Train.jpgThis older couple shared my compartment for almost 3 days and 2 nights. They didn't speak any English but were very warm and friendly. They shared their "medical wine" (rouo thuoc) and food with me. I spent many hours starring out at the green rice patties as the old man quietly sang to himself. 18 KB  
Train.jpgThis is 21 year old Dang. He was with us for the first day. He was obviously from a "wealthy" family and was to be sent to Chicago in a year. He wasn't happy about it and asked me some questions about America. While I was asleep (Vietnamese wake up early!!!) he got off the train and bought me all kinds of things for Tet. I had only 1 meager contribution for the people of my compartment -- the slightly pricy Jackfruit Chips which I brought. I am now addicted to those chips. 14 KB  
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Artist_Father.jpgI was wandering around Ninh Binh and stopped to check out a Chinese character on a store's wall. The owner came out, saw me and invited me in for tea. Apparently they symbol marked her daughter's wedding, so I was immediately introduces to the whole family. The father of the bride insisted on painting me with brush and ink. 26 KB  
Snake_Wine.jpgThe "Wine" only got more exotic as I went north. This place had "bear paw and hair" wine (my name, not theirs). I later found "gecko / sea horse" and "king cobra / black scorpion" wines. 24 KB  
Old_Lady.jpgI went wandering down an alley and this old lady found me and invited me for tea with her husband. She was very excited to show me this photo of her in her younger years. 24 KB  
Ninh_Binh.jpgThe empty streets of Ninh Binh at night. Two kids tried to pick-pocket me a few blocks from here, but I figured out what was going on before it happened. 38 KB  
Ninh_Binh.jpgFairly industrial, very communist, felt like a different world from the south. Much closer to China. 34 KB  
Ninh_Binh.jpgA few minutes outside the town. 12 KB  
Tam_Coc.jpgBeautiful Tam Coc... I went late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. 17 KB  
Tam_Coc.jpgIt was just I and the row-boat woman floating down this stream, through the patties, caves and valleys. 24 KB  
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Tam_Coc_Feet.jpgOh, the women would often get bored and row the boats with their feet! It was amazing to watch! 32 KB  
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Tam_Coc_Feet.jpgMy lady rowing with her feet after we had a snack together. 30 KB  
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Tam_Coc.jpgRowing through the caves was fun. 27 KB  
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Dead_Duck.jpgSeen some pretty horrible treatment of animals here. Yesterday saw a rooster nearly escape from his cage. The owner calmly took him, broke his neck and slit his throat while massaging his stomach as he kicked. She was wearing what seemed like business attire and continued talking to her friend as she squirted the birds blood into a plastic yoghurt cup. She then dipped its head in boiling liquid, then threw the whole body into another boiling pot. All in about 20 seconds. 43 KB  
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Ca_Phe.jpgI was wondering around, feeling a little down, then saw these two sitting in their living room/bedroom/cafe. They got so excited that someone was ordering coffee! (Bitter green tea is the drink of choice here) Before long, friends showed up and shared the coffee and the open can of condensed milk. 35 KB