Street Scenes of Hue Vietnam and Hoi An Vietnam
Street Scenes - Hue and Hoi An Vietnam
In this Street Photo Blog, I will be sharing some of the street photos that I took when I was in Hue and Hoi An, Vietnam. I photographed them at random to capture the colorful people, their struggle to earn an honest living and the scenic beauty of these places.
Observing and capturing street scenes with your digital camera during your travel is one of the better ways to understand the people, their culture and lifestyle.
It gives you and others who see this street photo a simple candid shot on their everyday life that you may not be so familiar. As one photographer used to say 'it allows us to freeze those moments and study the actions and dramas that were taking place'
So the next time you are out traveling, shoot the things that catch your eyes. Snap as many street images as you can and capture the life and culture of the place. Be careful though, in some places, you may need permission before shooting.
In Vietnam, cyclo (pronounced see-clo) used to be a common mode of public transportation and can be seen everywhere. It is now used mostly by tourists, which are the biggest customers for the cyclo drivers although the locals do use them occasionally.
A typical cyclo can only accommodate one passenger, but in Hanoi it is wider and hence, can take in two adults.
As cyclo takes up road space, it can be a traffic hazard. In fact, in some cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, cyclo will soon be phased out from the busy streets in order to reduce traffic congestion. When this happens the old charms of Vietnam will be lost.
When the country was occupied by the French, they introduced cyclo, which is French for bicycle rickshaw, in 1885 as a mean of public transportation.
Before you hire a cyclo, ask for the fare to your destination. Since you are a foreigner and a tourist, he will give you a high quote. Negotiate for a lower fare. Ask for a third of what was quoted and remained firm with your price, unless you are in a generous mood.
These drivers are now a dying breed. The money they earn in a day, sometimes are not enough, unless they stumble upon a generous tourist who will pay the fare as quoted and gave a good tip as well. If you feel they deserved it, then help make their day!
Vietnam Street Food
When you travel to most part of Asia, you will see people selling food on the streets. This is very common in Vietnam. Seating on a low stool and enjoying the delicacies seems to be part of their way of life. It gives you the impression that they seem to be eating out a lot.
It does not cost much to eat at these street vendor outlets and if you want to give it a go, go slowly and observe how your stomach react to this new adventure. Be careful with your menu selection though, as dog meat is a common ingredient in some of the dishes!
If you do decide to try it, you will make these street vendors happy. Eating at their 'outlet' may help them make ends meet.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. When I saw them being sold by the street food vendors in Hoi An and Hue, I was tempted to buy.
I bought two pieces of sweet potatoes from this food seller (see photo below) and was charged 10,000VDN (US$0.50c). Hmm, it was so good and tasty, and it was cheap as well!
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals and have collagen that gives your skin the youthful elasticity. These are good reasons to have them every day!
Street Scenes at Dong Ba Market
Dong Ba market is the largest market in Hue and is now another tourist attraction. You can buy almost anything here and once you are in, it may not be easy to get out!
The place is huge, and it is like a big maze. If you lose your bearing, it will take you awhile to find your way out.
You can be carried away with the many souvenirs and thousands of other things that you can buy and do at Dong Ba market, and this can be another reason why it may not be easy to get out of Dong Ba market.
The Vietnamese buy gold on a regular basis partly because gold is an accepted medium of exchange. In Vietnam, you can buy a house with Vietnamese currency, dong, or use gold for the transaction. Hence, house price is quoted in both dong and gold!
The women folk will use this as an excuse to buy gold jewelry. Photo below was taken at Dong Ba market in Hue. Scenes of women buying, and bargaining for a good gold price, were common at this Dong Ba market.
Street Scenes at Places of Interests
At all places of interest all over the world, they will be shops and stalls selling souvenirs, foods and drinks. This is also the case in Vietnam.
This woman was selling bananas and simple souvenirs and competing with the other stalls near Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue.
Instead of waiting for customers to buy the bananas, this man was seen lugging it around the Imperial Citadel compound hoping to get people to buy.
The scenery along Perfume River was beautiful, and this photo was taken at the footsteps to Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue.
Motorbike has now replaced cyclo as a common means of transportation for most Vietnamese. You will see them all over town. Within the Imperial Citadel compound in Hue, cars and buses are not allowed. Hence, you will see many motorbike taxis here.
Tourists are coming to Vietnam in large groups mainly because it was not easily accessible before. One of its major attractions is its historical sites. However, many were destroyed during the war.
I hope you enjoyed this short journey via my Street Photo Blog and will one day make a trip to Hue or Hoi An in Vietnam. Read my travel review on Hue, for more information on what are available in the city, the weather, visa requirements, currency exchange, shopping and bargaining tips.
Below is a YouTube video by Uyen on street foods in Hue for you to enjoy.
Street Foods in Hue
© 2012 Mazlan