30 Days: a day in the life and a bunch of photos


I started the day with a long walk around the citadel. A fog rolled in, so when I took this photo of a group warming up in front of Hue’s flag tower, I could only just discern the flag in the mist. As if by magic, you can see the silhouette of the flag if you tilt your screen back.

Between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m., the streets of Hue abound with people walking, jogging and excercising. Sometimes I’m outside by 5 for a walk with my mother-in-law. We walk to the Phu Xuan Bridge, do some stretching and excercises, then return by the Truong Tien Bridge. It takes us an hour. Today, I arose late and headed out on my own. 1b

The fog began to lift and the flag appeared. The tower was built in 1807, during the reign of King Gia Long. After various repairs and renovations over the years, it now stands about 17.5 metres high, from the lowest of its three bases to the tip of the flag post.


These are two of the gates that lead in and out of the citadel.

5 frangipani

The frangipani trees are just starting to flower. Their fragrance is intoxicating.

7 6

I walked back by this quiet road rather than the busy Tran Huong Dao. When I arrived home, I had breakfast under my beloved bodhi tree, then playedwith our new puppy for a while.


That’s the last time my wrist looked normal. I slipped on the rain-slicked step and fell with my full weight on my wrist, fracturing the radius. Sigh.

xrayThat’s the fracture to the left beside the C in my watermark. I’ve always found X-rays rather fascinating. Love the view of all the bones in the hand. Then I received my very own health booklet for keeping records of hospital visits and treatments in Vietnam. Now I really feel like a local person.

so kham benh.

The silver lining is that I’m receiving all kinds of attention. Maybe too much. People are making coffe for me, presenting me with my favourite fruit, and constantly asking if I need anything.

z mangosteen

Did you know you can tell how many sections are inside a mangosteen by counting the petals on its base? Thi s one has six petals and when I cut it open, I found five small and one large sections. Sometimes there are only five, and less often, seven. If I had to choose one fruit to eat for the rest of my life, I might choose these purple-shelled treasures.

It’s taken me a few hours to edit these photos and write this post all with one hand, but it has been a good distraction and I think I’ve gone well over 30 photos in less than 30 days. Will devote the remaining days to looking at others’ posts.

Eight more 30 in 30 blogs:

About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
This entry was posted in 30 photos in 30 days, Photography, Photos, Viet Nam. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 30 Days: a day in the life and a bunch of photos

  1. mark Stratton says:

    Again, sorry about the broken bones. I know from experience they are no fun at all.

    And thanks for sharing these photos. Really enjoyed seeing them.

  2. sueborgersen says:

    Incredible. Really incredible. This would certainly qualify for the Carte Blanche call for submissions. Do you have details? If not I’ll send you the link. When I read of your injury earlier I was going to suggest you get a tape recorder and get your account ‘written’ down’ using that method because we can’t make these things up can we? But this photographic account will certainly remind you of how you feel today. And then use it in the future in your writing. I say, turn these calamities into opportunities and that’s precisely what you’ve done Chris. Hats off to you. I reckon you’ve done your 30 in 30. Where do you collect your medal?

    • chris says:

      Thanks, Susan! I do have the link…too bad this is already published on my blog, but maybe I’ll try writing up a similar one with different photos. I agree with you about turning any major event into writing…no need to make anything up. As for the medal, I think your comment qualifies as one. Thanks for the award!

  3. Evelyn says:

    Oh no! A broken wrist? I’m so sorry. Love the photo of the frangipani flower. I’m dying to know what mangosteen tastes like, but won’t ask so you won’t have to type. Take care.

    • chris says:

      mangosteens are wonderful…definitely a tropical flavour, delicately sweet and perfumed with flesh reminiscent of a litchi, but not crunchy. beware of the latex-like substance in the shells though–sticky as pine sap and almost as hard to remove.

  4. Quirina says:

    Sorry to hear of your accident and a broken bone. That is no fun. Wishing you a very swift recovery. I love frangipani flowers and the scent is so intoxicating and lovely. xxx

  5. Speedy recovery, Chris! xox

  6. Oh, Chris, ouch! So sorry to hear about your fall–wishing you speedy healing and the continued support of friends, family and strangers.

    I love that shot of the group warming up in the fog. Nothing like a foggy day to evoke a sense of mystery. And your new puppy is adorable!

  7. A broken wrist. Sore, not to mention inconvenient. Appreciate your one-handed efforts. Hope it’s soon on the mend.

  8. Wonderful photos! Not cropping didn’t detract in anyway. Love the frangipani especially, I can almost smell it 🙂 What do mangosteens taste like? They look beautiful. Sending more hugs and speedy healing wishes.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Love the photos, but so sorry about your wrist!!! How frustrating. What an adorable puppy…. And the mangosteen looks magnificent!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s