Two kids illegaly downloading the latest comic books in a makeshift bookstore in Hué city, central Vietnam.
This is from my first journey to Vietnam in 1993. That was the year the country was opened to tourism on a big scale. Before that, every foreign visitor had to be accompanied by a "guide" from the government. Tourists had been restricted to a few areas and had to stay at hotels selected by the authorities.
I had wanted to see Vietnam for years but was put off by the strict rules. However, one day in late winter of 1993 as I was at my office in the evening, a news agency reported that the parliament of Vietnam had decided to promote tourism. Visa rules would be relaxed, foreigners would be allowed to travel freely anywhere and to stay wherever they wished, no guides would be required.
I decided there and then to make Vietnam my next destination, and I was not disappointed. When I returned, only 17 months later, I found a country that had already changed drastically. The number of hotels and restaurants had at least tripled and many more people had learned English. During my third journey in 2008 I met a Vietnam that had become almost as adapted to tourism as Thailand.
This photo was scanned from a Kodachrome slide. And yes, I know that I cut off the the boy's toes :-)
Critiques | Translate
agjika (4309) 2011-04-05 3:54
Very nice atmosphere in this photo. They are clearly relaxed and enjoying their reading. There seem to be plenty of books available as well. When I was their age I never had direct access to books in a public place. It was always a counter, hole in the wall or someone/something else.
Thanks for sharing
emka (64214) 2011-04-05 4:19
Hi Gert, Nice scene on the old photo, as usual. Amazing how relaxed the kids are and such a big choice of books.
I plan to go to Vietnam in the autumn this year. Now I am enjoying very much my American trip.
jhm (128091) 2011-04-05 5:22
The old city Hué, almost everyday we saw images of these city during the Vietnam WAR.
Happy that the children can reading in the library
Nice daily life image.
Thank you very much for your interesting notes.
Excellent captured and good composed.
Very well done, TFS.
vasilpro (40563) 2011-04-05 13:52
Wonderful daily life photo, beautiful scene, excellent POV, very nice quality from an old photo, TFS!
Warm regards, Vasilis.
siamesa (27461) 2011-04-05 13:55
Boa noite Gert
I loved this photo. The children reading and this girl in a relaxed pose. Excellent register.
everlasting (14023) 2011-04-06 4:07
Great note Gert, I love these spontaneousness reactions to a piece of news. I am sure the scene has not dated at all while Hue has most certainly changed.
Nicou (105947) 2011-04-06 8:33
Merveilleus eiamge et scène c'est tellement important la lecture, ce jeune qui s'intruisenet, superbe.
Bravo et amitié
saxo042 (33940) 2011-04-07 10:04
These kids are very well placed in the composition. They look very relaxed and eager to educate themselves or are these just comic books they are reading? A very attractive picture, even without all the toes...
subhendu_bagchi (21140) 2011-04-07 11:18
another nice capture here. Like these two little kids in library. Great use of light and used POV is superb. A very nice composition... except... you know it. Thanks for sharing this view.
serp2000 (33225) 2011-04-08 5:39
I like this report from Vietnam. I'd like to visit this asian country with the richest history.
An interesting note and excellent composition, good saturation and fine details of the book shop.
Have a great weekend!
annjackman (15581) 2011-04-08 8:11
This is a splendid scan of a very interesting little scene. The children are so natural and not bothered by you taking their photo. Vietnam is a place that we plan to visit in the next year or two and I found your note on the emergence of tourism very interesting.
An excellent TE image - congratulations.
Kind Regards, Ann
abmdsudi (32529) 2011-04-09 5:56
Interesting picture, its look old to me judging from the look of those primitive book shelves. Agreed with your notes, Vietnam is an open country now and developing fast Tourism dollar is big money spinner now almost very sector of the economy is involved in it. About travelling freely in the country as you mention, I stilll believe there is still restriction imposed in particular near the sensitve border areas which is totally prohibited to foreign visitor. I would like to relate my bitter experience in July 2006
during my 2nd photo trip in Ang Giang province near Cambodian border (without special permit). I was stopped and taken to the local internal security office after taking few pictures of a mosque in a small Champa village. Interogation and 100 percent body check lasted for 8hrs attended by 3 intelligent personnels in an interogation room decorated by the statues of Carl Max and HCM and full of hammer and sickles red flags around, quiet eerie to me. To cut the shory short I was eventually released, good learning life time experience for me. But this doesnt deter me to revisit this beautiful country 2 more times.
Now about this picture. Excellent exposure under natural room light and the colors are good, the compo is impressive fairly wide coverage of the scene. Interesting that they were not aware of your presence, too preoccupied, in a way its good that their privacy were respected. Great shot and accompanying note.
Have a nice weekend,
Waylim (23324) 2011-04-14 18:49
that could ahve been me, the boy off course hehe. I use tolove reading commic books and story books. My dream was to own a bookshop or work in a library. Beautiful daily life shot, once again a good scan of an old but goody. Classic.
Don't worry about his toes, he is so concentrated on his reading, it didn't even hurt :)
kato (9572) 2011-05-23 6:06
You're capturing well this daily scenery that two kids are reading comic bool eagerly, so it's impressive to see that a lot English books queue up on the bookshelf.
It is joyous that various knowledge enters from the world by the openness policy, it receives a lot of foreigners, and sense of values becomes various. Slowly developing while defending the culture of the home country is desirable, I think.
thaprem (2554) 2011-07-05 2:25
This is a dreamy shot for me taking me back to my child hood! Comics / Books were my passion (are!) then and Always dreamed of a shop full of them open for me every all day every time I wanted so that I could have my fill of all that I wanted to read... I used to haunt the small shops my Grandfather rented out to just to get read the magazines all day during my vacations!.. I even put off on my acquaintances to sell her load of comics so that I can finish reading all of them! Ogling at the bookstalls for the new books when I go / return from school was a regular habit... My god! I am terribly jealous of these kids! Thanks for sharing this and rehashing my memory. Your Contrast and Lighting makes the memory possible.
BTW, I almost get to the same with photo gear these days :))
Glint (5927) 2012-01-04 6:50
I remember this photo and I'm surprised to find that I did not critique it.It's a good thing to see youngsters reading.Readers make leaders as we say.I like the way they are so engrossed in their reading books.This is nicely composed with the children taking centre stage and surrounded by books.
ourania (18738) 2013-09-12 8:45
I like this scene very much, when people open a book casually, to have a look and are unconsciously captivated and transported to a different world whithout leaving their immediate surroundings:) It's funny when something makes them startle and take a moment to return to reality. Who knows where these children are travelling now:) A wonderful, peaceful scene with superb light management and natural colours. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely evening,