<< Previous Next >>

Theme Park Vietnam

Theme Park Vietnam
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4287 W: 17 N: 10059] (41378)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2017-03-29
Categories: Nature
Exposure: 30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2017-08-26 23:50
Viewed: 1899
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Ninh Binh - Trang An - Theme Park Vietnam

Dedicated to Malgo and Gert who have been waiting so patiently for these pictures.

Trang An is located near the city of Ninh Binh about 90 kilometers south of Hanoi.
The area consists of many limestone rocks, rice fields, caves and of course a lot of water. The visits take place in small rowboats on the river. Oddly enough, most rowers are older women.
Its rock formations, caves and the landscape have given the area the name ‘Halong Bay on land’.

Here's some explanation why I gave this title to my picture.
At the end of March and during the first half of April I visited Vietnam.
Because of the vastness of the country, the limited time and the fact that in travel guides the north was described as the most traditional part, I chose to travel only in the north.

The regions I visited were very beautiful, especially then in terms of nature and landscapes.
I have found the Vietnamese people to be very friendly and helpful. It was clearly also one of the more safe countries in the world. The food was delicious. Actually I had a culinary holiday. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort during the trip (while I’m not really looking for luxury).

BUT … as a European choosing for a trip to Southeast Asia, I expected a somewhat adventurous journey … which it was really not.
This was my very first visit to Vietnam. More than twenty years ago I’ve made four other trips through Southeast Asia. Meanwhile the world has changed radically. Also Southeast Asia has changed a lot.
The economy of Vietnam has (fortunately) grown sharply and the number of foreign visitors has increased enormously.
To put it mildly, everywhere I went, there were a multitude of tourists!

I know, everyone wants to be a tourist but preferably not to meet too many fellow tourists which has become an unrealistic point of view today.
Why was not I really aware of this? I read two guide books and their general idea was that traveling in Vietnam was quite adventurous. Here in Belgium I had spoken with two individual travelers who had been there recently. But those talks did not give me the impression that the country had mass tourism.
In Vietnam, I heard that the increasing number of foreign visitors is a rather recent fact.
Good value for money in Vietnam would be the main reason for it. As well as the loss of a large part of the Islamic world as a travel destination for western people.

Again, I know it’s not very realistic to go somewhere and to think that no other people have the intention to visit the same places that I find so interesting.
I admit that I do like to meet other travelers but I also enjoy to leave the crowds behind me every now and then. This proved only partly possible in the places close to the Chinese border (this area is sometimes referred to as Vietnam’s last frontier). But even there, there were many more tourists than I expected.

I know it makes little sense to continue on this. It’s a fact that I returned with very mixed feelings.
While we are already more than four months later, still a feeling of a little disappointment remains. I really don’t like being in the crowd of tourists all the time. During most of my journey I felt like being in a large theme park together with so many other westerners (and also with tourists from other Asian countries) and the subject of that theme park was ‘Vietnam’.

I think I have some beautiful photos of the trip … but these are only images … and they do not represent the real atmosphere picture.

Funny but in July I made a 2-weeks trip to another European country and for me that was much more a discovery ...

ikeharel, papagolf21, Royaldevon, ChrisJ, jhm, ktanska, Fis2, cornejo, PiotrF, sacimar, adramad, danos, COSTANTINO has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekEarth members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekEarth members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To emka: SimilaritiesPaulVDV 3 2017-08-27 02:03
To willperrett: Off the beaten trackPaulVDV 1 2017-08-27 01:36
To Royaldevon: time in life is limitedPaulVDV 1 2017-08-27 02:07
To holmertz: the VietnamesePaulVDV 4 2017-08-27 09:30
To dta: des endroits sans touristesPaulVDV 1 2017-08-27 02:21
To mkamionka: Vietnamese touristsPaulVDV 1 2017-09-05 01:47
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Salut paul,
Que la balade doit être plaisante avec un tel paysage si grandiose, la luminosité se joue de la brume, belle composition photo, on s'identifie aux spectateurs/rameurs.

  • Great 
  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10118 W: 144 N: 25314] (123311)
  • [2017-08-27 0:00]
  • [+]

Hello Paul, Thanks for the dedication. I can't say I was patient, but what I could do?
I do not know this part of Vietnam, I was south of Hanoi. Here it looks similar to southern China, the area near Guilin. As for tourists. In Europe I see everywhere the Chinese or rather Asian tourists. In China I do not recognize them from locals. But in my whole trip in China I haven't see Western turists - my friend said that the only white face she saw was mine :). I saw more just in half the hour on Market in Warsaw. And in Kazachstan was the same - I was alone.
But now I intrigued once more - what discovery in Europe??

