Bon River once admitted to.
Guaranteed shadow
City dweller shelters from the tropical sun under a Vietnamese hat not there.
A Vietcong Heritage
An obvious Soviet-inspired street banner promotes the virtues of Communism.
tropical margin
Palm trees, coconut trees and boats with Vietnamese flags add color to one of the banks of the Thu Bon River.
The Japanese Bridge
Residents prepare to enter the dark of Hoi An's only covered bridge, the old Japanese bridge.
Aroma & Spirituality
Incense purifies one of the various Buddhist temples in Hoi An where, in addition to the Vietnamese, there are still Chinese communities and Japanese descendants.
The possible liming
Small boats and low drafts circulate in the flow near the silted mouth of the Thu Bon River.
Banana Holder
Seller tries to group bread bananas in order to facilitate their transport.
sincere marketing
One of the city's many tailors appeals to visitors, in writing, to stop looking in his shop window and buy.
Full Load
Boat loaded with bicycles and other goods travels along the Thu Bon River, just in front of Hoi An.
Vietnamese style
Residents pass in front of a gaudy Buddhist temple in Hoi An, dressed in unmistakable Vietnamese fashion.
China Sea fish
Fishmongers and buyers discuss prices for freshly caught fish.
Weight and counterweight
A woman balances a load on one shoulder just as the Vietnamese have done for centuries.
Fresh fish
Fishmongers chat at a fish market by the Thu Bon River.
Hoi An was one of the most important trading posts in Asia. Political changes and the siltation of the Thu Bon River dictated its decline and preserved it as the most picturesque city in Vietnam.

The China Sea continued to make us its own.

As we traveled, little by little, the 150 km from Hué to the south, we passed through peculiar roadside plots. We could have enjoyed them better, but a thick fog creeping over the coast from the east enveloped them most of the morning.

Once we arrived in Hoi An, the weather changed. The fog dissipated under the power of the tropical sun and gave blazes of soft light that increased in intensity and duration until they annihilated the mist and left the city uncovered, with the torrid heat much more usual from those places to wash away the old facades colonial.

Hoi An's historic core lay a few scattered miles north of the river's estuary. Aware of the easy navigability of the village, we rented two patisseries just like those used by the residents.

These soon took refuge en masse under their hats not the. It's been a long time since we've seen those yellowish and graceful cones in such great concentration, nor a Vietnam so pleasing to the eye and, at the same time, genuine and hyperactive, we dare to conclude that with a busy pace similar to that which seduced by those sides the Portuguese navigator, adventurer, merchant and privateer, António de Faria.

At a certain point in his life, Faria admitted Fernão Mendes Pinto to his service. Both had a strong connection to Montemor-o-Velho and the former led the new subject in various adventures and misadventures, robberies and massacres that Mendes Pinto narrated in “Peregrinação”. Faria has, by the way, a preponderant role in the epic.

He was the first European to visit and establish regular contact with these Asian coordinates.

After disembarking in Danang (a little further north), he came across the commercial influence of that area and sought to establish an entrepot in Faifo – as Hoi An was known among European merchants – in the center of an area to which the Portuguese they soon nicknamed Cauchichina, Cauchi probably adjusted to Giao Chi, its original name. Thereafter, the West used the Cochinchina adaptation.

As for the outpost, it would only be founded at the turn of the XNUMXth century, almost fifty years after Faria's death, by a native sovereign of the Nguyen dynasty. Faifo was the first place in Vietnam exposed to Christianity. It became such an influential city that the Portuguese Jesuits installed one of their two Asian residences there.

With the superior purpose of evangelizing, Gaspar d'Amaral and Duarte da Costa carried out an immense work of transcription of religious writings encoded in a Latinization of the Vietnamese language.

Between 1624 and 1644, Alexandre de Rhodes, a French missionary, perfected these informal efforts, published the Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum  and it generated the lasting quoc ngu conversion that allows us to read, even without realizing it, all the Vietnamese words.

As it is common to still find in Vietnam, as we walk through the streets and alleys we come across banners and banners with Soviet graphics, true propagandist testimonies of the Vietcong triumph. Architecture, on the other hand, has nothing to do with it.

Large sequences of buildings erected at the beginning of the 800th century, or older, remain in the streets. In total, there are more than XNUMX structures with serious historical importance and which, still used, give more life to the city. There are houses and shops, wells, small temples and chapels, pagodas, communal buildings, assemblies and halls of Chinese congregations, tombs and bridges.

We pass two old men resting at the door of one of the temples identified as Chua Ong. If one of them is even sitting, the other remains relaxed, both relaxed in such a way that they seem to be part of the gaudy and mythological painting in the background.

Nearby, we find the Japanese covered bridge, perhaps the most famous monument in Hoi An, which we crossed, in the dark, and in the company of a couple of cyclists and kids in school uniforms.

The first bridge in that place was erected by the Japanese community of Hoi An, in 1593, as a connection to Chinatown on the other side of the narrow river branch. The builders created a solid structure that would resist earthquakes and provided it with a roof to ensure protection from both rain and sun.

Over time, its ornamentation remained relatively faithful to the original Japanese. The name that appears at the door of this temple – Chua Cau – was inscribed to replace the initial of Ponte Japonesa. But “Bridge for Passersby from afar” was not a big hit.

And yet, it is what we are there and what we continue to be.

Even used to the presence of outsiders, the natives look them up and down, intrigued as to whether the female half of the duo is their fellow countrymen.

