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Monday Moment: Temple Incense

28. October 2013

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Temple of Literature

Temples in Asia fascinate me. Unlike our North American churches with their air of solemnity, hushed tones, and calm divinity, Asian temples are often a whirlwind of swirling incense smoke, banging drums, and merchants hawking offerings to the gods for the faithful who didn’t come prepared. I feel uncomfortable entering churches. I don’t know why. [...]

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Monday Moment: Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam

4. March 2013

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Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi

This small shrine sits just beside the much more picturesque Ngoc Son temple on Hoan Kem Lake in Hanoi. While the temple justifiably receives much attention from visitors, tourists, and strangely, brides having their photos taken in elaborate get-ups, this shrine received a fair amount of attention from locals who burned money at the base [...]

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Monday Moment: Perfume Pagoda Pilgrimage , Vietnam

26. November 2012

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Perfume Pagoda, Vietnam

Hundreds of boats, loaded with thousands of pilgrims, make their way toward the Perfume Pagoda outside of Hanoi. Families come to pray for luck and good fortune. Couples come to pray for fertility. Men come to pray for prosperity and good luck.And test that faith by playing cards on the way back down. I wonder [...]

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Monday Moment: Vietnam Moto Taxi

26. August 2012

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Vietnam Moto Taxi

In Vietnam the fastest, and most economical, way of getting around is the moto-taxi. Just like regular taxis, moto-taxi drivers hang out on every street corner waiting for customers. We would simply walk up, point at the map as to where we wanted to go, negotiate a price, and hop on the back. Even if [...]

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Monday Moment: Mui Ne, Vietnam

4. June 2012

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Drying Fish, Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, on the coast of Vietnam, is a sleepy fishing village that produces a lot of fish sauce. The colorful fish boats leave on the morning tide and return late in the afternoon. The hills lining the shore are filled with baskets of drying fish…yep, you can imagine the stench!

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Monday Moment: Bia Hoi Shop, Hanoi, Vietnam

12. March 2012

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Beer Shop Owner, Hanoi

One of my favourite things to do in Hanoi is to find a Bia Hoi (or fresh beer) shop, sit, and watch the world go by. It’s a popular pastime; there are over 3000 Bia Hoi shops in Hanoi. We visited this one regularly during our time there. This is the owner. He would come down the [...]

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Remember That Time: We Realized We Would Never Make It As Drug Mules?

21. February 2011

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Vietnam Visa

Now that we’ve returned home and have settled back into our routine lives again we find it funny how our travel stories keep coming up. Invariably one of us will look at the other and say ‘Remember That Time…’ I thought it would make a good series; a way to tell these small stories that [...]

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Remember That Time…I Colored My Hair In Vietnam?

31. August 2010

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Uhoh…alittletoodark.jpg

Now that we’ve returned home and have settled back into our routine lives again we find it funny how our travel stories keep coming up. Invariably one of us will look at the other and say ‘Remember That Time…’ I thought it would make a good series; a way to tell these small stories that [...]

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Scooter Mania

20. April 2010

2 Comments

CrossingTheRoadinHanoi.jpg

There is a dull roar that hangs over Vietnam. From north to south, in the highlands and in the delta, in small towns and especially in big cities the inescapable sound of a million scooters fills the air. Scooters are everywhere. People don’t walk anywhere, they just jump on their scooter and ride to where [...]

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The American War

13. April 2010

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DMZTourVietnam2_thumb.jpg

It’s been a while, but when I was younger I had a somewhat re-occurring dream. I grew up in the 80’s during the time of the so-called ‘cold war’ but must have been influenced by war accounts from the second world war. I had an impending sense of doom but it was, strangely, coupled with [...]

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Halong Bay

28. March 2010

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halongbaytour22-thumb.jpg

I’d been looking forward to seeing Halong Bay since we left home. Visions of limestone islands rising up out of the sea seemed, to me, to be one of the quintessential Asian scenes… vibrant green rice paddies, women wearing conical hats, and wrinkled old men being some of the others. We had been warned that [...]

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