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Vietnam

The Coconut Guy (Along the Mekong Delta)

Mekong Delta (Vietnam). I met this guy during a tour along the delta of the Mekong River, not too far from Can Tho in the south of Vietnam. We stopped our boat to meet a small community of locals, which were basing their economy on coconuts and related products like milk, oil, candies and many types of handicrafts.

Of course, the entire process must from the preparation of the harvested coconuts, and this guy was so fast and precise to cut and clean them that I was hypnotized by his gestures and his ability.

The amount of coconuts he had been able to prepare was clearly visible from the huge number of shells in the background, which were forming a sort of brownish wall. I found his half-naked body emerging from this “sea of shells” a very interesting subject for a portrait photograph, and he did not look annoyed or distracted by my camera.

One final comment: I used the 105mm f/2 DC Nikon lens for this photo. The more I use it, the more I love it (especially for portraits, usually mounted on a Nikon Df camera). This lens is a perfect travel mate, I can’t leave it at home!

 

 

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Rice Farmers of Vietnam

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Rice is probably the most important element of the Vietnamese cookery, not surprisingly the country is the world’s seventh-largest consumer. Furthermore, Vietnam is – after Thailand – the second largest rice exporter in the world and rice export contributes to a significant part of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. But the third – and not the least – reason why rice is important for Vietnam is the beauty of its fields. Rice paddles are a very popular attraction for tourists visiting Vietnam, and their color, their shape (especially in the norther region of Sapa) as well as the life of rice farmers around them, represent a great opportunity for photographers.

I was visiting the country around Chau Doc on a tuk-tuk, when I saw the typical scene of women with traditional Vietnamese hats, working together in a green rice field. I found the situation very nice and characteristic of the country, so I asked my driver to stop and I spent several minutes looking at them and capturing some images. This is one of them.

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Young Monks at the Thien Mu Pagoda

Hue (Vietnam). The value of some photos is in remembering a special moment. I met these two young monks at the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue while I was walking and admiring this wonderful place. They were praying, but they made me understand that they were not disturbed by my presence. I staid in a corner, without taking photos but simply watching them and letting the peace generated by that moment pervading myself. When they finished, before closing the room where they were praying, they made me understand that I could take a photos of them – it was like a remuneration for my silent respect of their activity. At the end, I had the feeling that they were even happy to be photographed: as said, it was a special moment…

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Chau Doc (Vietnam). Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to Traditional Chinese medicine. It can be found in China, Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia (source: Wikipedia)

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Hoi An Lanterns

Hoi An (Vietnam). Lanterns are the main feature of Hoi An. Especially by night, this lovely city on the coast of Central Vietnam gets colored of thousands and thousands of lanterns sold by street sellers, but also hung outside of restaurants, shops and clubs. Walking around Hoi An by night is a wonderful experience, which will make you desire to remain in this small but enchanting town, with an important heritage and one of the most delicious local cookery of the entire Vietnam.

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Life Along the Railway in Hanoi

Hanoi (Vietnam). Walking and photographing around Hanoi can be incredibly surprising: for example, I was not expecting to see the national railway surrounded by houses with people living and spending their days on the binaries… I found this scene incredibly attracting and exciting, I spent several minutes suspended between incredulity and the passion for that original situation. This is one of the most representative photograph I captured that afternoon.

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