Tourists often visualize tribal people like the Hmong as living in a state of bliss - in the cool and quiet of pristine mountains, away from urban pollution and stress. The reality is quite different. The dry season finds villages filled with smoke from burning fields. The wet season turns the trails and village streets into a swamp. Women and children must trudge for miles in search of ever more scarce firewood. Opium addiction, alchoholism are depressingly common. Hmong are denied citizenship, sometimes harrassed and cheated by townspeople.
Tourism is a two-sided coin; The drove of tourists brings money to an impoverished area and has reinstalled a sense of pride in a province heavily controlled by the government. Like many places in Vietnam, a quick sell is a good sell, and the Hmong are as eager to receive the tourist dollar as other businessmen in the country. Despite being the main draw, the Hmong do not own any of the hotels that pack Sapa, so their livelihood relies on selling their wares to tourists. While Sapa takes in gorgeous rice terraces and shows a picturesque view of rural Vietnam, it remains one side of life. The other is a much harder life where the tourism dollar is gold. The tourist-Hmong relationship is well established. It is what it is, a business transaction...
Has the Hmong lost its way in the fight for the tourist dollar?
As I left the highlands, heading back for humid Hanoi, I felt that I was perhaps watching the last stand of a vanishing way of life .....
Critiques | Translate
maria-v1981 (10816) 2012-10-10 3:54
I like the effect lost in fog. The tradiotional clothes creates a sense that this image capture from the past. Excellent and atmospheric shot.
Have a nice evening,
holmertz (44552) 2012-10-10 3:58
You have written an interesting and thoughtprovoking note to this mysterious-looking photo. The road curving into the mist and the sombre colours give the view a strangely appealing atmosphere. The three persons, forming a triangle on the road, seem to be walking into the unknown.
krzychu30 (15510) 2012-10-10 4:04
you know how to capture and create unique mood.This picture is fabulous with so nice captured,kind of mysterious atmosphere.I like also your note about the tourist impact on their way of life.Time will show if you were right.
papagolf21 (89732) 2012-10-10 4:12
Dans la brume tout devient mystérieux ! Une photo de qualité fort bien présentée, une fois de plus !
La réussite de cette composition est à souligner.
Très bonne journée.
sevy (15367) 2012-10-10 4:38
A trace of melancholy in your note, in fact also in line with your foggy shot with down saturated colors.
As usual, fog is interesting to catch a real atmosphere or mood.
yquem46 (38750) 2012-10-10 5:01
A moody shot, gray, dull, but moody
A top notch testimony of daily life in these remote regions
well in the TE spirit
have a nice day, best regards
pajaran (54596) 2012-10-10 5:50
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Lep pogled, i trenutak sa maglom ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, lepe boje.
Zene idu na posao sa korpama na ledjima.
Very interesting and good text ...
Nice view, and the moment the fog ...
A good time recording, the beautiful colors.
Women are going to work with baskets on their backs.
All the best.
macondo (18623) 2012-10-10 5:50
Words which come to mind when I look at this photo are sparse, spare, space, and splendid. Quite a minimalist picture but so evocative and with the group well placed to one side. The road curves very gently into the mist, and the post by the side of the road is the one thing in the photo which denotes the marking of time and distance. Superbly simple and with an excellent note about life in this northerly part of the country.
Suppiluliuma (3889) 2012-10-10 5:58
Sadly true. The pros and cons of "civilisation" is often debated, with everyone taking sides according to its philosophy of life.
Sapa and the close towns are subject to the same dilemma. And, frankly speaking, as someone who had thought Vietnam was one of the few remaining "authentic" countries before my visit, I came to believe that globalisation is omnipresent.
Nice catch, good framing, beautiful narrative, as usual.
Fis2 (89425) 2012-10-10 7:07
Good composition and frame.
I like colors.
The fog add savor of photo.
saxo042 (37604) 2012-10-10 7:08
After reading your interesting note, I see other dimensions of this beautiful picture. The children disappearing into the mist has a strong symbolic meaning. An excellent photo!
amaryllis (35599) 2012-10-10 7:35
cette brume et ces silhouettes sur la route donnent vraiment une atmosphère étrange, un vrai mystère
la réalisation est superbe
CLODO (31729) 2012-10-10 8:05
Good misty mood, but that's a pity we only see their backs, even if it's interesting to see the women carrying a basket.
fabbs99 (16815) 2012-10-10 8:18
I am enjoying your series on Vietnam.All the photographs including those of the young lady's portrait have been quite visual experience the life in Vietnam.In this misty shot also it seems that a young mother carrying her infant on her back with two other children following her to workplace.Life is really hard in these areas rightly mentioned by you. Great work full of mystery and hope.Well done.
