Below is a small sample of the content: Section 4: Candanchu to Gavarnie : [ 75km; m, hrs ] 4. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading This is great, thanks! Paul Atkinson June 4, Pirineum June 18, Paul Atkinson June 18, Pirineum June 27, Comment here? Paul Atkinson June 27, Pirineum June 28, Paul Atkinson June 28, Hike Hitching June 5, Paul Atkinson June 5, Hike Hitching June 11, Paul Atkinson June 11, Pirineum August 24, Paul Atkinson August 24, I guess this is a more general comment for people planning to do the HRP: Due to fear of the gathering clouds, I took 5.
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OutdoorsMH One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression. RSS One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression. Section Hiker. Sole, mackerel, anchovy, tuna, squid, sardine, crab, and lobster are only a few. The tiny shrimp and oysters from the China Sea are particularly luscious, as are soups prepared from turtles caught on the beaches and in coastal waters. The Vietnamese excel at preparing fish. Sometimes the fish is sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and vermicelli; or it may be slowly cooked with tomatoes, salted bamboo shoots, carrots, and leeks.
Carp are often fried with celery. Eels make a banquet dish when sauteed in a sauce made of sugar, vinegar, rice flour, and sour-and- sweet soybean sauce. Another specialty is eel wrapped in aromatic leaves and grilled over charcoal, or boiled with green bananas, veg- etables, saffron, and onions. A fermented sauce made of fish and salt — nuoc mam — is almost as much a staple of diet as rice. It is served almost everywhere and with almost every meal. Many Westerners develop quite a taste for it. It is roasted or sauteed with various vegetables and herbs.
Lean pork baked in a crisp loaf with various seasonings, including cinnamon, is a tasty dish known as cha-lua. A popular beef dish is made by cutting raw beef in thin slices and pouring boiling water over it, then promptly eating it with a dres- sing of soybean sauce and ginger. One of these is a beef soup; in another, beef is cut into chunks or sliced, or else ground and formed in little balls or patties.
Each has its own delicious sauce. Tea at All Times Tea is the principal Vietnamese beverage in the morning, after- noon, and evening — for any occasion or no occasion at all. At mealtime it is usually served after the meal rather than with it. Chinese tea is much appreciated, particularly when flavored with lotus or jasmine, but it is too expensive for most people. Tea, incidentally, is an acceptable gift under almost any circumstance. In towns and cities you can generally get cognac, whiskey, French wines, and champagne.
Alcoholic beverages produced locally are principally beer and ruou nep, made from fermented glutinous rice. Festivals and Lunar Calendar Outside of the larger cities and the relatively few Christian areas, the routine of work goes on day after day without a pause on the seventh. From dawn to dark the father tills the fields or casts his nets for fish; the women and all but the very young children help in the paddies or tend to household duties.
The following poem expresses the ritual of Vietnamese life and festivals : January, celebrate the New Year at home; February, gambling; March, local festivals; April, cook bean pudding; Celebrate the feast of Doan Ngo at the return of May; June, buy longans and sell wild cherries; At the mid- July full moon, pardon the wandering spirits; August, celebrate the lantern festival; At the return of September, sell persimmons with the others; 43 Tet Nguyen Dan New Year is observed quietly by some.
All of the festivals mentioned in the poem are based on the lunar calendar. This causes the dates to vary from year to year by our calendar, like our Easter. The Vietnamese lunar calendar, like the Chinese, begins with the year B. It has 12 months of 29 or 30 days each, totaling days. Every third year or so an extra month is slipped in be- tween the third and fourth months to reconcile the lunar calendar with the solar calendar.
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An advantage of the lunar calendar at least to moon-minded people is that you can count on a full moon on the 15th day of each month. Instead of centuries of years each, the Vietnamese calendar is divided into year periods. Each year in one of these periods is designated by one of five elements and one of 12 animals: Wood, fire, earth, metal, water; and rat, buffalo, tiger, cat, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, chicken, dog, and pig.
It marks the beginning of spring, and by the solar calendar usually falls toward the end of January or in early February. All work usually stops for the first three days, and most shops are closed. Vietnamese tradition attaches great significance to the first visitor of the New Year. He is thought to influence the happiness or well- being of the family during the entire year. A happy man with a good name like Phuoc happiness is preferable to a sad man or one named Cho dog. In fact, some families go out of their way to invite a propitious first guest, and to discourage all others from entering before him.
The cake consists of a combination of sticky rice, pork, and soybeans wrapped in green bamboo or rush leaves, and then boiled. At the time of the New Year, new clothes are in order and old debts are settled. The festival begins with veneration at the family shrine and pub- 47 lie worship with people carrying lighted candles and incense. There are presents for the children, feasts, and gay, noisy public celebra- tions.
Firecrackers are forbidden during wartime, but there is always the sound of gongs and cymbals and the traditional unicorn dance. The unicorn brings luck, especially to those who hang money from their windows for the unicorn to eat! Religion Can Be Plural Instead of saying one religion is right and all others wrong, the Vietnamese are more apt to take the position that one is right and another is not wrong either. For instance, a man who makes offer- ings in a Buddhist temple probably also pays reverence to the an- cestral altar in his own home in keeping with the teachings of Con- fucius.
You may even find Christ, Confucius, Mohammed, and Buddha all honored in the same temple. Consequently, it is not too meaningful to say that a certain per- centage of the Vietnamese are Buddhists and another percent some- thing else. The percentages may be made up of individuals who are both Buddhists and something else.
Religion has been a significant factor in the Vietnam way of life throughout history. The present culture and customs of these proud and sensitive people are strongly conditioned by their reli- gious beliefs. If, for instance, you did not know that the parts of the human body are believed to possess varying degrees of worthiness — starting with the head — you would not see why pat- ting a person on the head might be considered a gross insult.
Or why it would be insulting for you to sit with your legs crossed and pointed toward some individual. Either of these actions could cause you to be regarded in a poor light by Vietnamese who follow the traditional ways. Religion is an important element in the political views most Viet- namese have, and religious leaders in recent years have played an increasingly active role in Vietnamese politics.
Confucianism, a philosophy brought to Vietnam centuries ago by the Chinese, not only has been a major religion for centuries, but also has contributed immensely to the development of the cultural, moral, and political life of the country. It estab- lishes a code of relations between people, the most important being the relation between sovereign and subject, father and son, wife and husband, younger to older people, friend to friend. Teaching that disorders in a group spring from improper conduct on the part of its individual members, achievement of harmony is held to be the first duty of every Confucianist.
When he dies, the Confucianist is revered as an ancestor who is joined forever to nature. His children honor and preserve his mem- ory in solemn ancestor rites.
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At the family shrine containing the ancestral tablets, the head of each family respectfully reports to his ancestors all important family events and seeks their advice. Confucianism goes hand in hand in many Vietnamese homes with Buddhism, a religion first taught in India some 26 cen- turies ago by Prince Gautama, also known as the Gautama Buddha.
Buddhism was introduced into Vietnam about the 2nd century B. In Buddhism the individual finds a larger meaning to life by establishing identity with eternity past, present, future — through cycles of reincarnation. In the hope of eventual nirvana, that is, oneness with the universe, he finds con- solation in times of bereavement and special joy in times of wed- dings and births.
This branch regards the Gautama Buddha as only one of many Buddhas Enlightened Ones who arc manifesta- tions of the fundamental divine power of the universe. They believe that, theoretically, any person may become a Buddha, though those who attain Buddhahood are rare. Saints who earnestly strive for such perfection are known as bodhisattvas. Both Buddhas and bodhisattvas are recognized and venerated in Mahayana temples. Lesser Vehicle believers follow the teachings of Gautama and re- gard him as the only Buddha.
