Archiv für den Monat: Januar 2013

A mountain without a name

Nha Trang is mostly famous for its beaches and night-life but as – I guess – only quite a few people know, the surroundings are impressive as well.


As I saw the first mountains, I knew where I had to go.


There wasn’t much time which had to pass until I got myself to one of those. It takes a little while to reach them but less due to the distance than the traffic in Nha Trang itself.


I felt in love with one in the moment it appeared in front of me. There was a small village called Khan San. The locals there didn’t know whether the mountain had a name or not. Maybe I was the first one ever who asked.


The first part went upon a rocky road with several bends and I passed a small house as well. But this was almost the end of the path. It didn’t take much way and time to reach the last point which could be accessed by a motorcycle.

This was the time the ascend began. First – just through the high grass. Nothing too difficult, just the increase was not so nice. There wasn’t something like a way so I was surprised as I recognized from the point I had to find my routes through the bushes… there was a route! Someone seemed to be here before and made it before I did.


It must be some months or weeks ago until the last one went into the same direction as I did, still I had to cut several branches. But it didn’t took a lot of time until I reached just a more or less plain area with grasses and some trees.


A Buddha statue in the distance...

A Buddha statue in the distance…steppe

The top was still in distance but the panorama was amazing. I had an overview from the submontane rice fields till the sea and the islands – on the other side were some other hills and a big statue of Buddha. I might go there anywhen.


I took some pictures and tried to catch the atmosphere.




Island in the far distance...

Island in the far distance…

Even though the raining season should be over already – there were loads of clouds. I was afraid there might be rain or even a thunderstorm but fortunately it kept more or less calm. Still… If I would have done that in Austria I’d had risked my life – a thunderstorm on a mountain can kill you.

But then I recognized a bird flying in the sky. A huge one, it might have been an eagle. A majestic animal going with the wind without moving its wings. I saw it as a good sign and kept on my way.

The climb wasn’t difficult. Unlike in Mui Ne the weather was cool so the trek didn’t affect me that much.



At its top the area was like in a dream. Windswept trees in a steppe full of grasses. In the background the sea, the clouds and the mountains of a even bigger chain. Their pinnacles hidden in the clouds, so I couldn’t estimate their height.

I did a short break. There wasn’t much time to get back, I was late already. Dawn might be in less than one hour.

Just… where was the way? There wasn’t anything such ways in that part of the mountain. I kept on trying to trace my steps back. With little success. I had no real idea where I was.

Due to the feared thunderstorm and the lack of bushes and trees I let my heavy scythe on one of the trees after the timber limit, so I could predict the way back and I won’t have to carry more than necessary. Now… I could have done an emergency ascend – but without a machete or something similar through the bushes? That wouldn’t be so nice.


_DSC0387_01_miniSuddenly I had an idea. I still had about half an hour left until I the darkness would have set. During heading to the top I took some pictures of the way. I could use those ones to get the right perspective for my way back. It was better than nothing, but it was no success. I could have estimated the angle of the way up from my memories but at least I had another way to check if I was right or not.

Aufstieg__DSC0229_miniAt the end I was just walking on a arête, trying to escape from darkness and the rain which started. It wasn’t the quality of the rain. Just thin drops. It was more the quantity. So many so little drops. My glasses were full of water and I had to clean them every ten minutes. The clock reached 6 o’clock. Due to the cloudy weather it was darker, but the light was able to spread longer, so suddenly I saw it. No doubt – my scythe!

This meant two things: First: I was back on my way. Second: I had my scythe back!

Fortunately the night wasn’t so dark and I could still see the way I had to go through the forest. Everything was wet but I was glad to be back on my way and safe in a few minutes.

The lights of the night already started to light up the surroundings. Everything was turned into a dark blue from the cold rain and the dark night.

Now I knew – I should have needed a spray or something similar to mark my steps every few hundred meters. I did quite well, going down and promised myself – I’ll buy some graffiti and I will use it.

I didn’t appreciate very much the rocky part of the road which had some small gullies which were bridged by wooden boards. At least they were bridged.