JFS (32459) 2012-10-10 10:21
Beautiful shot my friend! Delicious light and atmosphere, I like the three persons walking to...the bags are almost bigger that the girls! thanks for sharing!
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-10-10 12:23
Another great mist shot, Abmdsudi - thicker this time than your shot from a few days ago. Excellent use of these three about to disappear into it, and wonderful framing.
On to your weighty point about tourism... this is an issue I've struggled with for a long time. Here in the Americas, the main issue is with Caribbean and Central American beach locales - many countries have massive, all inclusive private resorts which bring in international tourists year round, charge exorbitant amounts, and rarely give anything back to the countries on which they operate. The remainder of a country like Jamaica or Haiti can be deeply impoverished, while foreign guests vacation in luxury just past the gates. There are environmental and social issues attached to these tourist spots that, for me, would make them very difficult to enjoy. The Caribbean is a prime example of an area with rich culture and history that has been turned into a clean, tourist-friendly version of itself in an attempt to funnel American dollars into the hands of developers. A sad state of affairs, and quite similar I think to what you are discussing with the Hmong. I find it interesting that Vietnam - a nominally Communist country, though we know it is not in practice - would allow this behavior, but then we look at Cuba which does similar things and realize that the draw of tourist money seems to overwhelm all ideology or principle...
Thanks for the shot, and sorry for my long digression!
mkamionka (32373) 2012-10-10 13:04
great photo and a very interesting note.
I like the silhouettes of children in traditional clothes disappearing in the fog. Excellent quality as always. Very impressive work,
emilbo (22616) 2012-10-10 17:08
Une photo intéressante qui a dormi trop longtemps dans ton grenier. Belle atmosphère brumeuse et j'aime beaucoup la position des personnages dans une excellente composition. Beau contraste avec le fond brumeux. Belle présentation accompagnée d'une intéressante note.
Cordiales salutations du Canada,
kato (11630) 2012-10-10 21:41
You're capturing well this misty scene by a good composition and tasteful tone, so it's interesting and impressive to see the spectacle that ethnic inhabitants are carrying a basket on the back on the shoulder and walking in fog. And, the curved road draws out a good effect.
Robert1969 (7160) 2012-10-11 1:58
Once again a beautiful picture with a lots
of atmosphere. It's exciting, it's
mysterious and it's innocent. It's a
little bit rough and it's also soft.
Nice is the road. It creates a nice depth,
the mist makes it modest (beautiful
combination). Composition, contrast, light
management are great and last, but not
least the picture is timeless and tells
more than a thousand words...Bravo.
dkmurphys (52315) 2012-10-11 5:33
Nice composition. I like the journey to the unknown. Well captured image, have a great day.
siamesa (27761) 2012-10-11 7:25
Bom dia Abmdsudi
This photo is mnagnificent. A magic mood and a superb capture. Excellent idea. TFS
clic (15924) 2012-10-11 8:22
Lot of finery seen here; the number three (quite attractive, composition-wise) set off-center towards...nowhere!
Quite an artistic package indeed!
eldancer1 (31465) 2012-10-11 8:56
A lot of Americans think of life in other countries, especially countries in the tropics, are romantic and bliss. Little did they know about the struggle of those people just to make a living, yes I grow up in that invironment and it is not paradise. I like the effect of the mist, somehow it makes those people a mystery and they are. Very well done, tfs.
sacavem (18614) 2012-10-11 9:20
Superb compo, POV and misty atmosphere. Very nice photo.
adramad (40204) 2012-10-11 11:11
An image to which the thick fog, a touch of mystery and isolation, these three figures seem to walk on an empty road without details.
It is a curious and different image.
Very interesting note about this town, so it gives the impression that this people, seems to walk in the fog in a world increasingly complicated and surrounded by development.
Very well done.
