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HO CHI MINH CITY - (SAIGON)
Six million motorbikes in Saigon and I think they were all on the road today
Vietnamese women incessantly but graciously hawk their goods to the tour busses in Saigon
OK, I'm a believer - there's nothing they can't carry on a motorbike
This Chinatown woman graciously consented to be photographed and afterward rewarded me with a huge smile
At the Chinese Market I enjoyed a delicious lunch of crawdad and vegetables over rice
Yes, they still wear these hats, even in the teeming metropolis of Saigon
The Chinese Market in Saigon - aisle after aisle of goods
The constant bustle of Saigon's Chinese Market
Sugar, anyone?
Dried fruits?
More dried.....stuff?
OK, something I recognize - vegetables
Buddhist Temple column detail
Prayer Coils hang from the ceiling of the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple
Dishes, glasses, hubcaps & bales of wire - just a small sample of the goods available at Saigon's Chinese Market
Detail of the decorations on a column in the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple in Chinatown
Prayer coils hung from the ceiling of the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple send smoke skyward to honor the ancestors and offer prayers
Lighting the Prayer Coils
Thien Hau Buddhist Temple Prayer Flags
Thien Hau Incense Pots
Preparing to light a prayer coil, which will be hung from the ceiling of the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple
Prayer flags line the wall at the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple in Chinatown
The burning of incense accompanies prayers at the Thien Hau Buddhist Temple in Chinatown
Vinh
Gian Lac Pagoda Interior
The new Vinh Nghiem Seven Layer Pagoda, completed in 1972, sits aside the ancient Gian Lac Confucian Pagoda
A store of traditional Chinese medicinal remedies lines the wall at the Giac Lam Confucian Pagoda
The altar inside the Gian Lac Confucian Pagoda
Vietnam Lacquerware Vietnam Lacquerware Vietnam Lacqueware
Artist at Vietnam Handicapped Hnadcrafts prepares a lacquerware painting. See finished product at right....
And this is what the lacquerware looks like afte a dozen or more processing steps - this particular wall hanging was created by painstakingly inlaying thousands of tiny pieces of eggshell
More finished lacquerware - some with eggshell, others of inlaid Mother of Pearl
Food carr i n street Checkers and cupping Chinatown Saigon
Vendors set up all along the street and each has their own specialty
The round marks on this man's back are from cupping, an ancient Chinese medicine that is believed to draw the poisons out of the body
A typical street scene in Saigon's Chinatown
Post office vendors
motorcycle riders in masks
War Remnants Musuem Saigon
Hawking bananas in front of the main Post Office in Saigon
Women cover every square inch of their body in 90 degree heat in order to keep their skin white
A tourist somberly examines one of hundreds of war photos at the War Remnants Museum in Saigon
TAY NINH, VIETNAM (near the Cambodian border)
Cao Dai Temple gardens
The Cao Dai Temple northwest of Saigon
Worshipers leave their hats and purses in a stairwell at the Cao Dai Temple
Worship service at the Cao Dai Temple
The two highest ranking nuns sit up front during the Cao Dai worship service
High priests of the Cao Dai sect await the beginning of the prayer service. Cao Dai is a merging of Buddhism (yellow robes), Confucianism (red), Taoism (blue), and all other religions (white).
Worship service at the Cao Dai Temple, with the highest ranking priests seated in the front of the Temple
CaoDai Temple Garden
Worshipers on the way to service at the Cao Dai Temple
Beautiful gardens surround the Cao Dai Temple
Others leave their hats outside with their shoes
CU CHI, VIETNAM (northwest of Saigon)
Cu Chi Snack
A tour guide demonstrates the use of one of the tunnels found at the Ben Viet Cong guerillas lived in and fought from these tunnels, which are located only kilometers from Saigon
Crawling down into one of the Cu Chi Tunnels - widened of course for fat American tourists
After the tour we were served a snack of manioc (a root plant) with crushed peanuts and rice tea - the only food avilable to the guerillas and much of the population after the war.
NHA TRANG, VIETNAM (resort area on the coast)
nha trang town
nha trang beach
nha trang beach
A broad, palm-lined boulvard separated Nha Trang town from the ocean
Pink and reddish sands  are found all along the coast
A palm-lined, stone pathway runs the entire length of the beach in Nha Trang
nha tang beach cahir lady
dragon fruit lady
nhatrang shave
This woman was in charge of renting out the beach chairs - $15,000 Dong for the day (about $1 US)
This street vendor happily cut open a dragon fruit for me to eat as I walked about town - delicious!
