Friday, August 22, 2014

A Tropical Paradise

My Dad is my most faithful blog reader.  While I was visiting my parents in Vietnam, my Dad wanted me to share with you, my blog friends, his and my Mom’s tropical paradise in Mui Ne (a fishing village about 150 miles from Ho Chi Minh City).  It's very different from my farm and agricultural community in central Virginia.

Gorgeous beaches ...

Bustling Fishing Village ...

These dinghies are used to carry fish from fishing boats to shore.

Gentle and friendly people ...

Fabulous fruits ...

Picturesque landscape ...

The soil here is fertile and the climate is temperate year-round.  The landscape is covered with lush greenery dotted with brilliantly colored flora.  

Diverse vegetation ...

It rained almost every day in July and August.  This tropical rain could be a 20 minute refreshing shower at mid-day or it could be a torrential downpour that lasted an hour or more and during which you could barely see 15 ft in front of you.

The plants themselves range from those that are drought tolerant, such as the dragon fruits ...

... to plants that grow in an aquatic environment, such as rice ...

My Dad loves the simplicity of the green landscape that thrives in Mui Ne.  Although the greenery appears simple from afar, a closer look reveals diverse vegetation, often with intricate leave structures and a wide spectrum of green colors.

My Mom, on the other hand, loves the colorful flowers that shine happily under the tropical sun.  Although only a few varieties grow here, they grow lavishly and freely, flaunting their brilliant colors and unusual shapes.

My Parents' Garden

My parents’ garden reflects their harmonious, though clearly individual preferences.  My parents’ house is on a hill, about 30 feet above street level.  

They (actually, probably my Mom) came up with a brilliant solution for their entrance: a terraced garden.  After you enter the front gate, you climb a set of stairs made of old bricks, on the right of which is a terraced garden and on the left dwarf clumping bamboo (bamboo has cultural and economic significance in Vietnam and in other Asian countries). 

The terraced garden begins with a fish pond with two streams gently flowing from two urns, one on each end.  The pond itself has two tiers, creating a gentle waterfall.

The soft sound of water welcomes you as it beckons you to linger awhile.

The soothing water theme extends to a second tier, which showcases three simple circular pools of water lilies on a broad plain lawn.  

Water lily flowers symbolize enlightenment, purity of the soul.  These flowers have a similar significance in many Asian cultures.

At each corner of the second terrace are two gardens consisting of predominantly non-flowering plants of multiple shades of green and of varying heights.

The circular pattern of the water lilies pools on the second tier is repeated on a third tier where hibiscus flowers take center stage.  (Unfortunately, before my arrival a storm destroyed almost all of the delicate blooms.)

As you reach the top of the stairs, to your right is a tropical garden with swaying palm trees of several varieties, extravagant bougainvillea, joyful allamanda, commanding heliconias, and graceful orchids, among many other plants the name of which I don’t know.

By contrast, as you look left towards the front yard, you see a lush lawn with three islands of trees, shrubs, plants and boulders, again, of multiple shades of green.  The intent here is to maintain a simple garden with mainly non-flowering trees and other vegetation, except for a few insignificant flowering shrubs which add a touch of color to the landscape.  

Just as the fish pond by the entrance beckons you to linger, this front yard beckons you to settle into one of the recliners on the veranda and lounge away a lazy afternoon.
...and that was exactly ...
where you could find me during much of my visit

Lucky me!

 Have a great week

I am linking with  

Skywatch Friday     Floral Friday Fotos      Orange You Glad It's Friday
Weekend Reflections       Pink Saturday    Mosaic Monday    Our World Tuesday                   


  1. Hi Christa,

    Oh my goodness!! What a beautiful home and property your parents have, and they should be very proud to have kept it looking so well tended. I love all the different levels, each one with its own feature. The sound of water flowing is so calming, and it would definitely keep me near it. I am amazed at some of the similarities between Vietnam and Greece with regards to flowers, sharing so many of the ones your parents have planted, my favourite for its sweet and light scent is the plumeria. Your photos of the land and the water, the people and the produce are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing your visit to your homeland!

