Dong Van Market, Vietnam

Dong Van town is set in a little plateau in the mountains, very close to the Chinese border. Several different H’mong people walk or motorbike several kilometres early Sunday mornings to trade, barter and purchase their weekly supplies. It is also a place to eat, drink and socialize with each other once a week. Most H’mong live in very small communities hidden in the jagged rocky landscape, undetectable to westerners like us. Fortunately they found us extremely uninteresting so I was free to just observe and photograph from a distance.

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On our way to Dong Van. You can see a little bit of the mountain road we took on the right side of the photo. Luckily the road was in excellent condition so we could just enjoy the view.
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This is what the terrain changed to as we got higher up the mountain. Notice the sharp rocks! This cluster of homes was close to the road but there was no visible path to get to it.
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We stopped for a water break and this little guy popped up out of nowhere. I guess he climbed up the extremely steep mountainside. We soon realized that many of the children here are accustomed to begging travellers along this route.
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This is the traditional jacket worn by all the H’mong boys and men.

The following photos are from the Sunday morning market.

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Layer upon layer of colourful clothing!

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I am in awe of the things they can make with bamboo!
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Breakfast beers!
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Preferred mode of transport.

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Sewing and repairing garments on the spot.

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A large crowd gathers to watch a man fixing some electronics (a camera or cellphone I think).
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PIGS!

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Vietnam has a very interesting bird culture and several people keep them as pets. All through Vietnam we would see people transporting their precious cargo to the parks to hang out with other birds. There was an entire section dedicated to songbirds that was very popular with the men.
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A girl looks over the market surrounded by mountains.
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Strapping their pigs to the back and heading home.
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Until next week!
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