Kind regrad s Malgo

Hello Paul

We were in Viet Nam a couple of years ago, and I absolutely understand your reservations about the venture. Like you, I came back with a bunch of what I flatter myself are decent pictures, but only occasionally felt we were having an "authentic" experience. Oddly enough, those occasions were often in towns and cities, when we plunged off the beaten track into side streets and alleys. But your photograph is excellent, even as it shows a typical Westerner's vision of one of the "sights"!



Bonjour, cher Paul,
Paysage fabuleux et dépaysant à souhait. La beauté des lieux est fort bien mise en valeur.
Un grand merci pour cette très belle présentation.

Hello Paul,
Looks as an intriguing adventure, sailing downstream this river with towering rocks along both sides.
Light and mist was a bit overshadowing - but still an awesome photo.
Have a nice Sunday,

Hi Paul,

Thats an impressive and yet relaxing shot!
Wonderful view from your boat

Be aware on anyone approach you in Vietnam, lots of scam around

Have fund


Bonjour Paul
Cliché fort bien représentatif de ce lieu et de la densité effarante d'esquifs
Bon W.E.

  • Great 
  • dta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6076 W: 277 N: 11708] (90355)
  • [2017-08-27 1:49]
  • [+]

Bonjour Paul ,
Le décor est évidemment très beau , mais je suis comme vous , je n'arrive pas à apprécier la beauté et la magie d'un lieu quand il y a foule . La note est particulièrement intéressante en ce sens .
Peut être que dans ces pays il existe des endroits magnifiques hors des sentiers battus (pour des touristes individuels comme moi), mais il est sans doute plus difficile de s'y rendre à cause des problèmes de langue ou de signalisation . Ce que l'on peut faire chez nous : je connais en France des endroits fantastiques mais pourtant très peu fréquentés , et ce sont bien entendu ceux-là que je préfère .
Je suis impatient de connaitre ce pays européen "exotique" .


Hello Paul,

What a wanderer you are!
Are you ever at home?
I thoroughly understand your viewpoint on too many other tourists. I hate to be in large groups, too and as such, you seem unable to get a 'feel' for the real people and the real country.
Your photograph is well taken, with a fine sense of perspective and detail but it seems like a metaphor for 'following the crowd in a guided adventure'!

Have a lovely Sunday,
Bev :-)
Thanks for all the notes. I do enjoy reading them.

Hello Paul,
Thanks for the dedication, but you immediately challenge my curiosity with another hint of a recently visited country. ;-) (Romania, Slovakia, or maybe Poland?)
On my first visit to Vietnam in 1993 there were not many Western visitors and not much of an infrastructure for tourism. Two years later the change was tremendous, almost shocking. In 2008 it felt similar to Thailand. But the Vietnamese people were still generally very friendly and charming.
These five photos are all very attractive, but certainly this one is the best. You have the nicest rocks and the most evenly distributed boats with one very close to us. The light and colours are very agreeable. I was not at all aware of this area, so I still learn a lot from TE.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 14254 W: 1033 N: 28539] (135736)
  • [2017-08-27 3:07]

Hello Paul,

I am glad then that I went and saw this in the early 2000's before mass tourism arrived. It's still a beautiful area despite the hordes of tourists. Tfs!

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24394 W: 523 N: 40801] (175578)
  • [2017-08-27 3:46]

Dag Paul,

Ik kan me inbeelden dat Malgo tevreden was met dit beeld.
Wanneer u een reis maakt, leer ik heel veel, en dat maakt uw foto's zo uitzonderlijk.
Misschien even angst aanjagend maar heel mooi gefotografeerd.
Het is echt een schitterend beeld met de bootjes voor u.
De rotsen en de nevel doen de rest.
Bedankt voor te delen

Prettige zondag,

Hi Paul,
This landscape is just amazing. No wonder it receives so many tourists nowadays. I understand that it can get somewhat annoying every now and then. But looking at this picture, a steady flow of boats makes also quite interesting theme.

Bonjour Paul,

J'aime beaucoup cette composition. Le moment est très beau avec toutes ces barques à queue leu leu comme à la parade. Mais c'est l'arrière plan qui est spectaculaire.



Ciao Paul
mi piace questa sequenza di foto, di solito vediamo questi paesaggi senza persone, mentre è bello vedere anche come stanno esattamente le cose e cosa provano i turisti a visitare questi luoghi.
Buona domenica

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13800 W: 0 N: 16043] (169174)
  • [2017-08-27 7:15]


quel cadrage à ras l'eau vus êtes dans une des barque qui suit fantastique vue de ces barque qui avances et quel décor et vue quel vue ces pic rocheux couvert de végétation et le barque sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié

  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9583 W: 157 N: 15497] (123957)
  • [2017-08-27 8:24]

Witaj Paul!
Curious scene from river.
Nice place, landscape makes impression.
Good frame, colors and light.
Well done.
Warm regards.