    Happy weekend!


  2. Wow! Gorgeous flowers and plants. Your parents have an amazing garden. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Yes lucky you : the place is amazing ! What a great stay you must have had... I like the fountain very much.

  4. Christa--these pictures are extraordinary. I especially love the ones with the boats and the one with the child and father on the motor bike. Your parents terraced garden is lovely--such a spectacular variety of colors and textures. I would be on that veranda all day (and evening). Thanks so much for sharing this, I would love to read more about it.

  5. Welcome back! I knew we would see beautiful photos from your travels....but this surpasses my wildest expectations!

  6. Well... this is paradise, for sure!! Indeed, you're lucky... and so true saying: "Water lily flowers symbolize enlightenment, purity of the soul. These flowers have a similar significance in many Asian cultures..."
    In this summer I went in holiday in a "lucky" place called Felix and there I found (like always) lots of water lilies, a very unique variety that grows in thermal water!! so I considered myself lucky to see them, once again, and i already expressed that in a previous post, too!!
    But your parents place is fantastic with the mix of gorgeous landscapes, views, flowers, all sorts of plants, fruits (I recognised only the watermellona and bananas)... you must be very proud of them (the parents)!! Great post... So impressed..all the best to all of you and have a sunny summer weekend, too!

  7. Oh Wow Christa. Thanks for sharing your parents beautiful home and country. Such a beautiful and diverse area.

  8. What a beautiful place to live . The beach is beautiful. I loved seeing the people shots. And your parents home is lovely.. Georgeous images.. Have a happy weekend!

  9. Lovely, lovely images, Christa. Your fishing village photos are exquisite. I love all the boats - especially those funky round ones. Gorgeous! And your parents' garden is to die for. Really beautiful. One or other or both of them has/ have done a great job designing a little corner of paradise here on earth. And well done you: you've given us a wonderful, unique window into your family life in beautiful Vietnam. All the best, Bonny

  10. Oh wow, what a beautiful oasis! Your parents have such a gorgeous home, so lush and green. I really enjoyed all your pictures and the tour of this beautiful country. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. I've never pictured Vietnam like this at all. For me it was always about Jungles and such from living during the Vietnam war time. This is a stunning country. The fishing boats were awesome to see like that. May I just say your parents home is amazing, gorgeous and a place I could relax at for sure. Also some divine flowers and unusual plants/fruits like the Dragon Fruit. This was a very enjoyable post.

  12. I think I need to come with you next visit. This is all just amazing.

    And I bet you ate delicious food all day long.

    Heaven, Truly.

    xo J

  13. This is all so stunning. Your parents have a beautiful home. Their garden is breathtaking, the love and care shows and the fishing village is so picturesque. A very beautiful place.

  14. I have heard that Vietnam has spectacular scenery. From your photos I can see this is true. How lovely is your parents' garden. Love the terraced gardens and that wonderful covered terrace for lounging. So glad you share these photos with us.

  15. Oh my goodness, this was an amazing delightful post!! I stopped in as your were next to me over at Mosaic Monday. Now I am curious, why do they live there, and how long? Everything is simply amazing. Totally amazing...

  16. How sweet that your dad is a fan of your blogging, it is a nice thing to share with your parents. Your family does live in a beautiful part of the world. thanks for sharing with us in sky watch Friday
    my new blog post is here:

  17. this was fascinating...what a wonderful descriptive post and photos : )

  18. Your parents have a lovely home and gardens. Hello to your Dad from Ontario, Canada!
    The fishing industry is very colourful along with the flowers of the region, most of them new to me.
    Thank your for linking to MM.

