Looking towards the market end of Lê Đình Châu with its vegetation (bananas on the right)
and sense of domesticity
Tĩnh Gia is the district capital and, in accordance with Vietnamese custom, district and town bear the same names. The district has a population of some 250,000 and the administrative centre, in Tĩnh Gia town, has buildings and meeting halls capable of serving that population. Our road (called Lê Đình Châu) runs between those buildings and
This page has pictures taken walking between our house at the administrative end, and the market end which is half a mile (a kilometre) away and where ...
... Ba Hai's emporium, my local bar, forms a suitable destination - more on that establishment in a few weeks. Some of the photos are from when
was built, 11 years ago, at which time the road was un-surfaced and there were only houses on one side, later photographs include the new housing (- and the upgraded surface).
Half way along the road - looking south
At the municipal buildings end of the road - looking north
Ten years ago fields lined one side of the road, with no buildings at all. To the right of the trees, cars at the cafe can be seen
Now in this clip of 8 years ago the view from the house includes buildings opposite where there were fields. The end of the clip finishes looking towards the municipal buildings
This clip of last year was taken from the new man-made mound which forms the centre piece of the park where rubbish was...
...dumped and buffalo grazed - as above in a photo taken 11 years ago of what is now houses and park
Near the end of the road is this stream, looking harmless in the winter. But in the wet...
...season it becomes a river. Above, the first beam of new bridge, of appropriate size for the rains, is being put in place
Over the last decade those fields along the side of the road have been built over, mostly with houses like this one, exuding opulence
Oxcarts remind residents (of the old side of the road) how things used to be
Here a clip to show our house and the new one above in the context of the road - the bridge is at the road end where the clip stops
Those new houses are at one end of the road, and do not interrupt the pace of life at the market end
Trades are plied along the road. Here two of the bakers and their ovens which produce a baguette style bread (a colonial inheritance) that accompanies the national
dish of phở
splendidly. Above, bundles of breads for sale and delivery
A barrel with the top open to show...
A shelf of bread being checked
...the fermenting fish sauce
The production of fish sauce is vital to the culinary life of Vietnam. The very un-delicate aroma is found everywhere in the country. Two businesses along our road flood the surrounding air with this pungent smell. Fish is a major part for the local economy, the town being just three kilometres from where fish are landed, and so the basic ingredient is easily acquired.
And here a sweeter trade. In Vietnam sugar cane is sold as the way to get a sudden rush of energy. The canes are cut into short sections and peeled, and the core chewed -
a commercially minded dentist's delight
Half way along the road, this was our cafe when we first came to Tĩnh Gia from Hà Nội, before we moved along to its
The building has since been redeveloped
Many people still cook with open fires or stoves and these are fuelled with wood gathered locally. Women collect the wood, trim it, and then bring it to sell on streets like ours
The part of the road which is just beside
such as the wood sellers find the best trade
Another thriving business next to the wood sellers: a lot of chicken is eaten
Keeping the roads clean is a constant battle in tropical Vietnam. These wheeled bins are the responsibility of the women seen below...
These happy looking workers are part of Vietnam's vast army of refuse collectors. Bins from houses are emptied daily and the roads constantly swept. This work being made urgent by the climate and the Vietnamese genetic predisposition to littering. Despite their work this group look so well turned out - carefully sitting on their gloves to keep their trousers clean
The next page
of this section moves from this pleasant domesticity to Vietnam's biggest highway - the AH1 - which bisects Tĩnh Gia. Although it was not always busy...
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Nature'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.