The AH1 in Tĩnh Gia

Looking down road with a few scattered cyclists and pedestrians. The AH1 is Vietnam's equivalent of the A1 in the UK, it runs the 1,700 kilometres from Hà Nội to Hồ Chí Minh City and passes through Tĩnh Gia. The picture was taken
at a quiet time 10 years ago
The ASEAN countries and China have a grand project to build a fast highway from Beijing to Singapore, a distance of over 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometres). This is called AH1 on the signposts (ASEAN Highway One) and runs, on that long journey, through Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon). Two hundred kilometres south of the capital it passes through Tĩnh Gia. The upper pictures on this page exaggerate its rather sleepy nature ten years ago. In fact, then too, it had its busy times. The main difference to Tĩnh Gia, that the upgrading of this whole road made, was the introduction of a barrier in the centre of the town, so splitting the community down the middle and involving a kilometre drive for those who had previously been neighbours across the road. Schoolgirl on bike near mile post, empty road beyond her. A school girl (in the national uniform) passes a 'mile' post showing Hà Nội as 196 Kilometres distant Empty road with wide side areas. Lunch time near the centre of Tĩnh Gia with the old road at peace... Dog looking across the highway, man standing. Hardly visible opposite (where the dog is looking over the highroad) is the road that leads to the beach, and to numerous very large hotels ...but it was not always as peaceful as that. This film clip shows why an upgrade to the road was becoming necessary Road and embankment with large houses in various states of completion beyond. Just south of the town, newly constructed houses line the road, here seen before the road upgrade Crossroad with cyclists and motorcyclists all interlocking. Looking along the AH1 at a crossroads. The lack of controls at these provided another argument for upgrading People standing, bikes parked, traffic passing. This is a main bus stop. Being on the AH1 it means that buses pass every few minutes. They come from as far away as Hồ Chí Minh City over 30 continuous hours... Man waiting on his motorbike wearing a craash helmet near a bus. ...driving to the south. These stops are attended by motor bike taxis such as the one above (his spare helmet waiting) which then take passengers on to their destinations Side area of the road beginning to be  dug up. The considerable disruption, as shown in these two pictures, was probably undertaken partly for the local need of an upgrade... Side area of the road with a new road drain being dug out. ...but also, and significantly, because of the political pressure and facilities offered by the Chinese to bring to life their ambitious plan for a large artery stretching
all the way to Singapore
Section of the new road with its central concrete barrier. And the result was that by 2017 Tĩnh Gia had a concrete barrier along much of its centre, separating the two carriageways each of which has a cycling lane next to its two motor vehicle lanes - the former inevitably used for parking. The fence along the concrete is to deter pedestrians from crossing Queue at ATM. The widening has not dampened the road's function as a place of commerce; pride of place, the cash machine A short, more recent, clip with the barrier in place. It is taken just beside the deserted market entrance - it's lunch time! A long detour is now needed to reach this point
from the other carriageway
Woman sitting by temporary looking fruit stall At one of the road's main junctions a fruit seller has set up on spare ground. Whereas... Market entrance lined with fruit stalls. ...these women are on formal sites at the entrance to the market - of which more on another page Corner of AH1 and main shopping street, with taxi parked. By the market road (more on the next page of Picture Posting) at the AH1's central junction in Tĩnh Gia, a taxi has found a corner to catch loaded shoppers leaving the market. This is... Yamaha showroom with stalls between it and the road and passing cyclists. ...just along from the well 'located' Yamaha store - from where our motorbike came, as seen the Hai Thanh page Quiet stretch of the new road with grassed central reservation. A final view of the new widened road, away from the town centre, with trees planted
on its less intrusive central reservation
Trailers... Looking along the market street. The next page of this section takes you down the junction near that taxi - this is the main trading road in Tĩnh Gia. Man sitting quietly beside water. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Photograph versus Word'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 10th April 2021 Murphy on duty to this site

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