My Diary about Swimming in Hương River

A typical scene of Hương River at sunrise

I feel blessed to be able to  swim in such a beautiful river like the Hương. Almost every morning, I would arrive at the river bank at around 5 am, admiring the river before swimming across it with Auntie Tuyết. I can’t think of any better way to view the sunrise or sunset than doing it while swimming across the river. I always tell Auntie Tuyết that Mother Nature is so generous that she awards us amazing things for doing nothing good but appreciate her.

Here are a selection of pictures and videos I took before or after my swimming.

October 4, 2017: Did you see the fire phoenix taking off from the Hương River?
September 3, 2017: We also play Grass Rooster Fighting beside swimming.
September 1, 2017: It’s always nice to see Mr. Tâm, the recyclable trash collector on Hương River, and share some cups of tea with him.
August 26, 2017: Auntie Lệ walked into the water when it was about to rain.
August 22, 2017: I had some fun taking pictures of my little friends while they were excited to pose for me and even to show off their knack.
August 21, 2017: Sometimes after doing the washing, this auntie took some time to swim in the river.
August 18, 2017: When we were about to go into the water, it started to rain. Swimming among the showering water crowns was just so poetic and enjoyable.
August 17, 2017: Auntie Tuyết made sugar-coated pomelo peel a few days ago and other Hương River lovers started to copy her recipe. These were made by Auntie Lệ.
August 12, 2017: After hectically taking selfies, Sương finally stood still to enjoy the serene and beautiful morning on Hương River.
August 11, 2017: This beautiful lantern made of foam sheet and plastic, found on Hương River, is actually an environment destroyer.
August 10, 2017: This inspires me to get up early every morning.
August 8, 2017: Mrs. Ti was bringing their catch to sell in front of Kim Long Communal House.
August 7, 2017: A quietly beautiful morning on Hương River
August 2, 2017: It was awesome to be back to Mother River Hương after a long absence. I’m glad you stay the same, mama Hương.
July 1, 2017: My heart was filled with so much love for this little boy. He was just so contented being in the water.
June 30, 2017: Auntie Tuyết picked up some wild figs from the other side of Hương River.
June 29, 2017: Little Bi caught fish with her bare hands after swimming.
June 28, 2017: Swimming at sunrise doesn’t seem enough for me so I started to swim at sunset as well. They give me different feelings and I love them both.
June 27, 2017: Auntie Tuyết was in a hurry to catch that piece of trash before it floated away, she forgot to take off her helmet.
June 25, 2017: I had an interesting talk with Mr. Tâm, a former fisherman, about American War taking place in Huế long ago, long before I was born.
June 24, 2017: When I went to university, my mother bought me this blue bike. When I graduated and went to work, I gave it to her. And now, I have it back. I’ve recently had it repaired and repainted.
June 23, 2017: Yes, this is the way we should do to make Hương River and Huế greener and more beautiful. Not building more concrete constructions.
June 22, 2017: It’s lotus season so I roasted lotus seeds to pair with tea this morning.
June 19, 2017: This morning, the sky looked like it was on fire.
June 18, 2017: I’ve ran into so many leaves floating in the water while crossing Hương River. I like them but have never picked one up. This morning, my swimming friend brought this one back as an award for herself after she crossed the river for the first time.
June 17, 2017: It’s beautiful to have sunrise tea on the grass.
June 16, 2017: I wondered how it felt like to have breakfast while in the moving boat.
June 15, 2017: More dragonflies have appeared on the bank of Hương River lately. They are not very shy so I have more chance to observe and photograph them.
June 14, 2017: I was lying down on the Hương River’s bank to watch the moon and the birds in the sky while waiting for my tea-and-swimming friends. Nothing could be better!
June 13, 2017: Huế people set alive creatures free with the hope that their wishes would come true. This man released snails to the Hương River but left the plastic bags behind on the riverside. Sigh…!
June 12, 2017: When I sat by the river lamenting over the amount of trash people dumped into the Hương River, from nowhere this elder man appeared. He’s Mr. Tâm, 82. He’s living on collecting the recyclable trash for sale along the river. Thank you for helping clean up our river, sir!


