I think this quite short video clip was taken on September 5, 2009, by my wife’s oldest son, Tho.
As I said in the YouTube description, it opens with a view of a pair of fishermen casting their nets from a type of longboat. At one point, the famous Friendship Bridge is visible in the distance beyond them.
I’m unable to say whether these fishermen are Laos or Thai, but judging by how close the Laos side of the river is — if the view of rather busy traffic visible through a spread of trees that comes next is indeed Laos — then this designation of nationality would be logical.
Tho follows up with a long-distance view of the river in the direction away from the Friendship Bridge, yielding a display of what seems to be fairly heavy commercial/residential development. This would have to be Thai, if I was correct about the road traffic being in Laos.
I understand that I was taken to the Nong Khai area during my first visit to Thailand, but I honestly have no recollection of it.
I dearly wish I had the leisure and means to follow up those early excursions with comprehensive re-visits. At the time, I was so utterly new to the experience of Thailand, I had no concept of the country, and never understood much of the places I was taken to by my Thai guides and friends. The names of the places were unfamiliar to me, and alas, none of them registered. I saw temples, parks, museums, villages, nightclubs, and even beaches, never knowing where I was or where these places were.
It didn’t help that I only owned a 35-mm film camera at that time, and was always conscious of the price of film development.
In the six years that have passed since that first visit, my vision has drastically deteriorated, as has my physical fitness — the perils of my job, and the toll it has taken upon me in the context of consuming so much of my daily life’s time at the expense of the devotion I used to have to things like serious exercise. I believe I could reclaim much of what has been lost…but I do not really know.
If the opportunity is indeed ahead to become the dedicated tourist/explorer I would love to be, then I pray it comes soon before I have aged and therewith lost far too much of the vigour I once knew.
Another Mekong View
What Album Should I Get?
I’m into progressive/doom/stoner/avant-garde metal. I already have Neurosis, Isis, Opeth Mastodon, Tool etc. I am thinking of getting some Nevermore, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Kyuss, Dream Theater, or King Crimson. Please give your views on each of the bands, and what album I should get.
PLEASE feel free to suggest another band that is not on this list
1) None of that is avant-garde. You wanna hear some avant-garde metal buy a Mr. Bungle album. You should probably just do that anyway, since Mr. Bungle is amazing.
2) Nevermore: I heard one of their albums…wasn’t impressed.
Sleep: Haven’t heard ’em
Electric Wizard: I got bored with them because all of their songs are reaalllly slow and like 20 minutes long. Probably more enjoyable if you’re stoned.
Kyuss: Go out right now and buy “Welcome To Sky Valley”. One of the greatest rock albums ever recorded. Then go buy all of their other stuff. Then go buy every Queens of the Stone Age album. Actually the whole Palm Desert scene is awesome.
Dream Theater: Haven’t heard ’em. People either love them or hate them.
King Crimson: Probably one of the most important rock bands ever. Buy “Red” and go from there. If you like them then maybe check out The Mars Volta. Their singer has kind of a grating voice but musically they’re pretty cool. Maybe you’ll like them.
I would also recommend “The Perfect Element I” by Pain of Salvation. Reminds me of Opeth a lot. If you’re ok with scary black metal vocals then maybe give Enslaved a shot. Start with the most recent album and work backward.
High On Fire are a great stoner metal band. Mastodon loves them so maybe you will too! Also check out Boris. I would recommend getting “Amplifier Worship”. It’s really heavy and slow, but still interesting. Boris named themselves after a Melvins song so maybe go buy one of their albums while you’re at it. I recommend starting with their most recent one.
If you’re looking interested in hearing some progressive thrash metal go no further than “Nothingface” by Voivod and “Dances of Death” by Mekong Delta.
Another Mekong View
Vietnam Luxury Holiday From North To South
We have designed this cultural journey for people keen to experience the diversity of Vietnam but with limited time to spare. We take you to discover the very best of Vietnam has to offer in 11 days. You discover 4 World Heritages listed Sites, the magnificent Halong Bay in Tonkin Gulf, the historical and cultural depth of Hoi An the enigmatic Cham Towers in My Son, and the ancient Capital Hue. This trip starts from colonial Hanoi and ends in vibrant Saigon – Ho Chi Minh city.
In charming Hanoi, dine in one of the French colonial villas converted into gourmet restaurants. Shop at fashionable boutiques and galleries featuring traditional and contemporary artists. Explore the fascinating maze of 36 streets in the Old Quarter. Venturing outside the city, cruise along dramatic limestone islands in Halong Bay.
