Vietnam – Shots from around Saigon.

We spent our last days in Saigon wandering around to get a taste of life in the city.

We went up to the cafe overlooking the city and had a beer while looking out over the river.

Vietnam – the intriguing floating market. Photos.

Every day a number of boats, both big and small, congregate in the middle of the river to sell and exchange goods. Little boats weave in and out negotiating deals. Goods are sold and exchanged.

You can get anything. It looked chaotic, bustling and quite dangerous but I didn’t see a single collision.

You could buy a stir fry, a coffee or a stick of fruit. People were cooking take-away meals in canoes. Some boats were stacked with melons, pineapples or vegetables, brought in from the countryside.

Life along the Saigon river – photos.

Taking a small outboard board to go a little way up the Saigon river can feel as if you are back in time. Surrounded with tropical forest with shacks in the clearings. There is plenty of wildlife and country folk going about their business. You would not believe that the bustle of Saigon was just a few minutes away.

Beauty and disturbing aspects of the Floating Temple near Saigon – photos

I spent quite a while marvelling at the intricate decoration and architecture of the floating temple. Everywhere you looked was something else to marvel at. The artwork was amazing.

It was a place of wonder and beauty.

But there was a peculiar and disturbing feature. Sitting around at the front of the temple were some vietnamese with cages and bowls of birds and animals. There were baby turtles, fish and all manner of exotic birds. They were all cramped together and looking distressed.

These people did not like their picture being taken.

It seemed that one could earn good karma by paying these people for the release of these poor animals. That seemed a bit bizarre to me. What about all the bad karma these people accrued by catching and imprisoning the creatures in the first place? I felt like smashing the cages and releasing the lot of them but I most probably would have found myself very bruised and swimming in the river. Bad karma all round.