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Village life through a lens

A photographic journey of people and life in a Hoi An fishing village

overcast 24 °C

As you can probably tell by now I have a bit of an interest in Photography. I wouldn’t call it a passion, as of yet. I don’t have enough time at the moment to upgrade it to a passion, although I always question myself on where all my time goes.

We leave Hoi An in a couple of hours but I have decided to pay $30 for a Photographic Tour of a fishing village just on the outskirts of Hoi An. It’s an early start, hoping to catch the sunrise at the fish markets and village. As we cross on a riverboat with the local early commuters, it is obvious that there would be no sun. Just grey clouds and the constant threat of rain, which is a bane for most photographers


There are six of us, including our French guide, Ettiene. He had moved here with his Vietnamese wife and decided to start his own Photographic Tour in Hoi An. I start asking myself if I could do the same thing. Move to a small beautiful town like Hoi An, buy a large comfortable house in a village, lead the simple life and start off my own Photography business…

We dock on the other side of the river.


Most of the boats are tied to the docks as we move down the pier, taking opportune photos of the boats and some of the fishermen we encounter. The seas are too rough to go out and so the fisherman are sat around drinking Vietnamese coffee, smiling, making smart ass comments about the ‘tourists’. There are no tourists here. It is too early, and it is too ‘local’. Ettiene has built trust and some friendships with them and most are very receptive to us taking photos of them, especially the kids.

Some pose, some act shy


Although the markets are lifeless, there is no shortage of interesting locals to take photos. The contrast between the young and old is something I always keep an eye out for as a photographer. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of photographer I am, but judging from my work (if I can call it that), I’m taking a liking to travel and street photography…Now THAT would be a dream job.


The young ones smile and play, the old ones smile and reflect. They’re all captured through my lens. Ettiene does his best with his broken Vietnamese to translate for us and we do our best with hand signs and gestures to communicate with them. Some pose, some act shy. Most just go about their village life, sometimes looking up to shoot back with a knowing smile.

Need Coffee!!


If only I had some sushi…After coffee? Maybe not

We are taken to a local bar café. We’re the only customers at 7am in the morning but we all take a kiddies plastic seat around a kiddies plastic table, the standard outdoor drinking furniture in Vietnam. We talk shop about camera equipment, shooting techniques and catch up on where we’ve been and where we’re heading, all over some awesome Vietnamese coffee. This is traveling! The owner’s children come out and they know the drill. The act shy at first but it only takes a couple of snaps to realise that this is their Method of Operations, because it’s not long before they start posing.
The sun is trying to break out


Ettiene takes us to a Soy Sauce factory. Well it IS Vietnam, and it IS a fishing village. It’s not so much a factory but more like house, with a lot of Soy Sauce. It takes a minute or two to get over the smell, and then I can start taking shots without camera shakes due to gag reflexes. If only I had some sushi…After coffee? Maybe not. We make our way back to the boat and cross to the other side where there are bicycles waiting for us to ride back.


It’s a nice ride as we follow the river back into town. What a brilliant way to start a day. Sam is waiting for me in the restaurant as we have our breakfast before heading to our little island getaway. Now, if only the sun would make an appearance.


Posted by Al Jam 13:19 Archived in Vietnam Tagged fishing village photography hoi an

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