A Vietnamese Smile for Travel Back Saturday

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in Destinations, Travel Back Saturday, Travel Photogrphy, Vietnam | 14 comments

In 2007, long before I started penning this blog, I spent a winter traveling through South East Asia with a Canadian friend. She figured that this might be her only opportunity to experience this part of the world, and was eager to see as much as possible. We spent about 10 days in Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City. We did manage to take some day trips into rural Vietnam, and it was on one trip that I was fortunate to snap this beautiful photo. This lovely lady had such an awesome smile and she seemed to be as happy as the smile she wore. This is a favorite photo, and one that inspires me to never stop traveling.

If you like, you can have a peek at previous Travel Back Saturday posts. 🙂

This week’s travel inspiration…

 “There is always a smile somewhere waiting to be discovered.” (me) 


Vietnamese Lady, Vietnam

Vietnamese Lady, Vietnam


I hope you enjoyed week three of Travel Back Saturday. If you have a photo that you’d like to dust off and have featured on Travel Back Saturday, please shoot me an email at nanciemckinnon at Gmail dot Com. I’d be happy to feature your shot along with a brief description and a link back to your site.

Linking up this week to Reflections Enroute. 


Weekend Travel Inspiration

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The Delights of Bia Hoi

Posted by on Nov 22, 2010 in Destinations, Guest Posts, Vietnam | 12 comments

Note: This is a guest post by Ben Colough. Ben first traveled through SE Asia over ten years ago and has been addicted ever since to the food, noise and grace of the region. Ben now travels for a living researching local guides and guest-houses, and pulls together tailor-made tours of  Vietnam with local character and charm.

Travelers are spoilt for choice in SE Asia and whilst many opt for the obvious and return to Thailand again and again, I simply fell in love with Vietnam. The country is less geared up to travelers, but there is loads to see, a fascinating heritage, incredible food, and Bia Hoi.

Bia hoi is fresh beer, brewed daily and intended for consumption on the day. Traders take their 100l barrels to the big breweries each morning and fill them up with unadulterated fresh beer. It contains no preservatives so will only last a day. The big appeal is the price, Bia Hoi is sold at various road side establishments at eye wateringly cheap prices (around 15 US cents per 12 Oz glass), but to me Bia hoi is more than that, it is the quintessential Vietnamese experience. Pull up a tiny plastic chair, perch yourself amidst the rushing traffic, order a large glass of beer and some nuts and absorb the insane rush of Vietnamese street-life.

No amount of experience can you prepare for busy Vietnamese Cities, just crossing the road is an experience unlike anywhere else. There are a lot of motorbikes in Vietnam and they tend to take a fairly free-form approach to concepts such as lanes. There are no breaks in traffic, so the only way to cross the road is to take a deep breath, look straight ahead and walk at a very steady pace. Like magic, the traffic parts around you – whatever you do, don’t hesitate!

Bia Hoi tends to be sold from a make-shift stall or a tiny shop unit, big enough only for a large barrel and a stack of plastic chairs. The customers sprawl out onto the pavement and road – so expect to be sat literally within the rush of pedestrian and motorized traffic. Yet despite the noise there is an incredible serenity to sitting down, drinking a refreshing beer and letting the world rush by, magical.

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