I think every staircase, and there are many of them, in the Chinese emperors’ Forbidden Purple City in the heart of Hue, Vietnam is flanked by dragon’s like this one. In fact, if you look into the background of this picture, and squint a bit, you’ll see four more examples in the building across the way.
Before I was able to take this photo, my friend Shannon and I, following a decision to rent a kayak, had navigated through rough waters and squeezed ourselves through a narrow gap in the rocks to find safe harbor. Following that drama, we got to glide past the floating villages that surround Cat Ba Island.
We came across this fisherman towards the end of our trip and I asked if I could take a photo. He was kind enough to slow down as he pulled his nets to pose!
When we arrived in the Mekong Delta it was late evening. There was an old lady sat in our lobby who offered to arrange a guide for us in the morning. I was a little suspicious of this seemingly too convenient option, particularly as a guy who had been on our bus repeatedly tried to direct us to the wrong hotel just before our arrival.
But, it was late and we knew we needed an early start to get to the markets so we decided to go for it. She didn’t let us down as she escorted us to meet our guide who would take us out for the day. She picked up a load of reeds on the way and spent most of the day making little handicrafts for us as she meandered through the markets and streams that make up the Mekong.
We took a packaged tour to My Son and wound up on a big bus tour. I’m not very good at sticking with big groups of people and wandered off pretty quickly. A lot of this Hindu temple complex was ruined in the Vietnam war and the remaining bomb craters were a clear reminder of this – some were huge.
There were a number of tours moving around so once I had this photo set up I had to wait quite a while for them all to move on. I have a version with no people in it but decided I liked this one with a backpacker looking up at one of the temples.