Vietnam’s mountainous northwest is famously beautiful, and when you see it in person it lives up to its reputation. The mountains come in gorgeous shapes, and the valleys are filled with beautiful rice paddies. They’re especially interesting at this time of year, when at some elevations the rice is being harvested.
|Huong Hieu, our guide. Just call him Hieu.|
|Miles and miles of rice and other products drying alongside the road|
|In most places a machine separates the rice from the stalks|
|Opening the bridge for us so our boat could go through|
|Mr. Driver talking to the cow...who soon ate a whole corncob|
It was made even worse by the fact that Mr. Driver, who is really good at maneuvering between obstacles, didn’t seem to know what the gears in his manual transmission Ford SUV were for. He had a strong aversion to first gear, always starting in second. That can ruin a transmission pretty quickly. He went immediately to fourth or fifth gear when we should have still been in second or third. Fifth gear at 35 miles an hour? As you can imagine, it was a brutal 3 hours!
|The traditional dances were nice!|
|Stilt houses, colorful skirts, and woven scarves|
Loved sleeping on mats that had been laid out on the bamboo floor slats and hung with mosquito nets!
|Grandma chews betel nut and watches the grandbaby|
|Rice harvesting is a communal affair|
|I love water buffalo. Maybe because I was born in a buffalo year?|
|This rice hasn't been harvested yet|
Next: more mountains and minority peoples.