We don't need to walk far until we hit the main stream of Thu Bon and reach the entrance of another bridge, An Hoi, this discovery. There, the attention of the mob of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and embarked workers goes to the bottom of the river where a boatwoman was trying to recover any merchandise or possessions dropped by someone who was crossing.

There's nothing we can do to help. We continue to admire the bustle of navigation and loading and unloading over the greenish flow.

Dozens of Vietnamese flags fluttering in the wind from small wooden barges, with their five-pointed yellow star representing the five groups of workers at the base of communism and shrouded in the red of bloodshed and revolutionary struggle.

From the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century, the flags waved much higher and with greater diversity. During this period, large vessels from Portugal and from many other countries were able to dock right at the entrance to the village and load and unload products.

On their return, Western ships carried silk, paper, tea, ivory, wax, molasses, mother-of-pearl, lacquer, spices, Asian ceramics, sulfur and lead.

Taking into account the change of era, today, you can still buy a little of everything in the city, but we do not miss the huge number of tailors who display their clothes in windows without windows facing the city streets.

And that one of them calls on a handwritten poster in English: “Stop looking. They found the most honest, friendly, selfless and most accurate craftsman in Hoi an.” Hoi An was not always so helpful to outsiders.

Between 1770 and 1780, it was the scene of a fierce rebellion led by two brothers named Tay Son, at the head of thousands of peasants who opposed trade with foreign nations.

The conflict nearly destroyed the city completely, but Faifo was rebuilt and returned to serve as a key port for trade between Asia and the West.

Until, at the end of the XNUMXth century, the Thu Bon river that links Hoi An to the China Sea silted up and became too shallow to accommodate large vessels. Gifted with this setback, northern rival Danang wasted no time in taking his place.

To Hoi An, the French settlers reserved the role of administrative center. Unlike so many other Vietnamese cities, Hoi An was spared the worst destruction of American bombing during the conflict that pitted the communist north against the south, from 1955 to 1975.

As a rule, visitors' gratitude increases as the small town enchants them more.

Hue, Vietnam

The Red Heritage of Imperial Vietnam

It suffered the worst hardships of the Vietnam War and was despised by the Vietcong due to the feudal past. The national-communist flags fly over its walls but Hué regains its splendor.

Nha Trang-Doc Let, Vietnam

The Salt of the Vietnamese Land

In search of attractive coastlines in old Indochina, we become disillusioned with the roughness of Nha Trang's bathing area. And it is in the feminine and exotic work of the Hon Khoi salt flats that we find a more pleasant Vietnam.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Under the Order of Chaos

Hanoi has long ignored scant traffic lights, other traffic signs and decorative traffic lights. It lives in its own rhythm and in an order of chaos unattainable by the West.
Ho Chi Minh a of Angkor, Cambodia

The Crooked Path to Angkor

From Vietnam onwards, Cambodia's crumbling roads and minefields take us back to the years of Khmer Rouge terror. We survive and are rewarded with the vision of the greatest religious temple
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Architecture & Design
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Adventure
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Oranjestad city, Aruba, Dutch architecture building
Cities
Oranjestad, Aruba

The Dutch Soul of Aruba

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the depths of the Caribbean, Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, displays much of the legacy left in the ABC islands by settlers from the Netherlands. The natives call it “Playa”. The city comes alive with exuberant bathing parties.
Fogón de Lola, great food, Costa Rica, Guápiles
Meal
Fogón de Lola Costa Rica

The Flavor of Costa Rica of El Fogón de Lola

As the name suggests, the Fogón de Lola de Guapiles serves dishes prepared on the stove and in the oven, according to Costa Rican family tradition. In particular, Tia Lola's.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Culture
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Traveling
Yala NPElla-Candia, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau, Balafons
Ethnic
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

Tabatô: to the Rhythm of Balafom

During our visit to the tabanca, at a glance, the djidius (poet musicians)  mandingas are organized. Two of the village's prodigious balaphonists take the lead, flanked by children who imitate them. Megaphone singers at the ready, sing, dance and play guitar. There is a chora player and several djambes and drums. Its exhibition generates successive shivers.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
Mexcaltitán, Nayarit, Mexico, from the air
History
Mexcaltitan, Nayarit, Mexico

An Island Between Myth and Mexican Genesis

Mexcaltitán is a rounded lake island, full of houses and which, during the rainy season, is only passable by boat. It is still believed that it could be Aztlán. The village that the Aztecs left in a wandering that ended with the foundation of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the empire that the Spanish would conquer.
Moai, Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Chile
Islands
Rapa Nui - Easter Island, Chile

Under the Moais Watchful Eye

Rapa Nui was discovered by Europeans on Easter Day 1722. But if the Christian name Easter Island makes sense, the civilization that colonized it by observant moais remains shrouded in mystery.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
shadow vs light
Literature
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
Nature
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Natural Parks
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Aloe exalted by the wall of the Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe
UNESCO World Heritage
Big Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Endless Mystery

Between the 1500th and XNUMXth centuries, Bantu peoples built what became the largest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. From XNUMX onwards, with the passage of the first Portuguese explorers arriving from Mozambique, the city was already in decline. Its ruins, which inspired the name of the present-day Zimbabwean nation, have many unanswered questions.  
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Characters
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Landing
Beaches
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Religion
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Buffaloes, Marajo Island, Brazil, Soure police buffaloes
Society
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Flock of flamingos, Laguna Oviedo, Dominican Republic
Wildlife
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.