  19. Beautiful! All so very Beautiful! thank you for posting to Our World Tuesday :)

  20. wow, this was a packed post! the area is a bit of paradise, for sure! the lush vegetation and prolific blooms are just amazing. what a great place to visit - and family, too boot! :)

  21. Hello Christa
    Vietnam has always been on my list of "one day I'll visit".
    With your beautiful photos, it's calling out to me even more!
    I love the fishing boats - those round ones are different... we are very keen boaties so life about the sea always interests me.

    What a gorgeous garden, your parents obviously love it and spend a lot of time tending and caring for it!
    A wonderful mosaic display giving us a good glimpse of their life in Vietnam.


  22. My goodness what a beautiful colorful, and the places and people just wonderful. I love the flowers and your parent's garden!

  23. What a great blog post. It really looks like a corner of paradise. The flower photos are amazing.
    Many thanks for participating in Floral Friday Fotos.

  24. What lovely photos, Christa! So tropical. I've never seen the round dinghies before. Your parent's home is so inviting.

  25. Hi Christa, the photos are absolutely beautiful. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  26. Wow .....this is fascinating.....great images!

    Thanks for sharing the beauty.

  27. I'm glad your father suggested that you photograph the fishing village. Having not been to Vietnam, you've given me a little glimpse of its beauty. Your parents garden and home are magnificent, a different kind of beauty than the earlier pictures.


  28. These photos show the beauty of Vietnam. What wonderful beaches and pretty flowers. And your family has a beautiful home and gardens. I've enjoyed your tour. Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Diane

  29. Hi Christa. What a beautiful country. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful shore scenes and your parents home, which is gorgeous. Really interesting post. Thanks for your visit and comment as well. Pam

  30. Christa...I am speechless....Your photos are absolutely stunning! Such diversity ...from plants, people, boats, flowers, and your parent's amazing home! I could not choose a favorite! Thank you for sharing such spectacular photos of a place that I, along with many Americans, have no idea about! You are so kind to share your wonderful trip! Greetings to your father and mother from hot, sunny South Georgia USA! Smiles...Susan
    P.S. I think we can see where you get your love of plants and your wonderful eye for design!

  31. Hi Crista, I really loved your careful tour of a place I will probably never see. I loved the colors on the boats! Quite a bit of the vegetation was familiar to me, because my mom used to live in South Florida and loved to garden, and now, even though I live fairly north in latitude in Seattle, our local conservatory (the Volunteer Park Conservatory) has quite a few of the beautiful plants you photograph so beautifully here. Thank you very much. This took a lot of work!

  32. Great pictures of beautiful places and plants!

  33. How very lovely. The flowers and fruit look very similar to those found in my homeland, Jamaica. Thanks for a beautiful post. (Thank your parents too!)

  34. Wow; A Tropical Paradise it is♡♡♡ I truly enjoyed the tour of whole places with your gorgeous pictures♪ Beach is wonderful and your parents' property is magnificent; the terraced garden is fantastic. Oh, I wish I could visit :-)
    I'm happy to know that your flight with ANA was a comfortable one(^_^)v

    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  35. WOW! It's incredibly beautiful there! Beautiful beaches and gorgeous blossoms!

  36. What a beautiful home and a beautiful country. With beautiful photgraphs too. I have never been to Vietnam but would certainly like to do so after seeing your pictures.

  37. This is such a beautiful place! All these flowers and plants, the beaches ... just breathtaking! Really a paradise and a place I would like to visit!

  38. Wow, what a beautiful place and what a wonderful garden!

  39. Wow! is right ~ You are blessed with a beautiful home of your parents ~ and gorgeous gardens ~ beautiful photography ~ Happy Weekend to you ~

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  40. I have been to Ho Chi Minh, i guess that is the Mekong River which we cruised to an island at the middle just to see people making coconut sweets. Haha as if we here in the Philippines dont know how to make that! But i enjoyed the company of international tourists on that tour. Your family is well-to-do, your parents house and property looks like a resort. Their place is so beautiful. And your photos are great.

  41. a beautiful garden and landscape and your photos are fantastic, makes fun to see them....