The blue of a bright winter's sky and its reflection, seem well served by the edgings and touches of red, topped off by the Vietnamese flags on these fishing boats by Hải Thanh's quay This is the third page with pictures from the town of Hải Thanh in Tĩnh Gia District, northern Vietnam. There was a page of pictures of the Đót Tiên pagoda, Go to the page on the Đót Tiên Pagoda and there was a page devoted to the main street of the town. Go to the page on the town of Hải Thanh This page turns attention to the waterside; an extensive one, for the town sits on a spur of land with the sea on one side, and the River Kênh Than wrapping round that spur. For visitors, and especially those with cameras, it is the red and blue fishing boats, of which dozens shelter in the adjacent lagoon, that catch the eye. This lagoon is formed by the confluence of the rivers Khên Than and Lạch Bạng. (A splattering of names in the following is for the delectation of locals.) Across the water is the town of Hải Binh. To get there by road, involves a drive of some 30 kilometres, whereas the boat trip takes a few minutes - the ferry is well patronised. Left, a fine still day for a spot of maintenance.
Right, a modern coracle gives access to the boat. The
Hội An River
With a picture showing what appears to be a precarious bit of paddling.
page showed a more traditional coracle.
A smaller boat with fishing net furled on a bowsprit
This photographer often seeks to downplay the litter seen so frequently in Vietnam, thinking an occasional shot is more potent. This is the same coracle as above
And a more picturesque shot to compensate for the mess of litter
Most fishing is done in inshore waters, the boats leave early to get their catches back in time for the afternoon market, so the fish can be served in homes at dusk. The boats are often tied up from midday
The lagoon, running inland, extends for some four kilometres behind these boats. The next picture shows the river...
...running out to the sea, which is just
visible right of centre
These much larger vessels, but with the same livery, are moored across the water on the Hải Binh side of the river
The view looking over the quay area of Hải Thanh, and up the River Lạch Bạng towards Tĩnh Gia, with Hải Binh to the left. The River Khên Than goes off to the right and so forms the west boundary of the town of Hải Thanh. The first video clip (below left) sweeps round this view
This clip shows part of a small boat's passage,
from the quay area, out to sea
The above video clip is taken from the hill in Hải Thanh looking across the river to Hải Binh
A fisherman watches the boat in the second video clip.
And above, the island seen at the end of that clip
Not all boats are so aesthetically pleasing
The river as it enters the China Sea
Most small boats stay on the river. Some engine powered...
...and some are woman powered
Two linked video clips. Above as I was about to take the clip (above right), a woman came up and pressed against me while I was looking away. This is quite normal in Vietnam. She was illustrating to her...
...friends, in the rowing boats, the difference there was between our heights. Stop the video above left at 17 seconds to see our different sized shadows! Above is the film I had been about to take when interrupted.
The women seen here make some money by rowing people across the river. They wait on the slipway, used by the ferry which operates the same route, until the boat approaches when they move aside. No doubt they can undercut the rate charged by the bigger boat. Many of these women row standing up; another Vietnamese speciality is rowing with the feet,
as seen on the
Inland Boat page
Some other Vietnamese boats are illustrated on this page.
The approaching ferry...
...ready for the slipway...
...and passengers disembarking
The next load embark, and while this is happening
a rower waits...
...once the boat is filled, the rower returns to the slipway, shaded by an umbrella, and touts for fares
The ferry returns to Hải Binh
The next page
goes to a very different waterside community: Portobello, a suburb of Edinburgh in Scotland.
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Wonder'.
Or go to the
of the Mosaic Section.