Tag Archive for Vietnamese

#POTW Hieu in an ao dai

It has been quite a while since I’ve had time to do a Photo of the Week (POTW), and I apologise. Life gets a bit wild, busy, hectic, stressful, loaded, crazy, fun, and more. This photo was taken last year with a great model, Hieu, in Vietnam. For this others, and more like it see Hieu’s gallery in my PhotoShelter portfolio, and my agent’s website.

A young Vietnamese lady wearing an ao dai.

#POTW Saigon has become a modern city

This Photo of the Week (POTW) is of Hieu at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in central Saigon, Vietnam. The museum building itself is over a hundred years old and is full of history itself as the former governor’s and vice president’s residences in the French colonial and South Vietnam eras. Now the backdrop of modern Saigon is beginning to encroach on the backdrop of it. More photos like this for licensing can also be found on my agent’s website.

Hieu at the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

#POTW Taking a cyclo in Saigon

Yes, they still have them, and you too can get a ride in one almost anywhere in the main tourist precincts in central Saigon, District 1. Unfortunately, there are some restrictions on where they can go, but they can get you to all the key central tourist destinations. Here is a great model, Hieu taking a ride past the Ben Thanh Markets, Saigon, Vietnam. More images for licensing can be found on my agent’s website.

Hieu taking a ride in a cyclo, in Saigon.

#POTW Bella Vu in a Saigon Cafe

This Photo of the Week comes from a shoot I did few weeks ago with a great Vietnamese model, Bella Vu. Here, she’s wearing a fashionable version of the áo dài (pron “ah-oh yai”). Áo dàis was probably invented in about 1744, but the first modern version appeared in a Paris fashion show in 1921 and became the canonical design we know now (Wikipedia). Today, the áo dài is only really worn for weddings, high school girl uniforms, and by receptionists. We were lucky enough to shoot in The Morning Café for a few hours, to which we are really, really grateful to TMC (TMC on FaceBook). It’s a great location in Saigon, District 1, about a 3-5min walk from the Ben Thanh Market on Le Loi Street, heading towards the Opera House. It’s a quiet place to relax in the mornings, especially if you want a good cappuccino and time to bash away on your laptop keyboard.

This photo of Bella Vu is one of the first of thousands I’ve taken in Vietnam, and so this, and others like it, will come available in the coming weeks on by my Agent’s website, and in my Vietnam Gallery of my PhotoShelter portfolio.

Address: The Morning Café, and TMC on FaceBook, 2nd Floor, 36 Le Loi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

A young lady in a cafe in Saigon, Vietnam.

A young lady in a cafe in Saigon, Vietnam.


This Photo of the Week (POTW) comes from the Ho Chi Minh City Museum. It seems most tourists either arrive in Hanoi or HCMC, and travel to the other city. Everyone I met was either going south to north, or north to south. There seems to be an itinerary that most people follow, almost religiously and it includes Da Lat, Ho An, Nha Trang, Ha Long Bay, etc, but mostly keeping out of HCMC. However, I hung out in HCMC and had my own fun. A lot of people I met on the tourist path said that they were so glad to get out of the hustle and bustle of HCMC, but I didn’t mind being there at all. There are plenty of things to see and experience.

One such place that is unhurried, relatively empty, a place out of the rain, really cheap (entry is about 75 US cents or 15,000VNM Dong) is the HCMC Museum. It is the former Vice President’s palace of South Vietnam. Construction completed in 1890 and originally known as Gia Long Palace, it became the residence of the Cochinchina Governor when under French rule (Wikipedia). During the South Vietnam era, it became the Vice President’s palace when the president built something even grander than this (now known as Independence Palace). Gia Long Palace is very grand, very elaborate, and it’s a proper mansion. Far more than what you’d expect the vice president of any country would get, let alone a newly independent former French colony. The entrance way is so grand, that today wedding photographers have a standardised course, images, and a routined array of angles for photographing newly weds. The rooms are so large that most are bigger than my entire apartment. And there’s even a bunker and escape route too connecting to the Independence Palace. Not that it helped in the end. What is really worth seeing, though, is history as told by the winners. It is their history, experienced, written and told by them. The perspective is really different. The building itself has not been well maintained, and so there are walls with paint flakes missing. The former South-Vietnamese Air Force jet fighters on display outside are in serious disrepair, even for display items. Cars out back need renovating, too. However, it is an escape from the city, and something worth experiencing.

This photo, and others like it will be available for licensing very soon at my agent’s portfolio (Asia Photo Connection), and my PhotoShelter portfolio at the Vietnam gallery, and Hieu’s gallery.

A young lady exploring the Ho Chi Minh City Museum (former Vice Presidential palace). Model: Hieu.

A young lady exploring the Ho Chi Minh City Museum (former Vice Presidential palace). Model: Hieu.

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