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Monday, June 14, 2010

La Gi and Pho Bo

I decided before my trip back to Viet nam that I would stop in La Gi which is several hours north of Sai Gon.  My friend is from there and I wanted to visit her family and see her hometown.  It's a small town between Phan Thiet and Sai Gon along the coast.  Located on a river, which Vietnamese town isn't and is bigger than I thought it would be and a nice clean little town.  I spent the day exploring and visiting Trang's parents and her nephews.  This pho stall is directly across from my hotel which was very nice and centrally located in the middle of town.  Lots of activity here and the pho bo was excellent.

Typical street scene

Here you have a slice of Vietnamese life as it happens everyday.  get in the shade and have a drink of something cold and chat up a neighbor or co worker.  Up and down every street this happens countless times and is part of the charm of this country.  They do have a great cafe culture and reflects their interest in family and friends.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Nuoc Mia

Here as anywhere in Viet Nam the popular Nuoc Mia stand, or crushed iced sugar cane juice.  A hand cranked press squeezes out the sugar cane juice and it's served over crushed ice.  The sweetest and most refreshing thing there is on a hot Vietnamese day.

Catholic Church in Ton Lam

On our way through this little town I spotted this small Catholic Church and decided to take a quick snap, the small boys can never resist the chance to interact with a foreigner and throw the iconic peace sign, somehow I just don't get that but they all do it.

Owen in Ton Lam

Owen and I took alot of day trips while I stayed in Nha Trang at his hotel.  One day we went shopping for green mangos so his wife Mai could pickle them.  Only a certain mango would do for this, a large grren mango from near Cam Rahn Bay.  After a drive on a small access road to Hiway #1 that exits near the CRB airport we cruised the hiway searching for something to do.  We came upon this little town called Ton Lam not far from where I was stationed in Dong Ba Thin, about 10k north.  We made our way down the back alleys and visited the local's market and even found a small Catholic Church hidden back off the highway.  We reconned the area and stopped for a brief respite at a local food stand.  Good marinated pork cutlet done on the grill with rau muong (sauted morning glory) and rice.  Locals love it when you rub elbows with them and "DARE" to eat what they eat and break bread with them.  That's one of the most fun things to do and what holds the biggest attraction for me in Viet Nam.  Why travel 10,000 miles to sit in some resort and eat western food?  Were you in Viet Nam?????  I don't think so. 

Cham Tower

This is the Cham Tower in Phan Rang from a different angle.

Cham Tower Phan Rang

This is one of the famous Cham temples located in Phan Rang city but it's really in Thap Cham which is a small city 5km away but it's technically all Phan Rang City.  I didn't go into this temple but there is a more famous one in Nha Trang that I've visited.  Most are built up on a small hill like this one and they're quite remarkable in their architechture.  Especially from a people of that era.

I'll have a cold one!

This little lady is stopping at the local drink stand for something cold on her way home from work or after a day of shopping.  This is one of my favorite things about Viet Nam is you can pull over and get just about anything on the roadside.