Reflections on Vietnam — A Photo Essay

Last month, I travelled to Vietnam on a spur of the moment trip. This is the story of a magical country in 18 photos.

Daily Life

The streets of Vietnam are packed with energy! Any time of day, you can find people munching on a variety of delicious snacks, occasionally glancing up from soup bowls to reveal warm and gentle faces. People are gambling, playing quaint board games and gossiping. Young couples occupy street corners on motorcycles. Walking around aimlessly is how you discover Vietnam. The hours slip by and you don’t even notice.

People gathered in the local park eating snacks and gossiping
Bright red lamps and shopkeeper by the roadside
Quick lunch on little stools
Songbirds attend school in a local park
High-rises and motorcycles

Food

I went to Vietnam to eat. After watching hours of food videos from the comfort of my home, I decided to bite. And what a feast it was! Every dish I tried had a distinct flavour — hot noodle soups, fresh herbs, tender meat and aromatic spices in delightful combinations. Eventually, you try to pick your favourites. But you’re bound to cheat.

The incredible Pho (feat. soft and savoury dough sticks to dunk into the broth)
Bún riêu — A tomato-based crab noodle soup with pork and tofu
Cơm tấm- Broken rice and BBQ pork with a glass of Coke
Bun Cha — Tangy pork noodle soup with fish sauce (also 1/3rd of the ‘Obama Combo’)
Pineapple, peanuts and local beer
50 types of craft beer in a local microbrewery

History

Vietnam has a rich history. Not all of it pleasant, but they don’t shy away from it. Museums pay homage to the destructive Vietnam War, educate travelers about the great revolutionary leader ‘Ho Chi Minh’, and preserve cultural traditions in a variety of artefacts.

Life-like sculpture of Ho Chi Minh at his desk
Photo 4: Prisoners of War making the most of their situation
Panoramic view of the ‘Temple of Literature’
Iconic photograph of the ‘Napalm Girl’

Nature

It’s stunningly quiet, the air is fresh and the view is unparalleled. When you are in Ha Long Bay, the boundaries between body and nature dissolve. You are one with the world.

Sunset at Ha Long Bay
Sunrise in Ha Long Bay
Mid-day in Ha Long Bay

(All photos are © Amlan Mohanty. For names of restaurants, location details, contact information etc. please drop me a message.)