For most of cities habitants, life is made up of routines between offices and home. We usually ride motorbikes back and forth, days after day along Hanoi streets, and many at time feel bored of seeing busy people who rarely smile under the summer heat and the rush hours. Needless to say out loud, we somehow all dream of revolting from such a boring routines and escaping from so much of cities “rat” programmed life. The question of what I am doing here, why I am not where I would like to be of course urge anyone of us standing up and going, in some point of our life to anywhere. At VIETSURVEY, we are so blessed of opportunities going here and there visiting new places, talking to people who live at different paces and most importantly who can stop and talk to you. The trip to the Central this summer did stir up our repetitiveness by sending us up to the mountain and driving us to the costal fishery villages wherever libraries can be found and reached.  By the way, we are conducting an large scaled survey in dozens of provinces from North to South of Vietnam and that’s where this field story emerged.

Thach Bang

Sunset in Thach Bang beach of Ha Tinh provinve

One notable fact is that in the countryside people is living a more decent life in comparison to their friends in the city, after hard work many of them can go to beach to swim and/or to enjoy cold drinks at the cost of almost nothing. They do not look like us forced living in a rat-race cage of big cities. Given the local lifestyle and seeing-thing-differently eyes of away travelers, out of blue I am touched by the beauty of villages and villagers along the way we passed by. Relaxed life and nature is exactly what we saw, heard and found out. Here I can talk with anyone we met, and people friendly stopped and told where to go and what to eat and drink. It is worth to write some note on the Central accent and local vocabulary. The Central accent and annotation sounds more emotional with up and down tones. They employ lot of local vocabs which we have to learn and adapt if we wish to engage into their local conversation. Otherwise, some of them can politely switch to the North accent to help you and to explain you things. People here tends to talk more about other things around them rather than their own hardness and problems. Lots of jokes during discussion that creates great fun and makes our conversation easy without ice-breaking. We learnt from them that happiness has the roots from friendliness, neighborhood and development of their children rather than having nice car, big houses or very high income. That may sound weird in the city but here I am totally touched and convinced. The Central of Vietnam is the poorest quintile in the national poverty map in fact and I wonder if social network and village neighborhood is the only safety net and support in such poor hamlets where household income remain under 100-200 USD per month. In such a well-connected families, some still have to bet their life luck with the boat crossing the ocean to the land of promise and wealth to make living. Do they do not know tons of risks are waiting for boatmen offshore and inland? Oh my mother land why they cannot feed their own children and let them go into the grasp of savage seas and nations?


“You never get your feet on Australian land “ said the sign in front of CPC

The heavyheartedness of seeing such a depressed sign in front of the commune committee faded when we were riding bikes in the rural areas in light of the late afternoon sun. Sun is going down and giving in to the winds that get more and more power from the ocean to drive the heat out of the land. Fresh air inflates up our lungs and sea wind blows our sweat away. If the road is less bumpy and Duc my team leader brought his trekking bike along, this survey trip ha could be a very nice ride. Anyway, today Duc carries me on this miserable iron horse and I can fully enjoy the scene without driving tasks. While other team mates head back to the hotel, we two guys stop here and there shoot picture of rural sunset, inhale the fragrance of harvested rice and the wet smell of straw left in the field. Peanut crop has come and supersized carts with the ground nut bodies are found inside the village. Buffalo and cow smells are everywhere and of course are not nice as rice’s but still much more receptive than cars and bikes emissions in the city. The picturesque and unspoilt scene of rice fields, seaside and mountain after mountain layers is second to none. My beautiful countryside, no words can say how much I love this humble charm and beauty.

Nghi Xuan

The sun is going down in Nghi Xuan District, Ha Tinh province

(By: Nhat Nguyen Duc)

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