On our way back to HCMC from the Mekong we would be stopping for lunch. “At one of the Hammock Cafés?” I asked excitedly.
I had been fascinated by the string of cafés along the highway between Saigon and the Mekong, where each el cheapo plastic table was combined with a hammock for lounging. So imagine my disappointment when we ended up at ‘The Tourist Trap’ .
The ‘Trap’ had everything most tourists like to believe about Vietnam: beautifully landscaped grounds, exquisitely arranged and tasty food (Vietnam doesn’t have bad food), immaculate washrooms and traditionally-dressed waitresses. But not very authentic. And very PRICEY!!!
So imagine my delight when our guide later asked if I would like to have a coffee break at one of the ‘Hammock Cafés’. Here I will try and show the difference between the two with three photos of each…
The ‘Trap’: beautifully landscaped.
The ‘Hammock Café’: no landscaping, unless you consider a busy highway a landscape.
The ‘Trap’: an exquisitely presented lunch of salad rolls with peanut sauce and passionfruit juice.
The ‘Hammock Café’: the best coffee in the world!
This photo challenge is to tell a story with three carefully selected photos. At this point my attempt falls short. I didn’t take any photos of the waitresses at the ‘Trap’, but they were all wearing the Vietnamese áo dài, traditional gowns that nowadays seem to be worn only in Tourist Traps. At the ‘Hammock Café’ the wardrobe was just like everywhere else in Vietnam.
Other photos that I could have taken to tell this story could have been of the two very different washrooms. Or the two very different bills. If memory serves me rightly, the coffees at the Hammock Café were 60¢ each, whereas at the ‘Trap’ a cup of iced coffee was about $4 or $5.
This was an interesting photo challenge, using three images to tell a story. Obviously I can’t go back to Vietnam and pick up my missing shots, but next time I will be thinking a little bit more about the ‘story’, and not just snapping pretty pictures.
For more on this challenge: Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes