Pieces of Me


The resonating heart beat of the city echoes with each sound of the motorcycle horn. It is a ceaseless pulsating hum that forms the backdrop to Ho Chi Minh. Hanging thick in the air is not the pollution you would expect from a city bustling with seven million people. Instead the air is heavy with the whispers of history that define this city.




As I walk down the haphazard streets, idyllic with terraces painted into the landscape by the brush of an artist bearing his heart with each stroke. It is easy to feel the voices of the past caress through the bougainvilleas draping down the verandas and twisting their way down the door entrances.




A heavy sadness lives here. The faces of the old tell tales that need no words to describe. The deep set eyes that pierce through you are not inhibited by language. Instead these eyes speak a clarity that overwrites any history book. Yet among the grey there is budding blossoms of colour. Much like the lotus flower that is held with such pride, every now and again on the streets you catch a glimpse of hope.




A little girl cradled in the arms of her father as he playfully encourages her to take her first steps on the pavements of Hoi An as endless traffic buzzes by. A mother and son on the night of the lantern festival, as flames of candles flickering in hand sewn silk lanterns cast shadows of red, yellow and green across the moss covered walls. She sits and plays with her little boy, cocooned in a space broken only by the shrieks of laughter as he succumbs to his mother’s tickles.

That laughter is the break in the chain. It is the promise of hope, where one day the past will be a lesson to learn from and not a burden to carry.




Vietnam stole my heart. There was something about the people, and especially the South, that latched onto my heart strings in a way that very few places have. And the food! The food was nothing short of amazing. With each place, each dish we sat down to indulge in it seemed that the culinary experience only kept getting better. I think I may have even eaten my weight in spring rolls.



When I travel, whether it is eight hours on a plane heading north or three hours in a car heading east, my only hope is that I keep myself open to all the possibility that lies in wait for me. Yes, the custom made suits and shoes, the silk dresses, the amazing food are all wonderful experiences to have and beautiful keepsakes to own, but our trip to Vietnam gave me so much more. My appreciation of Vietnam and my deeper understanding of the culture and the truly humble, beautiful people that live there is the greatest memory I have walked away with.




I will be sharing the places where we stayed, the places we loved visiting, shopping in and some fabulous restaurants in another post, so stay tuned.


Have you been to Vietnam? Would you like to go?

Conversations over Coffee ~ Conversations with Expectation ~ link up opens on Thursday March 27, everyone is welcome x

  • Loree

    Amazing photos. I love seeing the world through the eyes of other travellers. Vietnam sounds like a fascinating place. Somewhere totally different to what I am used to.

  • Leanne Shea Langdown

    Josefa – amazing photos!!!! Absolutely sensational.
    Great post
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  • LydiaCLee

    Great photos – that one with the watercan is fab! We almost went in April but it’s been switched to Ankgor instead, as Vietnam was costing a little more than I wanted to spend, and we needed more time – so we’ll go back with three weeks to explore and do the lot…
    Very jealous, it looks amazing and I’m dying to go to Ha Long Bay….

    • Ha Long Bay was quite spectacular and so surreal to think it exists in its own secluded corner of the world. You will just love Vietnam when you eventually go, but Ankgor sounds so exciting!!

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    What amazing pics. I especially loved the one with the fruit on the boat sailing away at high speed. The mountains coming out of that delicious looking water remind me of Thailand. I have never been to Vietnam, but it is on the list. So glad you had a wonderful time. See you on Thursday for Conversations with Expectations 🙂 x

    • The waterways in Vietnam have a life of their own, I could have sat and watched them for hours, see you on Thursday lovely xx

  • mumabulous

    Wow – you are a talented photographer. I’m really envying your exciting adventure. I have been to Malaysia but I think it was culturally a very different experience to Vietnam.

    • We have spent some time in Malaysia too and yes, Vietnam is very different. Both places are uniquely beautiful, and the experience in each place was quite unique x

  • Michaela Fox

    Looks like a wonderful adventure. Great pics! I think i ate my weight in spring rolls when I was there too. But aren’t they soooooooo much better than what we get here?!

    • Oh those spring rolls won me over every-single-time! I am now best friends with the post-holiday diet 😉

  • Deb @ home life simplified

    OMG thank you for sharing. I cannot wait for the rest of your posts. My only regret from our time living in Bangkok is that I never got to Vietnam. Went everywhere else multiple times but never managed this and I still dream of getting there. Think we will go on a family holiday there in. Few years xx

    • It really is beautiful and if the opportunity does arise, a visit is a must. When our boys are a little older, I’d love to go back and take them along x

  • Beautiful photos Josefa. Vietnam is next on my list of places to visit. We did Thailand two years ago and absolutely loved it! Love the floating village 🙂

  • Emma Fahy Davis

    Vietnam is one of the few places in Asia that really appeals to me, and I think that’s because of the history. I have a tendency to romanticise things and it does seem like a place where stories whisper on the wind. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photographs!

    • I was walking around with my head in the clouds, dreaming in romantic idle for most of the trip – Vietnam really swept me off my feet in that way x

  • Kaz @ MeltingMoments

    You really captured Vietnam beautifully. I’d love to go one day and experience the culture, food and beauty of the country too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Beautiful pictures Josefa.
    Never been to Vietnam, and honestly it’s not somewhere that’s on my top ten places to travel, but I don’t know much about it either. Looking forward to hearing about your trip though. Might encourage me to want to visit 🙂

  • Just gorgeous descriptive words to go with those amazing images. I’m envious of your trip, I miss heading overseas to explore other cultures! Can’t wait to read more x

  • Ahhhh… now that was like taking a little holiday but never leaving my desk 🙂

  • Rebecca Thompson

    We are planning our next trip and Vietnam has come up as a possible destination. Thank you for the description and photo’s. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  • I was there about 9 years ago… in hanoi and ho chi minh. i remember being totally freaked out at the massive number of motorbikes and bikes on the streets. i loved seeing the girls in traditional ao dais gracefully walking down the street and straddling a motorbike even. beautiful images. look forward to reading about your adventures there.

  • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    Oh I loved seeing these pics! We went last year and absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to read about where you stayed and what you did! xx

  • Gorgeous pics! I was there a LONG time ago (1997 from memory) but I still recognised some of the sights. I thought Hoi An was just gorgeous!

  • Zita @ It’s time…

    Oh I am definitely staying tuned!!! I have a trip to Vietnam booked for September and am even more excited now after having seen your amazing photos!!!

  • TeganMC

    Ohh your pictures are gorgeous. I have never been overseas but love living vicariously through others pictures.

  • oh what a beautiful city! those lanterns!! LOVE! i have to admit, i’ve never been to any of the countries in SE Asia and have never had the desire really. I’ll live vicariously through your blog posts! 🙂

  • Can’t wait to visit Vietnam … it’s definitely on my “Bucket List”!

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    Vietnam is so on our list. Little Yang is from an area in Southwest China (Kunming, Yunnan province) that borders Vietnam so our plan is to visit as part of a China trip. Your pictures are so beautiful and your words paint gorgeous images and a palpable pain that is the legacy of war – amazing it touched you so powerfully. I was really touched by the people in Japan too and of course we have a strong connection to China. I think part of me might just be Asian!

  • Rita @ The Crafty Expat

    I would love to visit Vietnam one day… Such beautiful pictures and words. Sound like you had a lovely trip.

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