Cantho Food Tour.

Can Tho is the biggest city in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, about 2 million people are living here. Similar to other cities in the Delta, the central area of the city really comes alive after the sun goes down. During the day don’t expect to see much interesting, after dark the area becomes a gathering point for locals and tourists and a great place to just hang out and shop the numerous authentic Vietnamese stores or eat at the restaurants, some of them offering really excellent value for the money. Overall it’s a very friendly city and a much less crowded with traffic then HCM

To experience this evening life, we booked an evening food tour, by foot, at Mekongstours a local agency offering several trips in the region. Together with our guide we had a group of four people, really nice for this activity.

Celebrate Mekong Street Food.

Our firststop is “Nem Nuong”; they are serving pork BBQ rolled up in rice paper with rice noodles, lettuce, thin banana slices, Asian basil, mint, pineapple, coriander, fresh herbs and leave. It looks really delicious and healthy and you can dip in a yummy sweet-spicy sauce. Our guide was explaining everything and assisting us in preparing the Vietnamese spring rolls. I found them very tasty.

 

 

At the second stop we are having an old traditional recipe; cake cuffs.

They are preparing here the cake cuffs already 30 years with the same recipe.

First cut your cake into 4 pieces and together with lettuce, mint, spring onions and fresh herbs I prepared a small package of 1 piece. Dip it into the fish sauce and put it into my mouth; delicious. This can be repeated 4 times, wonderful experience.

 

The third stop “Bia Lanh 74” is a small bar, offering beer with small food. We found the beer already great; the temperature is still 28 degrees at 8 o’clock pm. Here we were served 2 hot clay pots, one with aubergine and pork and one with ginger and tofu, both with onions and herbs. The food is cooked on the table; in a small cup with some soya sauce I found the taste really delicious. This place is the only place in South Vietnam preparing this food.

They are also offering a third pot, mouse from the south grown up in the rice fields; we have not tried this.

For the desert we went to the river.  Arriving at the riverside, a friendly lady, known by the Can Tho youth since their childhood, “Di map” (Jie map), makes us the yummiest sticky rice. It is made with different ingredients that result in yellow or pink colour and served with dried coconut on top. The taste was again great.

.

 

 

We had a wonderful evening, had great food, learned a lot about Vietnamese culture, food and people.

If you have ever the change of doing this tour; just do it.

 

Best regards

Herman

Djibouti

Being invited by a company I paid a consultancy visit tot his country. After a 12 hours I’ve arrived in Djibouti. The first impression was good; nice temperature and an airport what was, for African standards, well organised.

 

The Republic of Djiboutiis a country located in the Horn of Africa bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopian the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east. Djibouti occupies a total area of 23,200 km2and has

Djibouti has always been a very active member in the African Union and the Arab League.

Djibouti is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 950.000 inhabitants, Somali, Arabic and French are the country’s three official languages. About 94% of residents adhere to Islam, which is the official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than a thousand years.

More info of Djibouti Wikipedia

We were visiting the 2ndDjibouti International Trade Fair, a colorful presentation from local companies looking for contacts, export possibilities and international contacts. Quite interesting to see how the country is developing and attracting international investments.

The Central Bank of Djibouti issues the Djiboutian franc, the national currency, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed parity. The country is a popular business and finance centre in the region, as its banking and finance laws tend to be less restrictive than those of other countries.

More info on economic details on Britannica

More info on the Trade Fair on Trade Fair

 

We have visited several companies in different sectors, managed by young people, well equipped and eager to absorb knowledge from the west, in order to develop their local business.

Due to the presence of a large contingent of foreign military people (USA, Germany, Japan and France) local prices are high. A hotel in Djibouti is costing more than in Amsterdam. Also for local people it is an expensive country, most of the goods have to be imported and are taxed in the port.

By leaving Djibouti after a few days I’ve a good impression of the economical possibilities of this small country. Maybe I will visit this country in the near future again.

 

December 2018

Herman

 

 

Taking less and better photos.

Taking less and better photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern digital camera’s can handle lots of pictures without extra costs. My 32 GB card can store 550 RAW pictures. The capacities of hard disks are steadily increasing and I am storing more and more photos. Although I’ve organised them in LR it’s difficult to see al my picks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a trip to Portugal, I realised after a few days that I forgot to take the battery charger of my camera; stupid, stupid, stupid.  The next shop was in Lisbon; 400 km’s away. Then I realised myself that I still had the capacity of 400 photos in my battery; so after a quick calculation I could make every day 20-30 pics. The challenge was to use this left capacity as efficient as possible. Taking only those with almost 100 % guarantee that they will survive the quality check on my pc. And yes it was a challenge, simply making better photos. Taking more time for a picture, looking better to the composition and checking carefully the settings were the instruments for this. For one week I was working that way and the results were there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my battery was almost empty we were parking our car in front of a photo printing shop, asking inside if they were able to recharge by battery the answer was yes; a great surprise.  After 1 hour I had a fully loaded battery with 900 pics capacity, enough for the rest of the trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, at the end of our holiday I went home with lots of nice photos and a new experience; taking less but better pictures is working.

 

The next challenge is to have the camera in the M and not in the A modus.

 

Herman

 

Are you still making lots of photos and throwing them away when you are at home? I am interested in hearing your experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ps. If you are in the neighbourhood pay a visit to photo Mourais in Sabrosa. They do a wonderful job in printing your photos and can assist by empty batteries!

Farmers market in Dubai.

Market (2 van 1)Yesterday, Saturday morning I visit the Organic Famers Market at Business Bay in Dubai.
The market is every Saturday morning in the growing season; when the temperatures are too high it’s closed. Tis april they are there another couple of weeks, before closing for the hot summer period.
It’s a nice place to be; small stalls in the shadow of trees are offering a wide range of locally grown vegetables. The farmers are selling their home grown products direct to the consumers and by doing this they

 

Market (1 van 1)receive the feedback straightaway. Cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and other products are offered.

Besides these vendors’ stalls with fresh coffee, fresh baked bread and prepared rolls. So having a good breakfast or lunch is very well possible. We tested the coffee and it was great!
It’s a nice place for spending some time and doing the weekly vegetable shopping. The price level, compared to the super-market is lower.

 

 

Market (3 van 1)Surrounded by the high buildings of Dubai with the highest tower (880 mtr) of Burj Khalifa you cannot forget where you are.

More information:
The farmers market
Shopping at a farmers market
A guide to farmers markets

Sicily

Traveling in Sicily is a privilige, small villages, colors, lot’s of flowers beside the roads and in the country side. In the evening dinner on the street side with a good glass of local wine.

In this picture, focussing on the two people. the above is concentrated. Just outside a small village, they concentrate themselves in their own travel issues.

more pictures of Sicily in my photography gallery.

May 2016