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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Giant fish in Saigon skies

Lots of houses have what I only know as chimney grannies. In the cold countries they stop wind coming down the chimney and blowing smoke back into the house. Here they do the opposite job and help vent hot air out of the house in form of natural airconditioning.

Most of them look like this:

Chimney granny

However, I spotted this;

Shiny fish chimney granny
I must keep my eyes trained upwards on my travels to see if I can spot any other roof creatures.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Our house has airconditioning in all the rooms above the ground floor but we spend most of our time on the ground floor. To maximise air circulation we keep the front and back door open and often open a door on the roof too. So we get visitors.

Visiting lizard
I think it sets off the indoor scooter parking facility beautifully.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Phu My Hung Bridge

A view of the new Phu My Hung bridge from the lower reaches of district 7.

Phu My Hung Bridge
It should make the road to Mui Ne a bit shorter but I have no idea what effect it's going to have on traffic in the "Saigon of the Future."

Monday, 17 August 2009

New Motorbike Helmet

It's been put off for too long, we've been driving around with Vietnamese helmets knowing that they're not going to do a lot of good if there's an accident. Off we went to the Saigon Scooter Centre to get a couple of Italian Vemar helmets. We were 50% successful but I have to wait for the smaller sizes to come in in the next consignment. However the difference is very clear.

New Helmet Front
The one on the right is properly shaped and padded using excellent materials, it's light and comfortable to wear and makes you feel safe.
The one of the left is mine.
New Helmet Side
It's a plastic bowl.

Things I miss by living in Vietnam

There's not a lot I miss. Except this:

Available in Malaysia but best enjoyed during happy hours when the price isn't too shocking.


I like getting up early on holidays and taking a stroll along the beach. Sometimes it's pristine and deserted, sometimes full of people hauling up catches and sometimes it's got quite a lot of rubbish on it. Here's some rubbish.
Beachfind cruiser
A cruiser
Beachfind plastic lighters
A school of lighters
Beachfind warrior
A warrior
Beachfind closer crustacean flotation
A crustacean flotation device
Beachfind, thongs gone
Where the flip flops once were
The beaches mainly get cleaned up during the early morning so you have to be out sharp to see these kinds of treasures.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Malaysian Jaunt

miserable and bad tempered monkey at the Penang Botanic Gardens

I've only now uploaded my holiday pictures from camera number two and know the world is just desperate for me to share them. Malaysia was the venue, Melaka, Langkawi, Penang and KL the specifics. Food was the highlight but the rest of the experience was good too.

Bollywood beach at the Garden Beach resort Langkawi. They took over for a few days of filming madness.

Bollywood Mullet

possibly the world's biggest mullet on an actor filming outside the toilets

Firefly flight awaiting takeoff, Langkawi

Firefly, the world's most orange airlines offer short and cheap flights throughout Malaysia. This one was from Langkawi to Penang

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Georgetown, Penang. It has interesting crockery cut and paste decoration and one of the most irritating, condescending and boring guides in the world. Nice building though.

Becak or trishaw on location in Georgetown, Penang

Continuing on the filming theme, a crew cling pecariously to a becak in Georgetown, Penang.

Sand cyclist, Langkawi, Malaysia

Cycling on sand, every bit as difficult as it looks

Monkey child nibbles stolen food

A more pleasant monkey but that's probably because it hasn't had time to learn how to be a curmudgeonly wee bugger yet.

As always there are more, many more on Flickr

Friday, 14 August 2009

Miniature HCMC

Tilt shift and time lapse makes a toytown out of Ho Chi Minh City. This has been posted on a few other blogs prior to me finding it but I liked it so much I wanted one of my own,

I don't know who jnvdub is, only that they used a Canon A540 camera and presumably the tilt-shift function in Photoshop that changes the perspective creating this miniature effect. Well done Evil Penquin Productions, I'm in awe.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Mobile Shop

From bicycle to fully stocked snacks, drinks and smokes stall in less than 10 minutes.

Bike arrives
Stock unloaded
fully stocked and waiting for the ice delivery to arrive.
Ready for retail

Hoi An yearly visit

The annual trip to Hoi An to get some work clothes made is just over. I was fairly restrained this year and unlike previous trips didn't have to buy a new bag to haul the stuff back to Saigon.
As always I took far too many photographs but they're easy to transport.
Tailor shop at night.
Girls working on shirts and stuff into the night. The clothes are generally made off the premises but some finishing touches are made in house.
Son cafe, Hoi An
Beer by the river watching the world drift by is always welcome.
River scene, Hoi An
The pictures above were taken at Son Cafe, a slightly ramshackle place on the beach road. It's been a regular stopping off point for me since my first visit to Hoi An.
Hoi An, by the Japanese Bridge
The Japanese Bridge is still standing and still a prime and picturesque site for hawkers.
Red bust
I hadn't noticed this nicely distressed red bust before, I have no idea who it is because it doesn't look anything like the usual Uncle Ho statues seen around.
Not much has changed since my last visit, the market is in a new building and the international tourists seem to be fewer in numbers but internal tourists are growing in numbers. All seems well and the sea was toasty warm.

Fish Spa

Fish spa
I often wondered what these things were like, the theory is that they remove the dry skin from your feet. It felt like cats sucking at my feet, that is if cats were able to suck. Not unpleasant after the initial shock wore off. This one used bigger fish than I've seen elsewhere and was in Melaka, Malaysia, they serve cups of tea while you get fished.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Waiting for the guests
A building worker takes a break while the wedding workers in the background wait for the guests to arrive.
Hammocks get hung up wherever there are convenient things to tie them to and many people have "bridesmaids" provided by the wedding venue to greet arrivals.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Peripheral traders

Outside Nguyen Kim electrical store, a semi permanent group of hawkers offer all you could possibly want to enhance your electrical shopping experience.

Peripheral traders
Of course, it's better at night when the giant, pink dancing bunny comes out to play.

Extra long load

Coming through
One of the longest loads yet, I can't help but think that he's cheating a little with that extra wheel on his motorbike offering additional stability.