Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

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Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  tuyhoabob on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:38 pm

After reading some of the other comments/discussions and posts about this subject I felt that there should be some clarification about what goes on here. Vietnam is very different, in many respects, from even other Asian countries and cultures.

The Vnese don't realize most of it because they live here, as an outsider, living and working here I get to see some big differences and make comparisons.

There was a discussion about pots/trees and cost of them.
Pots - why not put the tree in a better pot than the cheap cast cement? First, better pots are very hard to find and, as was pointed out, they can be very costly because of this. Ok, so why not just order a better pot from abroad? Most foreign companies won't ship to Vietnam, for a number of reasons. At the top of the list is that the pot probably won't make the trip. Number one reason is that it will be stolen somewhere along the line. My mail and packages from the states are normally opened and things taken out before I get them, my replacement debit cards have to be 'hidden' in other things and shipped with a 'block' on them until I call the bank to activate. The only way to be sure that something of value will get to you is to have a friend hand carry it over.

Unless you have a tree which has always been in your family you will have less than no chance of knowing who the original artist was. Most trees are started in small local nurseries, crafted by guys making about $2 a day (if that). Theft, of anything that looks good, is all too common and widespread. Once the tree is stolen we're back to square one.

Cost of goods - this is an emerging nation with an economy that is, in some cases, swinging way out of control. There has developed a very small rich class a huge poor class and a small middle class. Like many other things desired by the rich owning or leasing Bonsai has become a symbol of wealth. A rich family won't donate a dong to a poor person on the street but they will spend thousands on flashy consumer goods to show how much money they have. Bonsai has become part of that. While this is going on it drives the price of everyday trees up and up.

Seeing the truely great trees here is hard - unless you go around during the Tet displays or know someone. The good personal collections are hidden, chained, fenced and guarded by nasty little dogs. If not they would be gone.

My trees are kept in a courtyard in the rear of my house, high walls. My welcome tree and pot (even though it weighs in at about a ton) are chained and bolted to the cement slab in my front courtyard. Even with that someone came over the wall/fence and tried to steal it prior to Tet last year...all they managed to do was make a mess.

Bob

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:57 pm

Very informative on the situation Bob.
Thanks.
regards,
jun
Smile

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An additional thought...

Post  tuyhoabob on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:31 am

as I was losing my connection over and over.

There is little or no thought to the future of a tree when it is collected/dug/etc. A complete lack of, what we would consider, finesse in planning of the design or even what may happen tomorrow.

Within a few kilometers of my house there are a thousand trees which, if they had been dug with any planning, could be wonderful specemin trees. Instead they wound up being just butt-ugly big trees. What happened? When they were dug they were simply ripped out of the ground then the surface roots cut back too near the trunk - at right angles. You now have big surface roots that end in ugly stumps with no way to hide this except to bury them. They do the same thing with larger branches while leaving a large stump to rot away.

The 'up' side to this is that what I'm looking for is cheap and full of drama so it works for me.

Bob

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an additional thought

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:02 am

tuyhoabob,,good to hear from you!!!! please post some of those stumps you are talking about..i know i will be surprised what you think is bad material!! take care john

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  bigbabol on Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:23 am

I am very sad for reading what Bob wrote about something in Vietnam. Sad Sad Sad

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Vietnam Bonsai

Post  tuyhoabob on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:33 am

Yes, it makes me sad too, Vietnam is my second country. Things will get better in the future I feel. I travel to Saigon every few months and will be happy to meet with you and see your trees -- you are, of course, invited to visit Tuy Hoa and I would happily give a tour of the many nurseries in this area.

I did read in the news last week that some Bonsai growers in Ha Noi have said 'No' to the greed of the rich men. They have refused to rent or sell their prize trees for Tet because they realize that there is no interest other than 'showing wealth' and trying to bring luck. They are afraid that the trees will be ill-treated and possibly killed just for money. This is a good start.

Bob

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  bigbabol on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:52 pm

tuyhoabob wrote:Yes, it makes me sad too, Vietnam is my second country. Things will get better in the future I feel. I travel to Saigon every few months and will be happy to meet with you and see your trees -- you are, of course, invited to visit Tuy Hoa and I would happily give a tour of the many nurseries in this area.

