Sunset at Hoan Kiem Lake

Waiting for the Sunset at Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi

“Same Same… but different” is one of the popular quotes you’ll see and hear when you visit Vietnam. And it’s funny in much ways this is how I saw things as well during my recent visit to Northern Vietnam with my buddy Lagal[og]. I guess it’s one of those trips where I’m reminded more of home and really appreciate what we got. Don’t get me wrong, Vietnam and it’s natural wonders have a unique charm on their own, but I found it not that far being a neighboring country of the Philippines.

Cruising at Ha Long Bay

Cruising along thousands of karst at Ha Long Bay

If during my first trip to Central Vietnam focused more on historical architecture and dynasties, the Northern Vietnam showcased one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Ha Long Bay and also traversing the mountainous regions of Sapa to get up close with several Hmong and Dao ethnic minorities. Also navigating the busy streets of the Old Quarters in Hanoi.

A black Hmong Vendor at Sapa Valley

Getting upclose with the Hmong Minorities at Sapa Valley

I know I got tons of lag post on my recent trips so am just posting this as another quick preview of what’s on ahead. This Northern Vietnam trip was another memorable travel. It’s not all about the sights and food we ate, but the great company you keep and the people you meet along the way. Details of the trip soon.

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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

23 Responses to “Northern Vietnam: Same same, but different”

  1. yes! finally nakabalik na kayo. si erick na lang tuloy ka-comment ko. welcome back ferdz!

    eto nga ang mga magagandang byahe. yung hindi na usual cityscape ng vietnam. meron nga pala akong shirt na “same same but different”. natawa ako nung nabigyan ako nun. hindi ko kasi maintinidihan kung anong ibig sabihin nun. kaya dineklara ko yong weirdest shirt print.

    parang sagada yung third photo. laging kong naririnig ang halong bay pero iba pa rin na makita ito sa mga kuha mo. looking forward to the upcoming posts.

  2. welkam back! sa wakas dumating na din kayo! inaabangan namin kayo ni dom e..

    wow! cant wait sa mga susunod na pictures at stories. same same but different. hehe! parang may mga counterpart nga ang pinas sa ganda ng vietnam.

  3. Hey Ogbear, same here 😀

    Thanks Dom, na miss ka namin. We always remember you when we reach for our wallets. Haha. I saw a lot of those shirts when I was at the central. That mountainous region of Sapa actually reminds us a lot of the Cordilleras.

    Hi Photocache, will try to post more frequently so I can catch up with my back logs.

    Thanks Erick, like what the quote said. There are notable similarities pero me different qualities din.

    Musta Den, kelan ba? Baka binabagyo na dyan sa lugar nyo. hehe

    Thanks Allan, will be posting more on the trip in the coming weeks.

    Thanks for dropping by Joanne. More of it to come. Better watch for Og’s captures. Daming magaganda syang nakuha kesa sa akin. Hehe

    Thanks Oman!

  4. Millie

    Grabe! nakabalik na kaagad kayo? that was fast… I’m sure bitin kayo ni lagal[og] ganda ng vietnam ha. Abangan ko mga kwento nyo. more pics pleaseeeeee!!!! 🙂 Thank God you guys came back safe. Nasaan ang PASALUBONG kong vietcong?

  5. uy, millie, nakaligtaan naming mag-uwi ng vietcong. but pasuotin natin si ferdz ng salakot, he can pass up for one 🙂
    peace, brother wulf :-B

    pambihira, dapat yata abangan nyo yung mga kuha ni ferdz. i saw his cache and boy, you guys have a lot to look forward to.

  6. pink panther

    nice pics…may mga pagkakahawig nga yun una pic eh kahawig na pic sa prov ng pinas, yun second ala palawan or caramoan?, yun huli sa mt prov naman ang kahawig hehehe… pero maganda…more pics pa konti ….welcome back 😉

  7. hi Ferdz. popular din yang quote na yan sa Cambodia, even when we introduce ourselves to the locals, that is usually the next line they’ll say, “same same”! ganda ng appeal sa akin ng 2nd shot mo, kanina ko pa tinititigan. excellent framing and line of perspective. it’s like i am actually standing where you were standing when you took that shot. very nice.

  8. i agree, parang sa banaue nga yung last picture, tapos palawan yung halong bay.

    hmm, if vietnam has “same same but different”, ano kaya yung pwede sa pinas? DOT’s “more than the usual?”

  9. Hi Millie, medyo parang whirld wind din. Ang bilis. hehe. More pics to come.

    Hehehe. Ogbear, I think that foreigner at the Train station who was elated that we can speak english asked if we were both Vietnamese. Hehe.

    Hi Ruby, medyo similar nga sa atin with a bit differences. Will highlight them later with more pics 😀

    Salamat Rayts! Actually liked that photo as well. Wanted to show both where I am at and what I’m looking at as well.

    Zherwin! I actually like our “More than the ususal” slogan. Dami pa rin talgang pambato ang pinas when it comes to tourist destinations.

    Thanks Soshona! It’s worth a visit as well, but more to immerse on their culture.

  10. Thanks Kyels, lucky for you, my color takes time to come back after darkening. 😛

    Thanks BW, I’m sure local heritage societies are doing their work in preserving our heritage. More Vietnam Photos soon.

    Hahaha. Kung orannge conical hat, ma recognize mo kaya sya Allan? 😀

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