In the southern delta provinces of Vietnam, particularly in Vinh Binh, Ba Xuyen, and An Giang where there are large groups of ethnic Cambodians, you will often see the saffron-robed monks of the Lesser Vehicle. This branch is also found in Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos — in other words, in those countries that had a dominant Indian rather than a domi- nant Chinese historical influence.
Although the number of devout, practicing Buddhists in South Vietnam is relatively small, the great majority of the people have some sense of identification with Buddhism. In recent years, lead- ing Buddhist priests bonzes have become increasingly active in political affairs and influential in the rise and fall of South Vietna- mese governments. Christianity reached Vietnam in the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly through the efforts of Roman Catholic Spanish and Portuguese missionaries.
As a result of persistent missionary efforts — frequently in the face of persecution by emperors who feared Western political and economic control — approximately 10 percent of the population of the Republic of Vietnam are Catholics. This is the highest proportion of Catholics in any Asian country except the Philippines. At first their activities were mainly limited to the mountain tribes of the high plateaus.
With the gradual rise of American assist- ance and influence, there has been an increase in Protestant activity in the lowlands. Baptist, Mennonite, Christian and Missionary Al- liance, and Seventh Day Adventist missions now exist in several cities, and some Vietnamese Protestant students are being sent to the United States for advanced help in theological training. New Religions. In addition to the religions and philosophies brought to Vietnam from other countries, new ones were developed there. Cao Dai is a blend of the three great oriental philosophies — Con- fucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism — set in an organizational struc- ture based on that of the Roman Catholic Church.
At one time Cao Dai claimed a following of 3 million. Now the religion is less widely practiced, but you may still see Cao Dai temples throughout Vietnam. The cathedral near the city of Tay Ninh, about 55 miles northwest of Saigon, is the largest and best known. The mountain is a holy place of the Buddhist faith, one to which pilgrimages have long been made. Hoa Hao is an offshoot of Buddhism that came into being in An Giang province in southwest Vietnam in Its founder was a young man named Huynh Phu So, and he gave the new religion the name of his village of birth.
He became famous as a teacher and miracle healer, preaching that temples, rituals, and priests were not necessary to the worship of God. This greatly appealed to the poor people and peasants. Some 20 years after its founding, Hoa Hao had a million and a half or more followers, though Viet Minh Com- munists murdered the founder in and no leader of comparable stature appeared to take his place.
Education and Culture Regardless of the changes the Vietnamese have passed through from the rule of their own emperors to rule by French governors to the present republican government— one factor that has remained constant is their inherent reverence for learning. The scholar received the highest economic, social, and political rewards.
The nation was governed at all levels of administration by officials who were chosen on the basis of education alone. The aristocracy of learning wiim the only aristocracy of any continuing importance in old Vietnam. Educa tion, especially in Chinese philosophy and history, was not only prized for its own sake but was the main road to wealth, power, and social standing. With the coming of the French, the formal educational system changed considerably. Beginning in the 19th century, the French encouraged the Vietnamese to write their own language in the Latin alphabet. Public Schools.
The present school system retains sublt antially the form of the French school system. In addition, the Government is attempting to raise the literacy rate among older people through evening classes. Primary schools have a 5-year curriculum and the first three grades are compulsory for all children. Secondary schools have two divisions with a 4-year course in the first, and a 3-year course in the second. The 4-year course is divided into classical and modern sections. In addition to basic subjects, those choosing the classical course take Vietnamese literature and Chinese characters, while pupils in the modern section take history, French, and English.
The 3-year course continues the general pattern of the first, but gives students the option of continuing their language studies or of 57 substituting programs of natural science or of mathematics and philosophy.
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The goal of secondary education is to pass the stiff baccalaureate examinations required for admission to the 5-year university pro- gram or to the advanced technical schools. Private Schools, Universities.
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In addition to public schools at the primary and secondary levels, there are both religious and secular private schools. These schools follow the public-school curriculum and are regulated and subsidized by the Department of Education. In addition, there are a number of normal schools which train schoolteachers, an industrial technical school, other specialized gov- ernmental technical schools, and a school of applied arts, where the traditional fine arts of Vietnam are taught. These include gold- smithing, lacquer work, cabinetwork, and pottery making.
