They like to make shows. . .
There was also an opening ceremony. . . . Kids and dancers have been mobilised for giving a warm welcome to the conference attendees! In Europe we are not used to make shows at scientific or technical conferences or congresses, and we have a tendency to look at that custom with some condescension; it is a stupid attitude, as the people in “developing” (they are way more developed in other aspects!), and we have to respect the efforts they do for giving a good image of their country and culture; I am myself sarcastic, sometimes, but in my deep feeling I have nothing less than respect for that. So, here are two first pictures of dancers for welcoming, then “official” speeches (well, militaries. . . I have less respect!) to open the conference. Ah, in Vietnam, they are proud to achieve some technical challenges, and they symbolise this here with the display (last picture) of a drilling rig in the swimming pool of the hotel. . . . . . . . Don’t laugh please!!! I found this ridiculous at first, but who am I to judge? It is just pride, not much more. . . !
Walk in the quiet streets
The streets of the big South East Asia cities are generally crowded, noisy, dusty, very lively; nothing of that in Vung Tau (250.000 inhabitants, however!). The streets are surprisingly quiet here, and are even dangerous, as, when becoming too confident, and not hearing traffic noise, you tend to walk on the streets, but there are still a few motorbikes and cars who are not used to the western way of walking around; so better keep on the sidewalks (when there are), and enjoy what you see left and right. On the first picture, you see only a few bikes on a main street; the smaller streets look crowded (picture 2), but this is nothing in comparison with the traffic in Hanoi. And there are flowers you can watch quietly in the streets, like this. . . (help me, I do not find back the name of this common flower!) on picture 3, where the rain left its drops, or this frangipani tree and its fragrant flowers (picture 4). There are also beautiful red flowers to look at in the streets.. . . Just walk, your eyes will be caught by the colours!
VUNG TAU VIETNAM
" A SEA CHANGE FROM SAIGON"
VUNG TAU Having not visited Vung Tau while on my last visit to HCMC ,,and will call it Saigon as the locals do..I decided to have a day trip over and look around to hopefully get some clean ocean air...The hydrofoil service that leaves from Saigon harbour is frequent and fast..does not cost much and really is a great break from all the bad air and noise of a million motorcycles..
I found Vung Tau to be really pleasant as I just walked around the parks ,which are many and also through the back streets where locals laid in their hammocks ..I guess having a siesta to avoid the midday heat, so interesting looking at the locals everyday life and found it to be really quiet and pleasant.. I must say it was very quiet and enjoyable to walk by the bay and watch the fisherman bringing in and unloading their days catch to be sold at the market
"TALKING WITH FISHERMEN AND WOMEN VUNG TAU"
I found it easy talking with the fishermen unloading their catch and they were kind enough to let me take some photos..Their catch was many and the fish were very large..
"A PLEASANT WALK BY THE BAY"
I seemed to walk so far here just walking about in Vung Tau but all around the bay is pleasant not only the sea air but to look at the veriety of different fishing vessels that are used here..
A Quick Side Trip to Vung Tau
Because my father had been to Vung Tau during the Vietnam War, I wanted to visit while I was in HCMC. We got round trip tickets on the Hydrofoil in HCMC, and enjoyed the one hour journey down the Saigon River. Upon arriving at Vung Tau, we were accosted by the usual motorcycle drivers, souvenir hawkers and con-artists, but we just walked across the street to a nice cafe for lunch. After spring rolls and Ba Ba Ba (333) Beer, we hired a motorcycle for a quick tour of the island. We started by going to the top of Small Mountain for the breathtaking views of the city. The top of this mountain has an old French lighthouse and fortifications.
After going back down the mountain, we circled around the southern tip of the peninsula on the way to the Bai Sau or Back Beach. After a few minutes on the beach, we proceeded to the center of town and the Lang Ca Ong, or Whale Temple. Inside this temple are the bones of a huge whale.
Running out of time, we made a quick stop at Bach Dinh -- a villa formerly housing the rich and influential, now a museum with nice views over the Front Beach (Bai Truoc).
Since we had a date in the afternoon in HCMC, we went back to the pier and got on the hydrofoil bound for Saigon.