I have been in Vietnam for more than two months now, and I want to share with you this collection of the unique landscapes of Vietnam from my travels
Vietnam is a land of water. Because Vietnam is a long thin country, much of the population is on or near the coast. Because there are mountain ranges running the length of the interior, there are numerous streams and rivers. Don’t forget of course, the role that water plays in the cultivation of rice – rice paddies have to be perfectly flat and meticulously irrigated to maximize yield (as it is not possible to plant rice more densely as it is with corn). Like other countries that experience a monsoon cycle, Vietnam relies heavily on it’s annual rainy season for prolific agriculture.
In Ha Long bay, there are more than 1000 islands (they should make a salad dressing or something!). The limestone karsts, which create the dramatic land/sea contrast, are also responsible for the numerous caves in the bay. Similarly, inland karst topography is what makes Vietnam home to the two largest caves in the world.
The local legend is that the limestone humps are the back of the mother dragon which protects Vietnam. For thousands of years, Ha Long Bay has been an impenetrable defensive position for Vietnamese military forces.
I have always loved the way agriculture imposes a new geometry to a landscape. These rice terraces in Sapa are beautiful, and also seem like the most labor intensive form of agriculture.
The farther south you go in Vietnam, the more rice harvests per year: one in the north, two in the central highlands, and three in the south. Rice tastes so much better when you think about Â how beautiful the rice fields are, and how much work rice takes to grow.
I’m consistently amazed at how Vietnam is such a population dense, yet wild feeling country. I’m also reminded how rain creates such a special atmosphere for taking photos!
The Vietnam government is creating more lakes and reservoirs by building dams on many of it’s smaller rivers. It will be interesting to see how this effects the traditional use of rivers for commerce.
If you want to get a sense of the culture and people of Vietnam, follow my Instagram feed, where I document daily life, and the human side of our travels in Vietnam.