The National University of Vietnam in Saigon is the most impor- tant institution of higher education. There also are universities at Dalat and Hue, and several technical schools of university rank, including the National Institute of Administration in Saigon. Higher education in foreign countries is greatly sought after by advanced students. The Vietnamese Government grants passports for study abroad to students wanting to study courses not offered in Vietnam, and at least 1, to 1, Vietnamese students will be abroad in any year.
Youth Movements such as Boy Scouts, sports clubs, and sectarian organizations of the Christian and Buddhist youth have had a strong revival. A Cabinet-level agency under the Government is responsi- ble for encouraging and supporting youth activities. Their community services have included massive participation in relief operations after the disastrous floods of as well as many smaller assistance projects.
Efforts are now underway to get Vietnamese youth even more involved in the vital task of preserving national independence. A Rich Culture The admiration and honor accorded scholars by the Vietnamese extends to writers, especially poets, and the literature of the nation is rich and sensitive. The painting, sculpture, and other arts of Vietnam are vigorous and imaginative, with lively motifs of dragons, tigers, elephants, unicorns, and horses. The fabled phoenix and other birds, the tor toise, bamboo, and exotic flowers also figure in the designs.
Artists create most intricate designs, though the tools and materials they use are often very simple. The country is known for its woodcarving, mother-of-pearl inlay, lacquer and metal work. You can see the artistry of skilled metal smiths in the beautiful bronze decorations in pagodas, temples, pal aces, and public buildings, and in statues, perfume and incense burn ers, candlesticks and so on. Tin, pewter, and copper are also used to create art objects of long-enduring beauty and usefulness.
Embroidery and mat weaving are crafts widely practiced. Traditional mat decorations include the symbol for longevity, 59 Dragons guard war memorial entrance in Saigon. Theater and Music Should you get a chance to go to the theater you may enjoy the cai luong, or modern form, more than the hat boi, or classical style. The classical theater uses colorful costuming and scenery, and the plays are very tragic and dramatic. The modern theater, 60 which came into being around cuts to a minimum scenery, costumes, and stage effects, and the stories are less heroic and more realistic.
The music of Vietnam will be most strange to your curs unt il you get used to it. A scale of five notes and two semi-notes is used and the classical instruments are various stringed instruments, drums, and gongs. In the classical theater the acting is stressed wit i laments from the strings and vigorous noise from drums and gongs. They formerly lived along the coast of north and central Vietnam. About the time of Christ's birth, powerful nations like Funan and Champa forced them out of thru coastal villages into the mountains. They are estimated to mini ber almost , Depending on the tribe, their skin color varies from extremely dark to slightly bronzed white.
Some are tall and well-built, others short and slight. Their hair may be frizzy or straight; and their clothing may cover more of their bodies than your uniform does of yours, or consist of nothing more than a few beads and a g-string. The more than a score of different tribes can be grouped in two broad classifications based on language. Those in the larger group speak languages of the Mon-khmer linguistic family related to present-day Cambodian. Those in the smaller group speak languages of the Malayo-Poly- nesian linguistic family that are related to Cham.
The principal tribes speaking languages of this family are Rhade, Jarai, and Raglai. But even within a language group, people of one village some- times cannot understand those of another. If 10 to 20 miles of matted jungle trail separate the villages, there is not much communi- cation between them and language differences develop. Languages of both these two linguistic families Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian, differ greatly from Vietnamese in at least one major respect — they have no differing tones, while Vietnamese does.
Since tones are usually difficult for Americans, tribal languages should be easier for you to learn than Vietnamese. Also, none of these people ever had a written language of their own until French and American missionaries began devising them, mostly in this century. Comparatively few tribespeople know how to read, so if you want to study their language you do so by ear not by book. First of all, superstitions and fear play a heavy role in their lives. Although Christian missionary efforts have made some changes, the great majority of tribespeople are animists or spirit believers. Followers of this ancient Southeast Asian religion believe that prac- tically everything has its own spirit — a rock, for example, or a tree.