Shave and a haircut - riught out on the street between the Buddhist temple and the motorcycle repairman
nha trang tea house
big buddha temple
big buddha worshipers
Customers can help themselves to tea after visiting the exquisite embroideries at this Nha Trang arts center
Inside the Big Buddha temple in Nha Trang
Worshiping at the Big Buddha Temple in Nha Trang
white buddha temple
white buddha
reclining big buddha
The entry to the Big Buddha Temple
Now you know why it's nickname Big Buddha Temple
Yet another reason for the Big Buddha nickname
nha trand from atop white buddha rice field rice stalk
View to the ocean over multi-colored roofs from atop the Big Buddha Temple complex
Verdant rice fields
 A stalk of rice, nearly ready for harvesting
rice drying on bridge
mat weavers
kids running for candy
No place to dry your rice crop?  No problem, just pick a local bridge and spread it out under the sun
Weaving the traditional Vietnamese mats that are still used as floor coverings
A child from a poor family in the countryside comes running for the candy we bring
girl1
country house
girl2
Beautiful, happy children, despite the difficult living conditions
This house is a series of woven palm frond mats strung between logs; the diet consists mainly of manioc dug from the jungle
Broad smiles for us - probably because they know we bring sweets
concrete house
concrete house
concrete house
The condition of many Vietnamese families has improved significantly over the past ten years and many now live in brick or concrete homes
Simple, attractive homes, painted in a rainbow of colors
A home crafted of bricks that are made locally from the red-tinged clay and sand
wood bridge wooden bridge with boat yang bay watefall
A plank bridge used by locals rather than going all the way into town to cross the river
When the bridge is out in the monsoon seasom, there's always the boat
Yang Bay Waterfall cascades over giant granite boulders
HOI AN, VIETNAM (central coast)
Bougainvilleas Bougainvilleas Hoi An Rainy Street
Luscious Flowers overhang storefronts in Hoi An
A twisty Bougainvilla wraps itself around this storefront
Colorful umbrellas liven up a rainy day in Hoi An
Hoi An Old Town Gate Hoi An Bridge Hoi An Market
The city gate and bridge to Old Town Hoi An
Hoi An's Old Town bridge
Fresh fruits and vegetables at the Central market
Hoi AnVoats
Hoi An Fisherman
Hoi An Boats On Reflecting Water
Reflections of the golden town on the canal, where local boats tie up between fishing trips
A fisherman casts off a snaky box net as he drifts down the canal
Boats and reflections
Fishing Boats Hoi An Boat At Wharf Hoi An Artist
Fishing bats along the river
More fishing boats
An artist shows off his oils in Hoi An
Hoi An Old Woman
Hoi An Lantern Shop
Bougainvillas and Bicyclesycles
An old woman asked me to take her picture because she is "70 and I likepicture."  Afterword she said, "Hungry" - she wanted money.
Paper lanternd adorn the outside of a shop in Hoi An
Bicycles and Bougainvillas on a Hoi An side street
Hoi An Wood Carver Hoi An Pho Lien Kitchen Hoi An Pho Lien
Woodworkers chisel away at logs, creating intricate carvings
Pho Lien, the hote's recommended restaurant for the Vietnamese natipnal dish, Pho, or nodle soup
Best Pho I ever tasted

DANANG'S HAI VAN PASS AND MARBLE MOUNTAIN

Danang Hai Van Pass Marble Mountain Temple Marble Mountain Grey Pagoda
Atop Hai Van Pass, looking back toward Danang - the Americans had battlements here during the war
One of many Marble Mountain Temples
Another Marble Mountain Temple
Marble Mountain Cave Marble Mountain White Buddha Marble Mountain Blue Flowers
Inside the largest cave at Marble Mountain
The big white marble Buddha at Marble Mountain
Lovely blue flowers in the temple gardens
Marble Mountain Purple Flowers
Marble Mountain Temple Courtyard
Marble Mountain Grey Buddha
Purple flowers contaste against the wall of the Blue Pagoda at Marble Mountain
Looking through the gates to the courtyard of yet another temple at Marble Mountain
Buddha statue in the courtyard of one of Marble Mountain's Temples
Marble Mountain Tombs
Marble Mountain View From Top
Marble Mountain Blue Pagoda
Marble Mountain tombs
The village from the top of Marble Mountain
The blue pagoda at Marble Moountain
HUE (north central coast)
Forbidden Purple Palace
Forbidden Purple Palace
Forbidden Purple Palace
The Citadel and Forbidden Purple Palace Complex of the 13th Nguyen Dynasty
Vietnamese women dress in royal robes of the Nguyen Dynasty for photos
The Citadel and Forbidden Purple Palace Complex of the 13th Nguyen Dynasty
Nguyen Dynasty Tomb Nguyen Dynasty Tomb Nguyen Dynasty Tomb
The Royal Tombs and Summer Palace of Tu Duc
The Royal Tombs and Summer Palace of Tu Duc
The Royal Tombs and Summer Palace of Tu Duc
Nguyen Dynasty Tomb
Nguyen Dynasty Tomb
Nguyen Dynasty Tomb
The Royal Tombs and Summer Palace of Tu Duc
Ceramic detail on the Tu Duc Tombs
Ceramic detail on the Tu Duc Tombs
Nguyen Dynasty Tomb Hue Bunker Hill Hue Thich Nah Hahn Pagoda
The Royal Tombs and Summer Palace of Tu Duc
Bunker Hill, site of an American gun battery during the Vietnam War, high atop a hill near Hue
Buddhist monks that follow Thich Nhat Hanh gather each day to pray at his Pagoda
HANOI
Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Hanoi
Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Opera Theatre
A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
Eels for sale on one of the market streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
The Opera Theatre in central Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Nooks at Tran Quoc Pagoda, where the faithful burn incense and offer prayers
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Hailing from one of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, these women chew Betel nut to make their teeth black, which is considered to be a sign of beauty in their tribe
One Pillar Pagoda Water Puppet Theater Hanoi Temple of Literature
One Pillar Pagoda
A performance of the Water Puppet Theater
The Temple of Literature
HALONG BAY
Halong Bay Junks Halong Bay Halong Bay
Chinese Junks sail in and around the beautiful Karst limestone formations
Bougainvilla frame this shot of the harbor where we disembarrked to tour two huge caves
A Junk approaching Chicken Fighting Islands, said to be the symbol of Halong Bay
halong Bay Fish Farm
Halong Bay
Halong Bay Cave
Pulling up to one of the floating fish farms, where the crew bought the fish for our lunch
Markets are everywhere - even out in the middle of a bay
Formations inside one of the Halong Bay caves
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