The fishing market in Hoi An was open for commerce when I arrived at dawn. Women outnumbered men as they bartered for best price.
An elderly woman rushed by in obvious panic and squatted at the waters edge. Nature beckoned and dignity was the last thing on her mind.
A short distance downstream some women rinsed their buckets and washed their hands. The day had already begun as the sun broke the horizon. The warm colours reflected on the water and some boats framed the scene for my shot.
The one-eyed fisherman sat bolt upright in his boat. His face etched by wrinkles, told a story of hard times. His toothless smile invited a positive response as I gestured with my camera. His face filled the frame as I angled for best light. His friends joked with him for being the centre of my interest. His smile broadened and he recoiled in mock embarrassment at the attention. He asked to see the outcome of my shot. A broader smile emerged as he viewed the monitor and his thumbs signalled satisfaction with the result.
Hours passed like minutes as I captured people going about their daily toil. No camera could do justice to the occasion. The colour, the sounds and atmosphere of that place made the journey worthwhile. Hoi An is famous for it’s tailored suites. A friend, who was measured the previous day, asked me to drop by at the appointed time for his first fitting. I entered the shop with another companion as William modelled like a catwalk queen. He asked our opinion. The suit was fine but the linen fabric showed that his body needed serious alterations.
The Vietnamese have perfected their national means of transport to a fine art. Fridges, Animals and a family of five, with a goldfish, passed us on motorbikes as we made our way to Ho Chi Minh city. The scars of war were evident in places but the effects of the sixteen-year conflict have been well and truly erased. The noise was deafening and the air toxic with fumes when we arrived as people drove their motorbikes in circles to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The girl at reception sported an ‘I Love Vietnam’ badge on her smart uniform. Having travelled through their beautiful country I echo the sentiment.