Our brief journey through Sa Pa was but a taste of what I one day hope will be a full experience. While my husband, Alejandro, and I only wandered through the area for slightly less than 48-hours, the peaceful valley that feels so remote from Vietnam’s other popular destinations will remain etched in our imaginations.
A trek through the mountains leads to learning about local life.
By the time my husband, Alejandro, and I woke up from our early morning nap — after taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Sa Pa — it was late afternoon and we didn’t have enough time to experience any of the local tours that would take us through the valley.
An overnight train’s last stop is the first look at Lào Cai Province’s glorious mountain range.
I woke up to the sound of knocking. Fumbling for my glasses, I struggle to sit-up in the already too low bed. It is still dark, but a small woman has slid open the train’s cabin door and seems to be asking a question.
My mind is lingering in the space between dreams and reality and I am not fully grasping the situation. It dawns on me slowly. We must be almost there. The woman is looking around the cabin expectantly, repeating question. What was it?
Feeling at home while roaming the capital city’s streets.
If I was told I had to pack-up my Canadian life and move to Hanoi tomorrow, I wouldn’t even bother to fold my clothes. Rather, they’d be shoved unceremoniously into the closest suitcase on-hand. Continue reading “Streetscapes: Hanoi”
Not all who wander are lost; but losing your way in this city may just be one of the best experiences.
Music pounded through the streets, shaking the restaurants stockpiled in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was dark when my fiancé and I arrived to the city, and the night was already alive. Revellers drank in nearby bars, spilling out onto the streets and restaurant employees smiled with beguiling faces while enthusiastically waving menus in our direction.
Getting to know the city one footstep at a time.
Hội An captured my heart and my lens. From the city’s historic golden buildings and winding waterways, to its lively markets and quaint cafes, Hội An is a photographer’s dream. Continue reading “Streetscapes: Hội An”
Portraits of people bringing light and life to Hội An.
Hội An’s golden buildings make a glowing backdrop framing the people who bring life to the historic city. In the meandering Old Town, shopkeepers sweep doorframes and the smells of cooking — braised pork, fresh chili, basil, star anise and lime — permeate through the air. Silk lanterns of sky-blue, fuchsia and lavender span archways and sway in the gentle breeze as tourists laugh and chat in open-air cafes.
Hội An’s economic climb and fall as an affluent sea port froze its architecture in time.
It’s easy to imagine Hội An as it would have been in the 16th century. As a bustling stop along the Silk Road — known then as Hai Pho, or, “seaside town” — the city’s winding streets bedecked with colourful lanterns would have been filled with travellers from across the seven seas.
Chasing the light at dawn may not always turn out how one expects.
The streets are strangely hushed as we make our way from the hotel towards Hội An’s Old Town. The sun has not yet risen, and the world is covered in darkness. Quietly, we walk past homes where the residents are slowly beginning to stir. Continue reading “Good Morning Hội An”
Make a wish and set a lantern alight while partaking in the city’s ancient tradition.
As the sun sets over Hội An, the everyday humdrum begins to fade and is replaced by magic of a human invention.