I did read in the news last week that some Bonsai growers in Ha Noi have said 'No' to the greed of the rich men. They have refused to rent or sell their prize trees for Tet because they realize that there is no interest other than 'showing wealth' and trying to bring luck. They are afraid that the trees will be ill-treated and possibly killed just for money. This is a good start.

Bob
yes, thank you -Bob- my friend
thank for your invite and I hope to visit your house in Tuy Hoa at an early date
I think what you read is exactly and I am afraid bringing my bonsai to display at the exhibitions too because preservation and care of organizers are not good

I will welcome you in Sai gon and would like to share everything of bonsai with you Very Happy
your friend
regards
bigbabol

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  xuan le on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:27 pm

Hi Bob,
Nice to be back with IBC, last year I was waiting for the news of the tree you fought to participate to the Tet Show but for some reason you have mentionned about it. I hope to see more often of your works here on this forum.
Regards.
Xuan

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The fukien tea

Post  tuyhoabob on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:33 pm

I was going to post in private but this is on topic (Bonsai) and some others may get a laugh out of it...things just happen ha ha. Actually the trip to Saigon last year -- pre Tet -- cost me 3 trees.

I had to go to Saigon for a week right before Tet, a friend was going to water and I wasn't worried because the weather had been cooler and wet. I brought the f/t inside the house just to make sure it wouldn't be stolen, no problem, the house is a little open, has lots of light where i placed the tree and it would be watered.
I wound up staying in Saigon longer than anticipated, as I was getting on the train the weather shifted to hot and dry, the person who was watering the trees didn't contact me until too late.
By the time I got back home the f/t had dropped everything, my one large jasmine was stone dead and the other was on the way to the grave.

The f/t has recovered but it lost 40% of branches so I've had to do a major restyling of it. This has been slow because we had a long brutally hot summer followed by a long, cold, wet monsoon season so most of the trees have just been dormant.

Bob

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  daiviet_nguyen on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:36 am

Dear Bob,

It is very nice to make your acquaintance here on IBC (despite of what you have written about Vietnam, I might add! Mad Mad Evil or Very Mad )

It sounds that you are a serious collector over there, I am just wondering when you go home, what will you do with your collection? Can you take them back? I imagine the quarantine cost would be quite prohibited? And the chance of survival are very slim, the quarantine people take special care with vegetations from Vietnam.

*
* *

On the subject of public thieveries, have you ever heard the motto Let's Live and Work By the Examples Set Forth by Our Great Uncle Hồ (Sống và Làm Việc Theo Gương Bác Hồ Vĩ Đại!)?

We had experienced these first hand way back: on Tết, our father used to send us presents (from Australia,) years after years, just about 1/3 got stolen by the guys at the Custom control. They cannot cull this "practice". The guys who commit the deeds are relatives of other guys high up the ladder, and so so till the top! They are all in it together.

Now its extends further -- internationally. In 2009, South Afria deported the Vietnamese ambassador for stealing and smuggling protected wild lives: elephant tusk and rhino horns; the selected flying cadets, from families with strong communists connection, to Japan caught stealing cosmetic products. The Japanese newspapers labelled the Vietnamese dirty dogs! Fairly recent, the beautiful Ms. Vũ Kiều Chinh an editor of VTV (a broadcasting organisation), daughter of Mr. Vũ Văn Hiến boss of VTV, sent to Sweden on a professional tour, caught stealing in a super market in Kalmar municipality... and so on and on...

Please Bob, not matter how much you might like Vietnamese things, do not ever turn yourself into a ViXi (VC -- Bang! General Loan [see the late Mr. Eddie Adams] got it just right!) Nothing good ever came out of communism!

*
* *

I apologise if I have gone off the rail with my rantings... I will focus on bonsai next time.

Best regards.


Last edited by daiviet_nguyen on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Icons were in the wrong place.)

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bonsai in Vietnam

Post  tuyhoabob on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:33 am

I'm here for keeps, unless I get thrown out. I have about a dozen trees of various sizes but am always working on larger stock.

Bob

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Re: Bonsai in Vietnam, some insight

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:13 am

Interesting insight. Thanks for the candor.

People criticize the US for its rampant proliferation of guns but thievery is not as bad here. Rolling Eyes

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