Vietnam is also famous for canoes. If we ever see Vietnam postcards in souvenir shops at Hanoi for example, one of the most famous images would be women wearing nón lá (Vietnam traditional hat) paddling the canoe along the river, canal, or lake.
After several days in busy and noisy Hanoi, I decided to go to Ninh Binh, a rural area about two and half hour south side, by train from Hanoi. Ninh Binh is also one of the famous tourist destinations in Vietnam. Many tourist agencies in Hanoi had photos of these famous destinations hanging on the wall, such as Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Da Nang, Hue, and Ninh Binh. I made the decision based on my small research on Google and imagining that I could record Vietnam rural sounds in this area, including the sounds of water and canoes being paddled around the canals. One of the most famous areas at Ninh Binh, for its beautiful scenery and canals, is Tam Coc.
At Tam Coc, I set my microphone beside the canals and recorded the surrounding sounds. It was really meditative and wonderful. The canals were surrounded by rock cliffs. It gave the chirping sound of birds around Tam Coc a very nice reverb. The water, paddled canoes, tourists talking, and people on the phone (Vietnamese people usually talk very loud on the phone. It is a part of Vietnamese culture I think) were all captured very cleanly on my recording device. Ninh Binh was very quiet compared to Hanoi. When I was staying at Ninh Binh, I felt as if my ears were able to rest for a while. It was like a sanctuary. And when the night came, we could hear the crickets, frogs, and dogs from far away in a very peaceful night. In Vietnam during the not so cold winter season, Ninh Binh was perfect. I really loved the soundscape of Ninh Binh. Aside from canoe, cricket, and frog sounds, I also recorded cows, farmers, people catching fish by traditional nets, temple bells, etc. Based on the recording of soundscape we would know exactly the difference of cities and rural areas.