Pedal Power in Tam Coc, Vietnam

Moving north on our quest to reach the northern tip Vietnam we stopped off at the small town of Tam Coc located about 130 km south of the capital Hanoi. Notoriously known as the setting for the new Kong Skull Island blockbuster, we were immediately drawn to the beauty and uniqueness of the place. The landscape struck us as a sort of terrestrial Ha Long Bay. The flat plains and rice paddies were every so often interrupted by imposing karst towers which were then fractured by snaking rivers. Caves also littered the landscape, carved into the karsts through hundreds of years of erosion.

Whilst exploring the landscape we took a boat trip along the Ngo Dong river which weaved its way through the karsts and rice paddies. Powering the tin boat was a young local woman who rowed the vessel with her feet. A foot powered launch was something that I have never seen before and so I was incredibly intrigued by the way she skillfully moved the boat through the water. On closer inspection her technique was revealed as she cupped her bare feet around the oars providing leverage to move them forwards and backwards.

This sound recording was taken as we rowed up the Ngo Dong river through the karsts and rice paddies. In this recording you can hear the sounds of the tin boat splashing against the river and the pedal power of the local woman who captained our boat.




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