Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ca Mau Province: The Most Southern Point of Vietnam

During my recent hiatius from my blog I have traveled to some very interesting places in Vietnam. One of these places is the Ca Mau Province. Ca Mau Province is the southern most province of Vietnam and is home to major fishing and agricultural industry. By far the fastest way to get to Ca Mau from Ho Chi Minh City is by air.  Below is a picture from the airplane of some of the many marine farms in Ca Mau Province.  I should note that the picture does not do justice to the beauty of the geometry of the farms nor does it capture the vastness of the farming industry. 

When we got to Ca Mau city (the capital of the province) I was greeted with the colorful buildings and many rivers of Ca Mau.  Below is one very colorful hotel I saw near the city center and is representative of many of the color schemes in the area.

The rivers in Ca Mau are extensive.  When traveling around the province you will encounter many rivers and canals.  A typical river and the houses on the waterfront is seen below.  These rivers and canals are often used for transportation, not only of goods but of people; when we traveled to the southernmost point of Vietnam (Mui Ca Mau) we went by boat from Ca Mau city (nearly 75 km).

At Mui Ca Mau we encountered many strange and unique animals.  We saw many different kinds of birds, bright neon blue crabs which were no bigger than a centimeter, and even a strange fish like creature that used its fins to walk along the mud (unfortunately the pictures did not come out too well).  Below is a picture of the observation deck at the southernmost point of Vietnam.

The flora in Ca Mau is impressive.  Everything is wild and natural and the colors of the fruits and flowers are striking.  I decided to play with my macro lens and took some closeups of a couple of the plants I thought had interesting texture.

After sightseeing we went for karaoke at a venue that had live musicians for private rooms and was owned by one of the most famous traditional folk singers in Vietnam.  The name of the place escapes me now but when I return to Ca Mau I will definitely find it again.  Our musician is seen below playing a traditional Vietnamese instrument.  It had only two strings and significantly less frets than the western guitar but the guitarist seemed to be unaffected by its (by western standards) limitations and was able to skillfully evoke feelings of a older and simpler life.

Ca Mau was a great trip and I was glad to go to a place that is off the radar of most tourist destinations.  The food is fresh and delicious, the people are friendly, and the province is raw and unadulterated.  I am looking forward to my next visit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back Blogging

I have taken a leave of absence from the blog for a while because of lack of time.  I have been busy with lots of things here like work, travel and even a (small) motorbike accident. I will have pictures and posts covering my time from the highlands to the beaches, the north to the south of Vietnam, and from the large cities to the small ones that are not in any guidebooks.

I have had some issues with my laptop again and as I am working on correcting those I will also try to clean up some pictures so I can get them posted here quickly.  Thanks for your patience. See you soon.
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