Farther south, Hue, the former Imperial capital that is a quiet city renowned for the magnificent architecture of its citadel, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples, built under the Nguyen dynasty on the banks of the Perfume River. In the UNESCO-designated river town of Hoi An, tour centuries-old merchant houses, visit busy silk and fish markets.
In Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon), Vietnam ‘s dynamic commercial center, explore colorful produce markets, or perhaps stop in a designer shop to order a haute couture ao dai. Take a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and watch an unusual, eclectic religious ceremony at the main temple of Cao Daism, a unique fusion of world religions. On another day trip, tour the narrow canals of the Mekong Delta to see a traditional side of Vietnamese life.
* This tour can also be taken in reverse, visiting HCMC first, concluding in Hanoi .
Day 1 Arrive Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival at Hanoi ‘s Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Welcome dinner at local restaurant followed by evening water puppet performance. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2 Hanoi ‘s tangible and intangible heritage (B/L/-)
Vietnam ‘s artistic and intellectual capital. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake , ride a cyclo to dinner.
Dine in French colonial villas converted into gourmet restaurants. Enjoy people-watching at stylish cafes. Shop for impressive modern art in the city’s myriad galleries. Also visit Hanoi ‘s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature .
Overnight in Hanoi .
Day 3 Hanoi – Halong Bay Natural World Heritage – Hanoi (B,L,-)
Upon meetingt you at your hotel at 8:00 am, we drive to Halong City, approximately 3 hours away. Once at Halong City you will board our private boat for a four-hour cruise of this stunning area, stopping along the way to visit one of the limestone caves in the area. As we cruise, our boat staff will serve a sumptuous local seafood lunct. After 4 hours, we cruise back to the harbor and return you to your hotel in Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi .
Day 4 Hanoi – Hue World Heritage (B/-/D)
Transfer to airport for flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Phu Bai Airport , You will be transfered directly to your hotel. This afternoon we embark on a tour of Hue City including the Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City , the Imperial Museum and Dong Ba market. Tonight you enjoy the fine cuisine of Hue in the Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant.
Overnight in Hue
Day 5 Hue World Heritage (B/L/-)
Rising up in the ancient land, breakfast in hotel, we board on a private boat for cruising on the romantic Perfume River . This time we head out for the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to some of these tombs will be on the itinerary for today.
The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. Setting in the converge of rivers, and gives you a great view on the Perfume River and surrounding area. From here we will cruise further to the ornate Minh Mang’s tomb. We will enjoy lunch at local restaurant before getting out the Dragon boat for driving to Khai dinh’s stomb.
Overnight in Hue .
Day 6 Hue – My Son – Hoian World Heritages (B/L/-)
We will travel over the Hai Van pass, stop in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum, Visit Ruines at My Son Holy Land. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism. My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam.
The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is a Must-See for those people who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations and is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam . Once in Hoi An, we will check into our hotel and have some free time to explore.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7 Ancient Town Hoian (B/L/-)
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came primarily to trade in the high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops, and numerous cafes.
Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. We enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200- year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. Following the tour there will be free time to shop or relax.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8 Hoian – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/-)
Transfer and flight to HCMC for two nights. Afternoon, private tour of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial center and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. Visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace , the Opera House and Hotel de Ville.
If desired, also visit the powerful War Remnants Museum . Explore colorful outdoor markets and Dong Khoi Street , the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and accessories designed by up-and-coming Vietnamese designers, hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and housewares.
Overnight in HCMC.
Day 9 Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (B/L/-)
The Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of Vietnam . It is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam as it produces three crops of rice per year. The fertile Mekong Delta is also famous for its tropical fruits and flowers. The Delta area marks the end of a 4,500 km journey made by the Mekong River after having traveled through six countries. Traditional transportation in the Delta is by boat along a vast network of canals and channels.
Boating along these canals and visiting the floating markets always proves to be a fascinating and rewarding experience for all visitors.
Leave HCMC to lush My Tho where you will board a private boat to go through the green vegetation of the canals to an orchard, where guests are treated to a delicious lunch in a bonsai garden in the heart of the Mekong , complete with succulent tropical fruits. We also visit the snake farm Dong Tam that breeds snakes for, among other things, snake wine and enjoy a bonsai garden in Trung Luong before heading back to HCMC.
Overnight in HCMC.
Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels (B/-/D)
Half-day private excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km. from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens.
Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like. Afternoon free at leisure in town.