Hello Paul, very good photo of this beautiful scene of daily life in the spectacular place, very well captured in this interesting image, with good clarity, light, color and quality. A great work perfectly done, my congratulations, my friend. Thank you for sharing this beautiful work.

Good night and happy start to the week.
All the best from the south of Spain.

Olá, Paul!

Essa foto é muito boa, me dá a sensação que eu também estou em um barco e descendo o rio! Este parece ser um passeio muito interessante, pois a paisagem é deslumbrante, com essa forma de relevo bonita. O enquadramento é muito bom, gostei da inclusão da vegetação no lado esquerdo.
Parabéns pela bela imagem!

  • Great 
  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3967 W: 2 N: 6661] (33090)
  • [2017-08-27 16:32]

Hello Paul,
Thank you for informative and detailed note.A amazing capture of this beautiful place.Nice composition with good sharpness and beautiful colors.
Good work

Hello Paul,

good image of this excursion, the place is really beautiful, and the scene with all of these boats is interesting, maybe for tourism it is not the best way to discover the place with all of these tourists around..

Best regards,


Ciao Paul, fascinating landscape, lovely composition with a lot of boats, magic atmosphere, wonderful natural colors, excellent perspective and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9132 W: 57 N: 15332] (56812)
  • [2017-08-29 2:05]

Hallo Paul,
De river wordt druk bevaren hier. Een van de bootjes verderop lijkt wel door het Nederlands elftal bemand te worden, gezien al het oranje geweld dat afsteekt tegen de rustige en natuurlijk tinten van de indrukwekkend rotsen. Prachtige foto. Ik ben benieuwd naar welk Europees land je bent geweest.

Hello, Paul!

What a wonderful view of these interesting mountains! The different tones of them give very good depth to the image! It must be a wonderful boat tour! I didn't know about this trip of yours, and I hope to see other beautiful photos like that! Very nice job!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11746 W: 126 N: 21116] (108775)
  • [2017-08-29 11:59]

Hi Paul,i'm just back from my last trip and i can see a dedication to Malgo in your last post too...ehehe..a fantastic perspective from the delta river,the POV is a winner and the quality is fantastic,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Paul.
Wow ...... Impressive and wonderful scenery, those high rocky promontories covered with vegetation and on both sides of the river is a spectacle, the boat ride should be unforgettable.
Good perspective of the image, very pleasing to the eye.
Colorful, sharp and bright are perfect.
Well done. I like it.
Have a good day.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13692 W: 295 N: 27269] (109493)
  • [2017-08-31 23:16]

Hello Paul,
Splendid the view of the theme park in Vietnam with the lot of the tourists to enjoying their presentation there.The high rocks on the both sides of the river add depth and perspective in the scene.


Dag Paul
Ik heb de laatste tijd heel wat mensen gesproken die naar Vietnam gingen of er al geweest waren, dus je verhaal verbaast mij niet echt.
Het is ook grappig dat, toen ik naar de thumbnail van de foto keek, ik meteen moest denken aan een themapark met een nagebouwd stukje rivier door een nagebouwd landschap. Dat komt natuurlijk door die stoet boten met toeristen erin. Dus niet alleen een foto met een mooi landschap maar ook een actueel beeld van herrijzend Vietnam.
Groet Rob

Hello dear friend and have a nice time
and a happy new day
wonderful photo pleasant for our eyes
lucky people down there ahaving the chance
to enjoy this place I red carefully
your thoughts about the number of tourist
me too I prefer the peaceful landscapes
nice pov

Hi Paul,
I don't mind being part of the crowd. I remember while traveling in American Southwest: I always said: if someone has build a road there it must be worth going there. If there are crowds it means there is a reason. But I know what you mean, at certain point the crowd is so intense that the pleasure is gone. Sadly I have that feeling is some attractions in Poland. Too many tourists are in Polish mountains or at the sea. Beautiful but overcrowded.
I am curious as well what European country you have in mind but I will patiently wait for you photos.

Amazing reportage here with such an interesting note.
I like the different levels of clarity which create a feeling of depth.
The people we can spot here seem to be locals, may be tourists are further...
Great trip it seems. You select fantastic destinations!

  • Great 
  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10498 W: 174 N: 17824] (79159)
  • [2017-10-08 12:08]


amazing this perspective from the river level, being surrounded by these amazing mountains. I liked the mood of movement and adventure that the image transmit for us.



ciao Paul,
non si può credere che esistano posti simili,
ciao, Giacomo

Calibration Check