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Street Scene and Photo of Hue and Hoi An in Vietnam

Updated on July 13, 2018
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As an engineer, Mazlan had the opportunity to travel and work abroad. He has traveled to over 30 countries.

Street Scenes - 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.

Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: Cyclo or bicycle rickshaw, parked by the road kerb.
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: Cyclo or bicycle rickshaw, parked by the road kerb. | Source

Street Photo Blog - Cyclo Photo

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Cyclos are now mainly use by tourists in Hue and Hoi An
My travel to Vietnam: Cyclos are now mainly use by tourists in Hue and Hoi An | Source

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!

Street Photo in Hoi An, Vietnam: Our office had 65 cyclos to take us around Hoi An, giving business opportunities to these drivers
Street Photo in Hoi An, Vietnam: Our office had 65 cyclos to take us around Hoi An, giving business opportunities to these drivers | Source

Vietnam Street Food an Interesting Street Scene

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.

Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: This food vendor was selling Vietnamese food for breakfast near our hotel in Hue
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: This food vendor was selling Vietnamese food for breakfast near our hotel in Hue | Source

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!

Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: My friends trying out the roasted cuttlefish in Hue
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: My friends trying out the roasted cuttlefish in Hue | Source

If you do decide to try it, you will make these street vendors happy. Eating at their 'outlet' may help them make ends meet.

Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: Enjoying the local fare from this street vendor in Hue
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: Enjoying the local fare from this street vendor in Hue | Source
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: This woman sells Vietnamese porridge, at  Dong Ba market in Hue
Street Photo in Hue, Vietnam: This woman sells Vietnamese porridge, at Dong Ba market in Hue | Source

Roasted Sweet Potatoes - a Common Street Scene in Vietnam

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.

My travel to Vietnam: This woman is selling not just sweet potatoes, but also tapioca
My travel to Vietnam: This woman is selling not just sweet potatoes, but also tapioca | Source

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 Photo in Vietnam: I bought my sweet potatoes from this extremely cheerful woman
Street Photo in Vietnam: I bought my sweet potatoes from this extremely cheerful woman | Source

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!

My travel to Vietnam: This woman was helping to trim her friend's eyebrow, while waiting for people to buy the plastic products at Dong Ba market in Hue. Looking pretty is still important in any part of the world.
My travel to Vietnam: This woman was helping to trim her friend's eyebrow, while waiting for people to buy the plastic products at Dong Ba market in Hue. Looking pretty is still important in any part of the world. | Source

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Preparing to get her stall ready for business at Dong Ba market in Hue
My travel to Vietnam: Preparing to get her stall ready for business at Dong Ba market in Hue | Source

Vietnamese Gold

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Vietnamese are regular gold buyers and gold is an accepted medium of financial exchange
My travel to Vietnam: Vietnamese are regular gold buyers and gold is an accepted medium of financial exchange | Source

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Souvenirs and bananas for tourists near Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue
My travel to Vietnam: Souvenirs and bananas for tourists near Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue | Source

This woman was selling bananas and simple souvenirs and competing with the other stalls near Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue.

My travel to Vietnam: This man will be lugging the bananas for sales from place to place.
My travel to Vietnam: This man will be lugging the bananas for sales from place to place. | Source

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Perfume River and the surrounding area, taken from Thien Mu Pagoda
My travel to Vietnam: Perfume River and the surrounding area, taken from Thien Mu Pagoda | Source

The scenery along Perfume River was beautiful, and this photo was taken at the footsteps to Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue.

My travel to Vietnam: Heavy vehicles are not allowed within the Imperial Citadel's compound in Hue
My travel to Vietnam: Heavy vehicles are not allowed within the Imperial Citadel's compound in Hue | Source

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.

My travel to Vietnam: Tourists at Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue
My travel to Vietnam: Tourists at Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue | Source

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.

My travel to Vietnam: While her husband was busy attending to customers inside the shop, she was clearing the table after a good lunch, behind the shop
My travel to Vietnam: While her husband was busy attending to customers inside the shop, she was clearing the table after a good lunch, behind the shop | Source

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.