Overnight in HCMC.
Day 11 Depart Vietnam (B/-/-)
There are no activities planned for today. You enjoy your free time until transfer to airport for your onward flight.
Award Winning Travel Advisors in Asia
Vietnam or Cambodia for one week?
ietnam or Cambodia for one week?
My mother and I are planning to visit either vietnam or cambodia next week for about a week. We are interested in cultural things, history, nature, plantations, beautiful views, unique things and of course food. My question is where should we go? We have a very limited time and would like to make the most of it. I have heard Angkor Wat is amazing but at the same time I’ve heard great things about Vietnam.
I am lost! Please help!
i have been to Cambodia twice since July 2009, but been to Vietnam 10 times since too..here are somethings to see and do in vietnam…
•Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels This extensive network of nearly 500 km of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina and American wars. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military. Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. Located in Tay Ninh a suburb it is 39km northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City.
•Dalat is the place to be if you want to visit interesting tribal villages. Although most are located further out of town, you can visit the villages of some of the hill tribes, such as Lat Village and the Chicken Village (with a huge statue of a chicken) close to Dalat itself. Don’t forget your camera as the photo opportunities are endless!
Ha Long Bay
Paddle around Halong Bay in Quang Ninh which is similar to the islands found along the , this is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful areas, Halong Bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for night-time excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets. There are plenty of activities such as Kayaking that are well worth taking time out for as this is one way to really appreciate the beauty of the area as well as a good way to see the fauna and flora without disturbing the nature around one.
these were my top 10!!
Du Hang Pagoda
Haiphong is known as the City of Flower-lined Streets, and is the third biggest city of Vietnam, in comparison with Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Here you can discover the Du Hang Pagoda which is one of the most ancient pagodas in this city and is one you need to take your camera for. It was built three centuries ago and the decoration on the pagoda is exquisite as well as housing many ancient furnishings that never fail to interest visitors.
•Hanoi has lots to offer the tourist but if you are in the city you can’t afford to miss the History Museum that includes artifacts from Vietnam’s prehistory: proto-Vietnamese civilisations (1st and 2nd millennia BC), the Dong Son civilization (7th century BC to 3rd century AD), the Oc-Eo (Funan) culture of the Mekong Delta (1st to 6th century AD); the Indianised kingdom of Champa (1st to 15th century), the Khmer kingdoms, various Vietnamese dynasties and their resistance to Chinese attempts at domination, the struggle against the French, and the history of the Communist Party. It gives the visitor an excellent understanding of Vietnam’s past and a better understanding of the present.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Another Hanoi “must do”, though a little out of town is the National Preserve of Cuc Phuong This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park’s 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artefacts have been discovered, can be located in the mountains within. It is located approximately 120km southwest of Hanoi.
•Visit Hoi An. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came to trade primarily for the high-grade silk, which is still produced in the area, and ceramics. The area is now one of four world heritage listed sites in Vietnam and there are lots of interesting things to see and do in the area.
•Meander along the Mekong on one of the many boat trips that are available taking you across the water or through the local canals on many interesting sightseeing excursions that definitely require a camera. Larger boats venture up the Mekong River and this is a definite MUST DO if you are in the area of Cantho or one of the other cities or villages that rely on this massive sourse of water for both transport and food. Climb Sam Mountain near Chau Doc if you want to see dozens of temples, pagodas and the like as it is well worth visiting. Located about 6 km from the city, temples abound and the trek to the top of the mountain is also popular…though one can go by motorised vehicle if you so desire.
•Visit Phu Quoc Island the largest island in Vietnam that lies in the Gulf of Thailand, 45 km from Ha Tien and 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia. Phu Quoc Island, part of Kien Giang province, is also part of an archipelago consisting of 22 islands of all sizes. The island covers an area of 585 km2 and is 50 km long. It is also called the Emerald Island because of its natural treasures and infinite tourism potential.
SLEEPWALKING THROUGH THE MEKONG trailer
This is the trailer for Sleepwalking Through The Mekong, the documentary film featuring Dengue Fever. The two disc set, including the DVD of the film and the film’s soundtrack, will be released on April 14, 2009 in the US. The film chronicles the journey taken by Los Angeles based Khmer rock band Dengue Fever to lead singer Chhom Nimols native Cambodia during the 2005 Water Festival. The bands performances there marked the first time a Western band had performed classic 1960s and 70s Cambodian rock n roll in the country where it was created and nearly erased from existence by the brutal Pol Pot regime.
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