June 11, 2017: This has become our morning ritual before or after swimming in Hương River.

June 10, 2017: A boat laden with sand harvested in the Hương River is going down toward the city’s center.
June 9, 2017: That bamboo pole with a written cloth is used in a ritual process which helps to rescue the souls believed to be captured in the river due to drowning.


June 8, 2017: I swam down the Hương River toward the sun rising from the city this morning. This way worked great because I didn’t have to turn left to watch the sun as I did when crossing the river.

June 7, 2017: Aha, these cows also find this Hương Riverside its heaven on Earth!
June 6, 2017: We were about to leave the Hương River when this 86-year-old gentleman arrived with this delightful smile of his. He brought two woven grass mats to wash in the river.
June 5, 2017: I was overjoyed to find out that more than 30 palm trees and a few flame trees have recently been planted near where we swim. Looking forward to more parks and woods along Hương River.
June 4, 2017: My friend Ni swam across Hương River for the first time this morning. Look how happy she was after she swam back!
June 2, 2017: When I was sitting on the yellow cheesewood tree watching the fishermen on Hương River, swimmers started to walk into the water.
June 1, 2017: The fisher woman took a quick break to tie her hair and little did she know she had made the sunrise on Hương River so much more poetic.
May 27, 2017: While swimming back to this side of Hương River, I spotted these two ladies doing morning exercise and admiring the river. I went getting my camera, walked closer to them and took this picture.
May 25, 2017: This morning I swam across the Hương River and picked up some sử quân tử (Rangoon creepers) from the other side. Did you know that Hương means fragrance? Perhaps, this aromatic flower is one of the reasons our river owns this name.
May 25, 2017: We had some tea and coffee on Hương River’s bank after the swim.


May 24, 2017: Mother Nature is amazingly creative. Everyday she has the sun rise but each time she makes its appearance totally different. Never the same.

May 23, 2017: I was happy because Khỏe (Nhuận Trí) and her friends joined me and Auntie Tuyết this morning. Although Khỏe can’t walk (I hope she will walk again one day), she’s an amazing swimmer!
May 22, 2017: I love this path. It’s beaten by those who have been there for a swim or washing.
May 21, 2017: Goose-grass carpeting this bank of Hương River with its beautiful lime green color
May 20, 2017: Auntie Tuyết sometimes complained that the river was too beautiful to enjoy it on our own until this cyclist has recently appeared. We hope some more people will join us.
May 19, 2017: Swimming in the rain is quite nice, actually. Hương River is beautiful rain or shine.
May 17, 2017: I won’t cross the river without these two swimming aids: a pair of goggles and an empty plastic can served as a lifebuoy.


May 17, 217: Crossing Hương River is not much different from crossing a street. You need to observe the traffic from both ways.

May 16, 2017: These cloud topped mountains across the Hương River reminded me of a book title called “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway.
May 15, 2017: We sometimes do water meditation. Our bodies are also our lifebuoys.


May 14, 2017: I love climbing this yellow cheesewood tree. From up high on it, I have another beautiful angle of Hương River.

May 12, 2017: The moon was setting. It was amazing to watch the sunrise and moonset at the same time.
May 11, 2017: This young lady was doing her washing while Auntie Tuyết was swimming across Hương River.
May 10, 2017: They were unloading their newly catch to transfer to the market.


May 9, 2017: I left my camera on my scooter for it to record this stunning scene while I was swimming across Hương River.

May 8, 2017: While waiting for Auntie Tuyết to join me, I ran around the riverbank and admired the creatures living there.
May 7, 2017: My scooter on the riverbank
May 6, 2017: It was a misty day and the sun looked really like a moon, didn't it?
May 6, 2017: It was a misty day and the sun looked really like a moon, didn’t it?
May 4, 2017: I sometimes buy fish from the fisher people instead of going to the market. This couple gave me a very good price when I bought some fish from them.
May 3, 2017: I wondered what made this young man smoke so early in the day. Perhaps, it was just his habit.