24 September, 2008

Quy Nhon, and a wedding

In HCMC Tamsin and I met up with Chris and Gary and caught an overnight train north to Quy Nhon where the wedding was going to be. The train ride itself was pretty interesting; the track runs along the base of the hills and much of the time we had a view of mountains out one window and beaches out the other, with rice paddies in between. All very picturesque.

The town of Quy Nhon is on the coast with golden sanded beaches, palm trees and brightly coloured wooden fishing boats which spend the day tied up off the shore. Despite appearances, the industry in the city is not fishing, but manufacturing wooden outdoor furniture from slow growing hardwoods which are logged in other countries and shipped to Quy Nhon. And the beautiful golden beach functions more as a sewage outfall than as a swimming attraction.

Brian's local knowledge of Quy Nhon meant that we got to see more than we would have otherwise. The egg market in the country was possibly the highlight of my time in Vietnam.

Or it might have been riding a scooter on roads where that is pretty much the only form of transport.

Or it could have been just meeting the locals.

Or the new family.

The wedding itself was an interesting affair; lots of people and various task that had to be done by the bride and groom, but for the most part it was just two hours of eating and toasting people. Oh, and some singing and dancing.

Then right on eight p.m. everyone got up and left.

Tamsin and I left early the next morning, to fly, Via Da Nang to Ha Noi. One interesting aspect of the Vietnamese airports in the south is that they all still have the aircraft hangers left over from the Vietnam war --- row after row of arched roofs with concrete 30cm thick over all of them. The airport in HCMC even had helicopters in some of them still (with the rotor blades removed).I didn't notice any hangers at airports in the north so I am guessing they are specific to the parts of the country which was occupied by US troops.

Here's the Picasa gallery with a few more photos from Quy Nhon.