Monday, December 26, 2011

Coconuts and Pagodas.................



View of the coconut palms outside our hotel room on the Perfume River in Hue, Vietnam

Song Huong (Perfume River) was once perfumed in Autumn as the flowers from orchards upriver fell into the water giving it a pleasant aroma.  Nowadays, the water is anything but floral smelling as it used by locals for laundry, bathing etc.  The river bed is dredged for sand and sold to cement manufacturers - perhaps this causes the unappealing murkiness.


Of course the rainy day didn't help matters.....everywhere was somewhat grey and dull until we made our first stop at the citadel of Phu Xuan where the city of Hue began its existence in 1687 and assumed the role of capital city of southern Vietnam in the mid-1700s.  More than a century later French forces encircled the city, the Vietnamese lost the battle to keep their homeland, and a colony was born.  Even in the rain the beautiful colors glowed, especially the terra cotta walkways


Thien Mu Pagoda (Heavenly Lady Pagoda), built 1601....




..............one of the oldest and most religious buildings in the country, built between the river and a pine forest.




What about the coconuts?  The following images are from the visit to the Mekong Delta area our second day in Saigon. 


I had no idea that the coconut was such a important part of the Vietnamese economy.  The southern province of Ben Tre is called 'the land of the coconut' and cultivation is being expanded.  Named the most useful tree in the world, all parts of the palms and nuts are used, from food to roofs!



We were offered the younger green skinned ones to drink the milk through a straw while traveling along the river in a motorized sampan...........





Here coconut candy is being made by hand.......


.....the offered samples were quite tasty, though very sweet.




The packaged candy, attractively labeled, is very popular.


Amazing coconut palms....just be sure to wear a hard hat when walking beneath!

8 comments:

  1. It certainly rained a lot while you were in Vietnam! The buildings are, as you say, still beautiful and it does all look very serene. Hope you are having a good Christmas.

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  2. Interesting culture... beautiful country. I know you are having the time of your life. What a way to spend Christmas!!

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  3. How lovely! I am glad you are having a good time. I love rain. Thanks for sharing the pictures!
    Hugs, Lisa

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  4. Wow such a beautiful country and so many exotic views.

    The words "Mekong Delta" have dark meanings for my generation...and so I'm glad to know that life is going along well there now for the inhabitants.

    I don't think I've ever seen a coconut in its natural state with the big green "straw" filled husks around them. Amazing.

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  5. Your photos are really amazing (even with the rai!) and I love to read about your adventures there. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. We did see coconut's growing south of Bangkok and many coconut drinks. Thanks for sharing the sights of Vietnam. I have a friend that lived there for a couple years and left to live back in the US. She is visiting there now and I wouldn't be surprised if she moves back, she misses it there. Happy New Year, dear friend.

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