My Heart Remains In Saigon

With the rush of outdoor portrait business that I received during the spring/summer/fall in 2015, I was able to put aside a fair chunk of cash. I took some of that money and fulfilled a bucket list item of mine that I’ve had for almost 15 years! I finally made it to Vietnam!

A few months prior to my departure, I went online in an attempt to make some friends to show me around and even to put on a photography workshop that I eventually decided against, (I was, after all, there for vacation). What transpired from these communications, was completely unexpected.

Vietnam was unquestionably the most amazing experience of my entire life… without a doubt. I dream of going back every day. Until I’m able to visit again, I only have the memories and the ability to live there vicariously through the amazing photos and videos of a country that I now think of & miss each and every day.

I did bring my camera, but I really didn’t take too many photos with it. I kind of wish I’d taken more professional photos, but I was far too busy exploring and experiencing. Most of the shots I took were just Instagram photos from the somewhat dated spare phone that I brought traveling with me…

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Our first destination… we laid over in Taiwan for a day, before moving on to Hanoi…. this is the view from on top of the Taipei 101 building

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The rooftops of Hanoi. This was our first stop in Vietnam, after a day’s lay-over in Taiwan. Here, you see the view from my hotel room’s balcony.

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Streets of Hanoi. I was looking for Bánh mì one morning for breakfast.

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A cafe we sat at for Vietnamese coffee, right before we headed out on our day-tour to Halong Bay

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One of the sights from Ha Long Bay. Legend has it that the 3,000 limestone items were carved out by a great dragon, the “Tarasque”. In fact, ‘Ha Long’ means, “where the dragon descends into the sea”. Even today, sightings of a mysterious marine creature persist.

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A seafood market, where the tanks were built right into the docks on the South China Sea

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A view from the boat in Halong Bay

 

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Bến Thành Market – District One, right in the heart of downtown Saigon. After spending a few days in Hanoi, we finally arrived at our destination. My hotel was very near here.

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A tasty treat from the Bến Thành Market… baby pig brains!

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One of the sights from Phạm Ngũ Lão Street in District One, Saigon

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One of the sights from Phạm Ngũ Lão Street in District One, Saigon

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Phạm Ngũ Lão by day

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Phú Quốc Island – this was where I had a romantic little get-away. I stayed in a newly built tree-house style resort, right in the thick of the Vietnam Jungle! From there I explored the island by motor bike. I encountered bustling, mind-blowing fresh seafood markets by day, hopped from one small town to the next and always found a new amazing place to post up along the Gulf of Thailand to watch the sunsets.

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An iPhone panorama of our favorite sunset on Phú Quốc Island.

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An old temple near our tree-house resort on Phú Quốc Island

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Another view from Phú Quốc Island

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Our tree-house resort on Phú Quốc Island

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Our favorite swimming spot at the lighthouse in Phú Quốc island

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Chilling out in a cafe on the Gulf of Thailand in Phú Quốc Island!

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Chill Sky Bar – one of our ‘nights out on the town’ in the heart of Saigon

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Chill Sky Bar – one of our ‘nights out on the town’ in the heart of Saigon

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City market in Gò Vấp District, Saigon. The things you can buy in these markets is just out of this world!

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City market in Gò Vấp District, Saigon. The things you can buy in these markets is just out of this world!

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City market in Gò Vấp District, Saigon. The things you can buy in these markets is just out of this world!

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City market in Gò Vấp District, Saigon. The things you can buy in these markets is just out of this world!

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A typical hallway in the buildings of Gò Vấp District, Saigon.

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“Ride ’em until the wheels fall off!” In Saigon.

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Rainy view from my hotel in downtown Saigon

 

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Taking photos on my last night in downtown Saigon

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Had to check out the Crazy Buffalo on my last night in Saigon

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Had to check out some of the bars in Phạm Ngũ Lão on my last night in Saigon