In the first shop I found I got myself a blue spray. Maybe if you start to go hiking, you will see my ways…


Another Phan Thiet Story… [Experimental]

I recognized in my treasure chest were still some pictures of Phan Thiet which weren’t published yet. I did some experimental photos at the ruins of the Cham towers:

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It impressed me quite much what you could get if you play just a bit with the colours:

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The results were imposing! I started to play a bit more around and out of this (very very very very boring) picture:


I got that:

(Almost) No drugs were used to create this picture
(Almost) No drugs were used to create this picture

(You shouldn’t look at it for too long)

The one thing I like the most about photography is the fact your possibilities are almost infinite. And the more you keep on trying the more different results you’re able to accomplish. I hate nothing more than photographers whose pictures all look exactly the same.

I always keep on trying to improve myself. Light is in fact only the multiplication of frequency and the length of an electromagnetic radiation. Why not putting the one up and the other down as it pleases me?

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Also here we have the regular version to compare:


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I was still in time to be there for the sunset. As in my previous article mentioned the view there was amazing. The pictures got nice and by editing it, I recognized how much a just a different colour can make out of a picture.

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There is something like a light balance. With the light balance you are able to change the „temperature“ of a picture, so it might look colder or warmer. This can change the completely atmosphere and also the feeling whether it might be taken in summer or in winter (even thought you might have never seen a green dawn before…).


Also a nice atmosphere:


Another fact about photography is the idea behind it. It works pretty much exactly as our eyes. Just with several things which might not exist in nature. The idea of a long exposure.

To get an idea between a „normal“ and a long exposure and how it might look when we would have the ability to see the light slowly I recommend you to have a look a the article about Hô-Chi-Minh-City. In the stop-motions there I played a bit with long exposure.

In Phan Thiet I didn’t make any long exposure stop motions, but I took some nice pictures of the vehicles on the street. (Even though most of them weren’t very happy with a man standing in the middle of the road capturing the traffic).

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There is an interesting temple on the top of the hill… Here some yet unpublished files:

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By the way… Oppa Gangnam Style!


A journey to Mui Ne & Phan Thiet

My journeys brought me from the frenetic traffic of Hô-Chi-Minh-Stadt to the (russian) tourist city of Mui Ne.
The decision whether to go there or not was not so easy. Usually I avoid such tourist places and try to find regions which are closer to the locals and more far from the foreigners.

Despite that I was quite fascinated of the dunes which should be in the surroundings of Mui Ne and I decided to give it a try. And my conclusio is: It was worth it!
Also it was great fun to explore the surroundings independently. I guess it might have been more boring for me if I’d have decided to book tours. Mui Ne has some very interesting sights, even though, they are kind of small. You can choose several ones during a day and you’d be much happier as you can stay as long as you prefer and come and leave when it’s pleasent for you.

On the first day I went to a natural rubber plantation (which will be discussend in another article – it is too far away from Mui Ne to describe it here…). Just the way back was pretty awesome. The area is very famous for it’s large dragon fruit plantations. I liked them during daytime but they weren’t so fascinating to me. But during the night the atmosphere turned 180° around. Due to the flowers of the plant bloom when it’s dark they put rows of bulbs beneath the plants to simulate „daylight“. This was one of the most interesting motives I ever had.


The first idea in Mui Ne was just simple – I wanted to see the whole bay of Mui Ne. For that purpose I just drove along the street until I reached the end and finito. But the place was so beautiful. An area where the land hits the sea and almost no tourists have ever been before. For fun I walked along a bit and discovered there was a cemetery.

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Never before I’ve seen a cemetery by the sea and it was very imposing to me.

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_DSC0210The graves were placed to look into the eternety of the horizon, which made me reflective. It seemed some people thought much about death and came to the result it might be a good idea to lie in a place where you able to watch beautiful things.


So I wandered along the beach and shot pictures of this „cemetery“ which looked more like a place of nature where some people decided to die. Nothing was in order like on an ordinary cemetery – and exactly that gave the place its atmosphere.




At the end I reached the coast where the power of the ocean hit the rocks. More than once the waves were strong enough to skyrock several meters in the air. By photographing it… I got… well, a bit wet. Poseidon seems to be stronger than I had expected.

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In the evening I went to Phan Thiet which is the neighbour-city of Mui Ne.