Do visit my other travel articles on Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, and Jeddah and Abha in Saudi Arabia. Click on the link to read the articles.

Street Foods in Hue

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    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi LonelyVietnamese. Hue is rich in history and is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is also a great place to try out new Vietnamese dishes!

      Hoi An is also another World Heritage site. It's a well preserved old town with old Chinese and colorful French architecture. The town cuts through the main river and it is a great place to relax.

      In comparison, HCMC is boring!! You must go up and visit these two beautiful Vietnamese towns :-)

    • LonelyVietnamese profile image

      Kenneth 

      3 years ago from Ho Chi Minh City

      Thanks for the article. I lived in HCMC now but have yet to travel to Hue and Hoi An. Your articles makes me want to go there now :)

    • Halle57 profile image

      Halle57 

      3 years ago

      I am going to return to Vietnam in the next February, and at this time, my preference is a Vietnamese cuisine tour. However, when searching a list of travel company, I found that they usually guide and serve Culinary Tours in restaurants. However, some previous travelers recommended eating food street to preserve traditional taste. May I ask for your advise

      in those tour package and their food's quality? Have you ever tried?

      http://www.bestpricevn.com/Tour_Real-Taste-of-Viet...

      http://www.luxurytravelvietnam.com/EN/Vietnam_tour...

      http://culinaryvietnam.com/

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      kashmir56, Thank you. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment! Thanks also for the votes and Share.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great informative and interesting article, enjoyed the photo adventure of Vietnam from your beautiful photos. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for the votes and praise Sheila. I'm glad you had a chance to travel to Vietnam with this hub! Thanks for dropping by and take care.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love seeing how people really live in other countries. I will probably never get to travel to Vietnam, but with your hub I feel as though I have taken a little trip there. I found this very interesting and your pictures are wonderful! Voted this up and interesting. Great job! :)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      @Iammattdoran, wow you must be an adventurous traveler to try Vietnamese street food! To be honest, the street food is tastier than those in the fancy restaurants and hotels and a lot cheaper too. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 

      5 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Vietnam Street Food: one of my most favourite things ever. Nice photos greatstuff. I thought Hoi An was really beautiful

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Pavlo: I did not realize this until you pointed out that there are no security. You are right. The business is done along the market passage way and it must be safe and okay for it to continue as such. Vietnam just came out of not just one big war, but several wars. Maybe now they want peace and your observation, and conclusion could be right.

      rfmoran: As mentioned earlier, Vietnam is tired of war and wants peace and I think they work hard to achieve this and it seems to work.

      Glimmer Twin Fan : Thanks. Your armchair travel is more fun and a lot cheaper!

      teaches12345: They say that food from street vendors taste nicer than at fancy restaurants. In most cases this can be true as I do know of several highly recommended places to eat, here in my country, that are from small stalls, from food court centres and street vendors. In most Asian countries, these street vendors are part of the country's unique lifestyle and I missed them when the city, in moving towards 'progress', removed them from the street scene. It is important to maintain a proper city planning but not at the expense of losing the delicate fabric of these lifestyle. I know some of you may not agree with me.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I enjoyed the cultural lesson and tour, greatstuff. I actually would love to visit and to try some of the street vendor food selections. Of course, as you say, taking it slowly to gauge a reaction. This is nicely written article and very interesting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      Really beautiful hub. I enjoyed taking a trip to Vietnam with the great photos.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Having served in the military during Vietnam, although not in Vietnam, I love seeing your beautiful pictures of places that were once a scene of hell. Great job.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Dear Greatstuff, your wrote the great stuff! I sell airline tickets but very seldom have pasengers to/from Vietnam. Too expensive to fly, too long and somehow tourists do not want to spend much $ there. Alas. I see it can be very interesting. Information about gold sold on a market like any other goods is unbelivable. Just have a look at the picture. NO SECURITY guys! Either they were not robbed or they do not have crimes!

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