Most of the spirits are unfriendly, and tribespeople take elaborate precautions to avoid antagonizing them. On the advice of a witch doctor, a tribesman will sacrifice a pig or even a water buffalo to appease an angry spirit. On a single day one Koho village near the town of Di Linh in Lam Dong Pro- vince sacrificed 42 water buffalo to make peace with the spirits. Wealth in Jars Every tribal home has its gongs and jars, chiefly used for cere- monies and festivals. The gongs, as you guessed, are for making noise; the jars hold various household supplies and are used to brew an alcoholic holiday drink for community celebrations, like the arrival of strangers, a buffalo sacrifice, or any other likely reason.
The drink is brewed by putting the branch of a special tree or bush in the jar, then alcohol, and then filling the jar to the brim with water from a nearby creek. You then sit with the male villagers 64 in a circle around the jar. As each person drinks, a designated vlllagei uses a dipper to transfer water from a nearby pot to the jar, being careful to refill the jar to the brim each time.
Thus, the drinking may continue indefinitely, yet the jar always remains full. After the first round, you can stop drinking without giving ofTounr The drink is not strong, and should affect you only if taken in giral quantity. These drinking celebrations often accompany animal sacrifices. Raising the house provides a shaded refuge from the sun underneath the house and discourages night entrance by wild animals such as tigers.
The roofs are low and have center peaks. The Ma build their houses as long as the hillside will permit. Some, though only about six feet wide, are over feet long and accommodate several families. Each family has a separate entrance — consisting of stairway, platform, and doorway along one of the 65 two long sides of the structure. Each family also has its own hearth.
There are no partitions and you can see from one end to the other. If you plan to visit tribespeople in any region you will receive an even warmer reception if you bring gifts of medicine or salt. Local aspirin is quite inexpensive and salt is extremely cheap, but tribes- people prize both items highly because they have almost no money. Many Vietnamese, like many of us, would be flattered to have their pictures taken and given to them right away, but tribesmen, because of their spirit beliefs, may be- come quite upset.
To them you have captured their spirit and im- prisoned it in the picture. One well-meaning missionary who handed a tribesman such a print was arrested by the whole village and only set free after he had agreed to pay for a sacrificial pig in atonement. Saigon offers fascinating shops and markets; Hu6, great sight- seeing possibilities. Some are always accessible. Access to others depends on the military situation. Saigon — Cholon Saigon is the capital and largest city of Vietnam.
It is a busy commercial port and has all of the hust Ip and bustle of a port city plus a lot of color and confusion uniquely its own. The water traffic on the river includes ocean-going vessels as well as assorted small boats, junks, and fishing craft. There are motor scooters, pedicabs, bicycles, automobiles— and pedestrians in Asian or Western dress or something in between. From the sidelines, the relaxed patrons of the many sidewalk cafes sip their tea or beer and watch the world go by.
Saigon has museums where you can see relics of past civilizations, 67 including the Cham. Or you may wander along Duong Tu Do Freedom Street , the fashionable shopping center, theater, and cafe area. At one end of Tu Do stands the post office and Catholic Cathedral.
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Not far from the Cathedral is the executive mansion, named Independence Palace. A place you cannot miss is the Saigon Central Market. Here, under a single roof of a clean-lined modern building, you can buy an amazing variety of things: fish, brassware, vegetables, a length of cloth, and a hundred other necessities or luxury items. The excellent restaurants of both Saigon and Cholon will tempt you.
Try the specialties of the house but remember to be wary of raw vegetables or unpeeled fruits and never eat raw pork. Excellent French cooking vies with interesting Vietnamese dishes and in Cholon you will find Chinese delicacies such as sharkfin soup and Szechwan duck. Hue Hue, the former royal capital, is located at the other end of the country near the North Vietnam border.
