Vietnam – Summer 2011 – Travelling to Kinh Nuoc Man and Binh...

Vietnam – Summer 2011 – Travelling to Kinh Nuoc Man and Binh Dai, Vietnam

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In Vietnam, I spent several days trekking out to the rice field laden countryside to visit the ancestral homes (que huong) of my grandparents: the rural villages of Kinh Nuoc Man and Binh Dai. These villages have pretty much stayed the same for hundreds of years, located in the sleepy, balmy Mekong Delta of Vietnam where people grow coconuts, rice, durians, chom chom, fisheries, shrimp and more. In these villages, I could trace ancestors going back hundreds of years in these towns.

Here are some photos of my trip:

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Rice fields upon rice fields: its hard work out here in the sun
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Ricefields on the road to the country.
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Wood pillars from a restaurant in My Tho, Vietnam
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Ancestral temple in Kinh Nuoc Man, with the founder of the temple tracing back to my family’s matriarch hundreds of years ago…
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A View from Kinh at the river. 

My mother escaped Vietnam on a rickety fishing boat at this very same spot 30 years ago. She was a boat refugee who spent weeks out at sea, months in a refugee camp in Malaysia and the Philipines, and finally sponsored to America. Many others who tried to escape were not as fortunate: strong storms capsizing boats, thai pirate attacks, capture from the communist police, countless millions lost at sea after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

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Sugar cane fields at my granduncle’s in Binh Dai. 

I never met my grandfather on my mom’s side, both grandparents passing away by the time my mom was 12. They say that my granduncle (my grandfather’s brother) resembles them so I have an idea of what he may have looked like.

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Sugarcane fields in Binh Dai, Vietnam

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A Simple meal in the village of Binh Dai at my granduncle’s: fresh farm raised chicken, fish, herbs, crabs and rice 

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Rice fed chicken


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Fish from the rivers

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Congee rice porridge

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Fresh river crabs

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Shrimp farming in Vietnam is much more profitable than rice farming. A lot of the fields are being converted to shrimp farms. 

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The Ice Cream man. Cause it’s hot as hell in the Vietnamese countryside in the summer time. 

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Sweet, cool surrender. 

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