Posts Tagged With: dance

Exploring North Vietnam: Sensational Sapa

About five hours drive (or 8 hours overnight train trip) north of Hanoi is the mountain hideaway town of Sapa, in the shadow of Fan Si Pan—one of Vietnam’s tallest mountains. This is a land of steep hillside rice terraces and colorfully dressed hill tribes like the Black Hmong and Dao. There’s a beautiful lake, of course, French colonial buildings, and a town that’s constantly under construction (like the rest of Vietnam). We roamed the town, took in a buffet dinner and dance show at our hotel, and visited an eclectic mostly-outdoor market. I had come down with a bad case of bronchitis, so couldn’t hike to the hill-tribe villages as we had planned. A local doc gave me some antibiotics, which perked me up for awhile.

So, let me take you on a photo tour of Sapa. As always, click on any photo to enlarge and then arrow back and forth. Please enjoy.

Sapa lake and French colonial buildings

Categories: Architecture, Art, Asia, History, Photography, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized, Vietnam | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lovely Hula Girl

My Lovely Hula Girl photo sold to Hawaiian Airlines for their coffee-table book celebrating 85 years of service to Hawaii.

My Lovely Hula Girl photo sold to Hawaiian Airlines for their coffee-table book celebrating 85 years of service to Hawaii.

Categories: Books, culture, Hawaii, History, Photography, Published Work, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life—Hawaii

Hawaii is like no other place in the world. Spending time at the beach is commonplace for most residents. Both children and adults dance hula at every opportunity—at birthday parties, weddings, other special occasions or just while enjoying the aforementioned beach time. At any given moment, there are more unique, fun and (mostly) free activities and events than can fit into anyone’s busy schedule. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Hawaii consider all this part of our everyday life.

Hawaii Theater, downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu’s renovated Hawaii Theater is a great place to catch a play, dance performance or music recital. And there are plenty of restaurants nearby.

surfers carrying boards in Waikiki

Surfers carry their boards across Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki during a break in one of Hawaii’s many parades.

rodeo in Waimanalo, Oahu

Hawaii could once claim the largest cattle ranch in the U.S. (yes, bigger than those in Texas). Parcels of it have since been sold, but there are still plenty of ranches and cowboys in the Islands, and they love their rodeos.

street musicians, downtown Honolulu

Impromptu street musicians in downtown Honolulu

children looking in a cockpit

Checking out the cockpit of a flight simulator at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

costumed gecko at Missouri memorial

The gecko is Hawaii’s unofficial state lizard. Here’s one, doing his job by posing with a local visitor to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor.

tattooed man with fluffy dog

It seems that everyone these days sports an elaborate tattoo. Some are just for decoration, but others follow Polynesian tradition and are rich with symbolic meaning.

hula Lei Day

May 1 in Hawaii is not May Day—it’s Lei Day. Another excuse to wear colorful flower lei and dance hula.

keiki hula, Lei Day

When it comes to hula, everybody gets into the act, including these cute keiki (children)

Paniolo on a Maui ranch

Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on the job at a Maui ranch.

water rocket launchers

Playtime with water-filled soda bottles and rocket launchers (air pumps).

juggler Waikiki

At any given time in Kapiolani Park under the shadow of Waikiki’s Diamond Head, you can see jugglers, slackliners and other performers practicing just for fun.

Chinatown restaurant

Island folks love to get together and eat out, and with so many enticing Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Hawaiian and other ethnic restaurants to choose from, who can blame them.

Hawaiian checkers

In Hawaii, we don’t just play checkers. We play checkers with shells.

canoe festival red sail

When you live on a small island, the ocean is part of your home and your lifestyle. Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands settled Hawaii by traveling here in outrigger canoes.

Categories: culture, Hawaii, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Turkey: So You Think You Can Dance

A belly dancer wow’s the audience in an underground nightclub in Cappadocia, Turkey.

I wish I’d taken a video. Still images don’t do justice to the energy and fluid dynamics of these folk dancers in an underground nightclub in Cappadocia, Turkey. Especially the men. They seemed to have springs in their legs, like Russian Cossack dancers.

Our guide said, “the belly dancer is not very good. She is the daughter of the previous belly dancer who retired.” But we thought she was good. At least she was flashy, loving the attention of all the men, dancing close to them, provocatively. And I loved her costume.

The room was divided into five alcoves with two sets of tiered tables in each. I was fortunate to be sitting in a center alcove on the front end of the second (higher) tier, so I had a good view. Our busload of mostly Australian tourists shared an alcove with another, rowdier group from Spain, several of whom were dancing at their table. The Germans filled up the far right alcove. Italians at far left. As a rough estimate, I’m guessing that there were about 400 people in that room. And all around, raki (very strong Turkish national drink) flowed freely.

When the show finally ended, we boarded our bus for the ride back to our hotel, all of us singing Waltzing Matilda and other Aussie songs.

The next day we visited a shop that sold the most beautiful, wonderfully decorated ceramics. And the woman behind the checkout counter, barely recognizable in street clothes, was our belly dancer. It seems that entertainers everywhere must support themselves with day jobs.

The ladies take center stage

These guys were super athletic

Categories: Architecture, culture, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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