Be sure to examine the remains of the citadel built on the model of Peking. Nearly buildings were clustered in this section until the Communists blew them up in in an attempt to sever Vietnam from its past. The Government has restored a few of the buildings. In front of the royal citadel, sampans drift on the Perfume Rivet as it makes its slow way to the nearby sea.
Small market-boats ply the river and will offer you bottled drinks, exotic fruits, and lotus buds freshly plucked from the imperial moat. He was 76 at the time, but the prediction came true. Later, in , a seven-story tower, the Phuoc Duyen, was built in front of the temple. The rolling hills south of the city contain thousands of tombs, including six royal ones.
The latter are large park-like enclosures behind massive gates.
Some have ponds, delicate trees, and even little temples. Many of the emperors began constructing their tombs long before death, and at least two of them, Minh Mang and Tu Due, used them as a sort of summer palace for relaxing, contem- plating nature, and writing poetry. Best preserved is the gracious enclosure built by Minh Mang, with its many frangipani and flower- ing almond trees, and curving, lotus-clogged ponds.
Da Nang Da Nang is a coastal town 60 miles south of Hue, separated from Hue by a finger of the mountains that juts into the sea. The road between the two cities, which is not always secure for travel, crosses a narrow pass where traffic flows only one way at a time. If you forget to time your trip with control of this traffic, you may find yourself caught in an hour or more delay. Here you can enjoy all sorts of water sports swim ming, skin-diving, water-skiing — or make a trip to one of thr oil shore islands in the bay. Dalai Dalat is a small, exquisite mountain resort surrounded by pirn- covered hills in central Vietnam.
Situated at a 5, foot elevation, it has cool nights throughout the year. But in the rainy srason it 's wet! By August the rains are falling almost continuously. It is the center of a small sightseeing area of mountains, lakrs, waterfalls, and has a lovely artificial lake of its own. Craft work of the mountain tribespeople is on sale in the local markets. You ran buy their baskets, jewelry, pipes, handwoven materials, and native musical instruments; even fresh orchids.
As a matter of fart, Dalut is an orchid center. It is about 50 miles from Saigon and its beaches are excellent. You will have the satisfaction of sharing the experience of a staunch and dedicated nation in a most critical period of its history. In a broader sense, you will be helping to block the spread of communism through Southeast Asia. Your exemplary conduct — making a good compromise between the more informal ways of our country and the traditional ones of Vietnam — will do a lot toward bridging the gap between East and West. This is essential, as the success of your mission requires that you build up a good relationship with the South Vietnamese people.
This can be done only through day-by-day association with them on terms of mutual confidence and respect, both while doing your military job and in your off-duty hours. You will find that life in South Vietnam can be frustrating, tense, and at times full of danger. But you will also find that it brings great rewards. Also, wlirn it In midnight in New York or Washington, it is one p. Notes me issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, , , and MM piasters or dong. Piasters may be purchased at official exchange points at the ndr of piasters for 1 dollar.
Weights and Measures The international metric system of weights and measures is used throughout Vietnam. Gasoline and other liquids arc sold by the liter 1. What is a stream buffer? Stream also called riparian buffers are strips of trees and other vegetation that: improve water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and dog waste; reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing stream banks; moderate stream temperature and sunlight, keeping fish and other aquatic life healthy; provide nesting and foraging habitat for many species of birds and animals.
Choosing Your Trees It is always best to plant species that are native for in your area. Planting Your Trees Follow the simple steps in the diagram at right for planting your trees. Other Easy Things You Can Do Let areas next to a waterway or ditch go natural, even if it only has water in it some of the time. Just trim the undergrowth leave the canopy if you are worried about vermin or poison ivy. Grass strips only need fertilizer if grass growth is very poor and soil tests indicate a need. Never apply fertilizer near or on open water. Mow any grass next to the buffer slightly higher than the rest of your grass.
This extra height helps slow and filter the runoff that passes through. Check out our Yard Care page for more tips on what you can do around your house and yard to prevent water pollution and the negative effects of stormwater runoff , and do your part to help keep our water clean.
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