• Kaisern Chen

Eyes on Vietnam

Updated: 6 days ago

Vietnam (Việt Nam), the most populous nation in mainland Southeast Asia, has the most dynamic economic developments, thanks to the rapid influx of foreign investments as the world are under pressure to find an alternative to Communist China.


The nation went through prolonged warfare in the 20th century, from World War II to First Indochina War which won the Vietnamese independence from France in 1954. The lengthy Vietnam war began shortly after the independence and lasted from 1955 to 1975.


Today, there are hardly any signs or memories of the wars that ended almost five decades ago, as the streets are filled with young Vietnamese primarily born in the last 30 years. It is a young and energic country!


Vietnamese are, in general, friendly to visitors, and they are friendly to the camera. This blog is dedicated to Vietnam, a country I believe I will visit quite often.



Sài Gòn (Ho Chi Minh City)

July 2022

Kanjana Chaiwatanachai - the Monochrom Night at Sài Gòn (Ho Chi Miity), Vietnam July 2022

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

The age of smartphone, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Morning in the 23/9 Park, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

The coffee boy at Cộng Cà Phê (Cong Cafe), District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Dang Nguyen Bao Chau, District 3 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Liu Liu, District 3 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Pham Thi Han Vi, Okkio Caffe, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Chloe Trinh, Café Slow, District 3 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Saigon Station, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

From a corner at the Saigon Railway Station, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam July 2022

Meal in the train, Saigon Station, Vietnam July 2022

The age of smartphone, Saigon Station, Vietnam July 2022



Hội An, The Yellow City

December 2018

Hội An, a city on Vietnam’s central coast, known for its well-preserved ancient town, cut through with canals. This former Southeast Asian trading port dating from 15th-19th is a cultural melting pot in harmony which earns its name - Hội An translates as "peaceful meeting place" and indeed it is - as the only town in the country that escaped the war entirely unscathed. It's well preserved historic district noted since 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


There are different studies or local sayings on why the city is mostly in yellow, whatever the reason, that indeed makes the city look beautiful and more so when moss grows on the yellow building which gives the city a timeless appearance and traveler would have no doubt once set foot in Hội An and its nickname the "Yellow City".


This is an image I shot when I hide in the cooler alleyway from early afternoon tropical sun and patiently wait for my picture to happen and before long I spotted this lovely girl in traditional Vietnamese costume walked in the alley across the street and snapped this shot.



Hội An fresh market at daybreak

Chinese idiom says that "Food is the God of the people.", knowing that, the food source - "fresh market" becomes one of the must-visit whenever I visit a city for photography, Hội An is, of course, no exception.


After I got the information from the hotel concierge where the fresh market is and when it is started, I have the alarm on my AppleWatch set at 5:15 am the next morning, final check my camera and lens and basic setting before going bed, I am ready!


It turned out that 5:15 am is an over-ambitious goal because I had had a long day of meeting and travel before arriving Hoi An the previous evening, so there was some struggle before I convinced myself to get up. A quarter hour wasted in the process but finally, I was on the street with a camera and a zoom lens walking toward the fresh market following the tourist map the front desk lady gave me the previous night.


It was a beautiful morning; the sky was turning purple when I arrived the Thu Bon Riverbank and a cargo boat about to park, motorcycles and bikes running around, I quickly snap my first picture of the Hội An fresh market...



Still early, the fresh market is preparing for a busy day to come, and I was able to get a cleaner look of the market before it got crowded.



The chicken vendor enjoys her morning coffee ahead of customer visits.



Fish vendor's trading hour



Vegetable vendor



Fruits vendor


Local's Morning exercise - The daily routine.



Cat Walk in the Yellow City


A lovely corner where I waited and expected to have someone comes by, but instead, I got a cat!



Behind the tourist activity - We often stopped by what is in front of us than to continue to explore what beyond of it.




Celebrating the International Women's Day, March 8, 2019



I spotted this alleyway and was attracted by its color and texture, and started to look for someone to fill in the picture. A moment later I spotted a girl who is having her break, and I asked if she could help a tourist out? "I need a beautiful soul in this nice alleyway to make a picture filled with life!", I asked, and she kindly agreed to be in my picture.


I took a few shots of her and then she told me to wait for a minute and came back with all the girls work in their boutique shop.


The woman represents the charm of the nation, an indispensable workforce, and the foundation of a home!




Sunset time, Hoi An, Vietnam

Again, behind the tourist activity






Hoi An is a peaceful small town, at every corner!



The traditional barber's shop!




Here is a small collection of "On Reading" images took during the trip, inspired by my dear friend, the great Steve McCurry!









Some portraiture of the local people


















Lantern seller



On bicycle




The tourist



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