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WELCOME!

I'M A TRAVELLER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND INTERNATIONAL TEACHER
FROM CANADA, BASED IN SAIGON, VIETNAM.

VIETNAM NATIONAL DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY

VIETNAM NATIONAL DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY

As an expat, staying connected to local life is important to me. After our first year living in the suburbs, we felt the pull of the gritty, chaotic city centre. So much so, that we decided to move to District 4 where we stayed for two years. We loved every inch of it - right down to the dirt. However, as development continued, we could no longer handle the traffic during our commute. We've come full circle, right back to living in the 'burbs, two minute's drive from where we work. 

This year, I decided to reconnect with the city by exploring different interesting corners with my camera. On National Day (2/9), my friend Brennan (@dizzykid111) and I went to An Duong Vuong market. Being a holiday, we had the advantage of seeing everyone at their most relaxed. Families eating together, dads and uncles gathering around open fire grills, and vendors focused more on soaking in the cool morning than working. It was a beautiful thing.

An Duong Vuong itself sports the uniquely Vietnamese modernist style of architecture, its exterior made of a latticework facade of white concrete. What I like most about this market however is that the it is surrounded on all sides by a mote of rich residential life. The market itself isn't very interesting inside and the lighting is poor. The skinny row houses with beautifully bent-out-of-shape awnings and the street scenes outside are where the real good stuff is happening. 

I'm not sure if it was because of the holiday, but this is the friendliest market I have ever visited in Asia. Using my limited Vietnamese, I struck up basic conversation with those around me and we felt extremely welcome. People asked for us to take their photos. As we walked around corners, we almost felt like people were expecting us. Was word of two giant foreigners getting around quicker than we could explore?

This quick trip rejuvenated me and frankly, reminded me where I've chosen to live. Enjoy a few choice photos that I took during our exploration around An Duong Vuong Market.

 A layer cake of residences.

A layer cake of residences.

 The area surrounding the market is shrouded in early morning haze.

The area surrounding the market is shrouded in early morning haze.

 Get your greens.

Get your greens.

 Nothing like an iconic street side haircut shot.

Nothing like an iconic street side haircut shot.

 The modernist facade of the An Duong Vuong market behind the tangled electrical work.

The modernist facade of the An Duong Vuong market behind the tangled electrical work.

 Everyone is out and enjoying each other's company.

Everyone is out and enjoying each other's company.

 This man sold us some clear glasses for when we're riding our motorbikes at night.

This man sold us some clear glasses for when we're riding our motorbikes at night.

 This man was on the move. He didn't mind us curiously following him.

This man was on the move. He didn't mind us curiously following him.

 Vietnamese cookout.

Vietnamese cookout.

 That security guard life.

That security guard life.

 This is a particularly colourful corner of the city.

This is a particularly colourful corner of the city.

 This lady sold us some lottery tickets which we promptly gave to the lady who sold us coconuts. We hope she wins big.

This lady sold us some lottery tickets which we promptly gave to the lady who sold us coconuts. We hope she wins big.

 This corner fascinated us for quite some time.

This corner fascinated us for quite some time.

 My friend said this could be Havana if the flags were Cuban.

My friend said this could be Havana if the flags were Cuban.

 When you act candid but you know the lens is pointed at you.

When you act candid but you know the lens is pointed at you.

 This orange vendor was setting up and let us observe from afar.

This orange vendor was setting up and let us observe from afar.

BHUTAN: THE MYSTERIOUS THUNDER DRAGON KINGDOM

BHUTAN: THE MYSTERIOUS THUNDER DRAGON KINGDOM

HIKING ACROSS SANTORINI: A PHOTO ESSAY

HIKING ACROSS SANTORINI: A PHOTO ESSAY