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It has more possibilities of getting food for a fair price. But it seems that evening I was not the only one who decided to go shopping.

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Anywhen the police started to end the jam and send some people in the other direction. Such as me.

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Great! I had no idea about the geography of the region and had to do a night trip to nowhere. Of course I knew in which direction Mui Ne was, so I made several attempts to get a road but 3 out of 4 tries failed. The last one led me to a long countryside highway and suddenly a junction with my preferred direction appeared – but what was that behind it? A huge mountain in the moonlight. Mt. Tà Zôn – I couldn’t really guess its height but I knew – only one of us could be the one. Tomorrow I’ll defeat you.


Lucky me I got along the right side and arrived good at home.


The next day I discovered several quarries in the region. I wondered whether it was possible still to climb the mountain. Some nice men helped me to find the right way and the adventure could start!





_DSC0510The next day was hard. Due to the climate it appeared very difficult for me to climb up Tà Zôn. Hot, no shades and very humid was the day and I suffered. I made breaks, chose the wrong path and fought my way trough stones, thorns and the hot Vietnamese sun. And my prize was the pinnacle with an antenna.

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I ran out of water but the nice guy who lived there gave some of his.



Some last pictures and I went down the right way.




I let the day end by going to the so called „Fairy Spring“ which is a small waterfall.

It appears to me waterfalls are not so common here in SEA as they are in Europe. In Europe nobody would care about such a small stream, but here it’s the attraction #1. But I have to say the way was pretty nice.

The next day I wanted to see the dunes and found out some interesting information which might not be known by everyone who comes to here.


_DSC0849_DSC0920There are more than just the „red“ and the „white“ dunes. The white dunes turn a bit into yellow (but are still impressive), the red dunes are orange and look a bit red during noon and the real red dunes are hidden between the two parts of Mui Ne.

I love the desert. And I wandered around the orange/red dunes for a long while, discovering the area and feeling the spirit of the desert again… The last time I’ve been there was 2010 in Egypt…

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Red Sand through the "red" sand

Red Sand through the „red“ sand



Well... Physics can be a swine. A sledge doesn't work if you are to heavy

Well… Physics can be a swine. A sledge doesn’t work if you are to heavy


The real red ones don’t seem to interest anyone. They are even building a street through them…

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Still, I liked the place.

How can't you like that place? There might be surprises everywhere...

How can’t you like that place? There might be surprises everywhere… On the highway?

The white dunes were of course the most popular among the tourists. I even met a Vietnamese couple who married there. Most people come here during the morning when the light is a bit blurred and gives them the right colour and shapes. I just enjoyed it from the distance – at the dunes itself too many tourists would have ruined my impressions.

Besides that there is a small lake with some lotus flowers.. What does a lake here…?

I discovered the whole surroundings as well and found several small dunes, every one unique, some between houses, some between the step.

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The highway led me along bush-dragons to Phan Thiet where I spent the dawn at the ruins of the ancient Cham culture. Today there are only some towers left. From a time the Cham were still Hindus. Today most of them are Muslims, so it was also a strange experience to be at a location of a lost culture…

A Vietnamese pagoda is directly beneath and the community share their services here.

The sun went down and the monks started chanting…

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_DSC0791_DSC0094The next day I wanted to see another mountain: Tà Cú. It is famous for Vietnam’s largest sleeping Buddha-statue. And… by the way – the view from the mountain is one of the best in the whole region. I decided not using the cable car and went by feed. Not such a good idea, the way was long and bad. But I found a nice fella who made my day happy by being my model 🙂

Buddha on the way...

Buddha on the way…

Besides high priced soda there was the statue on the other side of the mountain. A giant sleeping Buddha.

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On the way back some monkeys were following me, but unfortunately they were just too quick to get pictured by me.

In the evening I went with a friend of mine to the port of Phan Thiet. During the night it is very quiet and resting. Everything starts in the early morning when the fishermen start their early day. I preferred the night to capture my desire.

The port is huge. During my trip through the Mekong Delta I saw my first Vietnamese ships. Here were much more and as colourful as in the Delta.



A Vietnamese pagoda is directly beneath and the community share their services here.