Asia Vietnam

Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Northern Vietnam by David Keegan

Pu Luong Picture Diary 2015

What follows is a picture essay from Pu Luong nature reserve in Northern Vietnam. A difficult place to reach (thankfully), it is one of the most serenely beautiful i have ever had the privilege of visiting.  In all its probably about a 5 or 6 hour car journey from Hanoi, but as i traveled first to Mai Chau and on from there by car, its about another 5 hours. This trip is hard going along some pretty awful roads.

The nature reserve itself is without road and only accessible either on foot, bicycle, horse, or motorbike. The light is at times misty, at times sunny, tropical, dizzying, changeable, colorful, yet monotone, like nowhere else on earth.The pictures are set out in titled categories. Editing them brought a smile to my face and a sense of longing to return to my heart. We stayed at the Les Bains de Hieu Ecolodge, located in Village de Ban Hieu. I arranged all transfers and accommodation at the lodge with Tonkin Travel ( Tonkin Link) based in Hanoi. I found they offered the best service and price for the trip as we needed, transfers to and from 3 locations starting Mai Chau then Phu Luong and on to Ninh Binh and finally back to Hanoi. I paid a small deposit in advance by credit card and met a representative of Tonkin at my Hotel the night before when i paid the balance. All went without a hitch, although our first driver a man called Son is to be avoided as he is incredibly rude to visitor and local alike. I did all bookings with Tonkin Travel through a Quân (Mr) and found him to be very good to deal with. He always answered my emails promptly and all pick ups were always on time.

In Hanoi we stayed at the (Diamond Elegance Hotel, Hanoi Link) where Chu Van Binh (Mr.) looked after us. I hope to return and see all soon!!

Enjoy!

Portrait village elder Pu Luong by David Keegan 2015

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Sunday Market Pu Luong Village

The wonderful Sunday market draws pople from villages and communities for miles around. For farmers its a chance to sell their goods and locals a chance to dress up and catch up with friends and gossip. Judging by the reaction to me i don’t think there have been too many white visitors to this market. In fact half way down the street i was approached by a tall old man who rushing towards me, caused me some momentary panic, until he quite simply threw his arms around me hugged me, grabbed my hand shook it warmly and firmly and all the while without a word before walking on. A moving and unique experience.

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The butcher relaxes, so no EU health and safety regulation here.

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Even in this remote region mobile is king. Fish monger catches up on texts.

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Everyone dresses brightly for Sunday market

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Time for ice cream, Sunday best

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Time for a smoke

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The Tobacconist

 

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The Dried Fish Seller

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Ducks For Sale

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The Barber

Round & About Pu Luong

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The basket weaver

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Misty Morning Mountain Pu Luong

 The next in this series of pictures, taken between 7 to 8 am in the morning. At this time of the year the sun sometimes struggles to break the clouds and mists give way to an eerie magical light. Mornings are cold and damp. The pictures show the men and women of the village hard at work preparing the terraces for rice planting.

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This post its contents and pictures is the copyrighted property of David Keegan 2016 ©

All pictures taken large format 320 DPI Picture quality is reduced to preserve copyright.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Dean of Little Steps
    March 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Amazing photos! I’ve never been to Vietnam, but I’ve always wanted to go. I think I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t visited yet 😉 Must plan a trip soon.

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 29, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind comments. Yes you really should go:)

  • Reply
    DadvWorld - David Shaul
    March 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Some great pictures. Would love to experience a culture so different from my own.

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Hi and thanks for the comments. Yes its a wonderful place and well worth the 11 hours flying time:)

  • Reply
    laura dove
    March 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Wow what amazing photos! I have never been to Vietnam either but these photos definitely gave me an insight into the country! I am terrified of flying and so my travel has been somewhat limited, one day when I stop being scared of everything I’m sure I will make it!

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Hey there i am terrified of flying too, but i just take a Valium and off you go. I wasted so many years on my fear of flying, but hey life is too too short to waste:)

  • Reply
    Harriet from Toby & Roo
    March 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my, this sounds truly magnificent. What stunning pictures you have managed to get – truly beautiful. H x

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Thank you for the response and your very kind comments glad you liked the pictures 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life
    March 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    What amazing photos, they really capture what life must be like there. I have never visited Vietnam , or anywhere in Asia for that matter but it looks like such a beautiful place to visit. x

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Asia is a fascinating and beguiling Continent and one I quite simply cannot get enough of it, Vietnam in particular which i have visited 3 times now and intend on going back 🙂

  • Reply
    Abbey Michelle
    March 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    It looks absolutely incredible! I love the raw energy of the images you captured!

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Thank you for the feedback and comments. My aim is to always try and present an accurate visual portrayal of life as it is in the countries and places i visit. It would be all too easy to make the image and the life portrayed look glossy and warmer than it is, but to what end? As such i do not touch up or Photoshop images of people. 🙂

  • Reply
    joanna
    March 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Your photos are amazing ive never been to Vietnam before I’d love to experience the different culture.

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Aaah thanks so much, glad you liked the pictures and thank you for your comments 🙂

  • Reply
    Anosa
    March 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Some amazing pictures you’ve shared, I hope to one day get a chance to visit Vietnam.

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Go i am sure you won’t regret a trip to Vietnam!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenni
    March 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Stunning photos, this is truly a trip of a life time x

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thank you for your kind comments and glad you liked the pictures 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 29, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    A friend of mine has just come back from 2 weeks in Vietnam and he loved it, so many stories and so many things seen and tried!

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Why not go and see it for yourself? 🙂

  • Reply
    Alice
    March 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    What amazing images. Stunning.

  • Reply
    Laura
    March 29, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Amazing photos, what a wonderful place to visit. I love that the fishmonger was texting and the children were eating ice cream in their Sunday best, a glimpse that wherever you live, some things are the same 🙂

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

      One thing i have learned from my many years of travelling there is more that connects us all than divides us. We are all pretty much the same, except for Politicians who are a separate breed altogether and tend to divide us!

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    March 29, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    My friend is going to Vietnam on Friday and seeing this has made me even more jealous! Great photos x

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:14 am

      You should try sneaking along in their luggage seriously its worth it!! 😉

  • Reply
    Silly Mummy
    March 29, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Fantastic pictures. I love the water wheels, and the market pictures which have such vibrant colours.

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Hi Glad you liked the pictures and many thanks for your comments! Pu Luong is a very special place.

  • Reply
    Kara Guppy
    March 30, 2016 at 7:21 am

    I have to admit that Vietnam has never been on my travel wishlist but one of my friends visited last year and raved about it. Your photo’s are amazing

    • Reply
      info@dkgardendesign.co.uk
      March 30, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Hi
      And thank you for your very kind comments. Vietnam should be on everyone’s bucket list wonderful place and very warm friendly people.

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    March 30, 2016 at 9:36 am

    What gorgeous photos. I would love to travel to Vietnam, it looks amazing

  • Reply
    Nicola Cassidy
    March 30, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    So colourful. I have a friend in Vietnam at the moment and have been getting daily snap chats! So different to our culture, yet seems, warm friendly and welcoming. Very atmospheric photos.

  • Reply
    Raffa
    March 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Amazing photos! Really! I will travel to India this year, so maybe the next one will be Vietnam

  • Reply
    Idaintyit
    March 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    It looks like a stunning place and they are beautiful photos. I have never visited Asia but my sister went travelling through it and she loved it! Met some amazing people

  • Reply
    Fi Ni Neachtain
    March 31, 2016 at 10:40 am

    What wonderful pictures you’ve captured. You’ve really captured the spirit of Vietnam and it’s great to see so many locals in your pictures too. It’s always great to see the true vision of a destination.

  • Reply
    Lilinha
    March 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    So many gorgeous pictures, looks like a great place to visit! I’ve never been to Vietnam before but would love to! 🙂
    http://lilinhaangel.com/

  • Reply
    Hamid
    March 21, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for sharing the wonders and beauties of our country – your blog is useful and the photos are interesting.
    http://vietnamtourpedia.com

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