Have a nice day.
ourania (35916) 2012-10-11 11:48
your photo and note complement each other superbly. Your note is quite precise and explicit, your picture is mysterious and intriguing, a scene from everyday life and a marvellous comment. No matter how mysterious for us, this place and ambiance are very well known to the three people who seem to be walking confidently and purposefully. Who knows if they'll manage to make their way to a healthy and happy future. I love their position at the side of the road and the frame. The lighting is most effective, capturing the veil of mist and the natural colours and textures that define this place and its people. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
npecanhuk (69556) 2012-10-11 16:43
I love this one!
Special regards to the soft light, colors and level of sharpness!
Composition is great too!
TFS - congrats,
bukitgolfb301 (37566) 2012-10-11 18:44
Hi dear Abmdsudi YTH
Another great shot, typical Vietnam highland image!
Ya I also frequently see this kind of secene. Deep fog and hill tribes carrying the basket on back, ya I have much Nostalgia-----. Thank you for your sharing and have a good day!
Takero from Tokyo
CanmoreKevin (2111) 2012-10-11 18:55
I really like how the three figures appear to be heading into the unknown. This is made more prominent by having the figures off to one side. Nicely done.
Cricri (110709) 2012-10-11 21:41
Une scéne de vie difficile et dure pour ces personnes..
la brume ajoute une touche de mystère a la scéne
gus72 (3719) 2012-10-11 22:52
Hi abmdsudi !!
your note complements the photo quite well
I always like images which are influenced by Mist, it create a unique mood and what is perfect is that you are showing the people from behind.
A real Gem of an image.Well done.
jlbrthnn (76037) 2012-10-12 6:44
This is an image very attractive and beautifully composed. The note is very interesting. The quality is excellent. Bravo.
Have a nice day
COSTANTINO (59309) 2012-10-13 6:55
lost in the fog,this is a new title
I like this composition lost in the fog
bayno (18344) 2012-10-13 8:15
a real note which explains the way of life of this ethnic group, they are definitely strong people forged of the difficulty of living without much comfort, I really like the atmosphere of your photo, but in this post I premium your your note sensitive and deep, excellent framing...
have a good WE...
nikkitta (16476) 2012-10-13 18:51
Your note is interesting and informative, I like to know about people of far away places and how tourist in a way helps but on the other side spoil their way of live
Good introduction for a capture that the mist made in a way, mysterious
Like the kind of backpack made of straw? the children are carrying
Nice capture, TFS
josepmarin (57885) 2012-10-14 5:12
the effect of the mist is fantastic, and creates an a bit mysterious atmosphere on the scene of these persons while they walk across the road, with their traditional clothes.
Your note is very interesting, and allows we understand better the hard life of these persons in their country.
It is a great work, I like the graphical power and the vitality of the ensemble.
Silvio1953 (129470) 2012-10-16 1:34
Ciao Abmdsudi, fascinating misty composition with lovely walking trio, wonderful soft colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
Graal (99830) 2012-10-16 3:19
nice scene during the misty weather. Friends all told you. Photo I like also. Good composition and interesting comment.
Have a nice day.
karacabeylis (1465) 2012-10-17 8:19
great tints and shades together with a nice framing. well-done bro.
jemaflor (88857) 2012-10-21 8:09
Always difficult photos with fog, here it's well made, good result with these silhouette, a composition well balanced.
Waylim (25368) 2012-10-25 11:06
The misty condition is like a our understanding of these people live, what we see as tourist is only the glimps of surface, but what their lives is like is a mystery as thick as this fog, we can really see through unless we are willing to step inside.
mauro61 (52631) 2012-10-28 3:24
complimenti per la splendida immagine.
Qualità elevata e perfetta inquadratura dei soggetti che procedono sul viale tra la nebbia,
thebest (4276) 2012-11-09 19:05
What a wonderful image - It would be very hard to live with the burning off that creates so much pollution - but what a magical photo it makes.
I love everything about this photo especially the way you have positioned the people to the right side of the frame. Superb!!!
worldcitizen (7515) 2013-01-06 17:19
This photo represents the words in your note so well. There is a nostalgic feeling with the fog in the distance, and the people are walking away into the unknown. I like the composition very much, with the people on the right side, and the vanishing road beside them. It is a photo that tells a story...
Romano46 (18472) 2013-02-07 7:04
stavo guardando la tua gallery e vedo che hai delle foto fantastiche riprese girando per il mondo.
Questa mi ha particolarmente colpito, sia per l'ottima ripresa dal punto di vista tecnico, ma soprattutto per il significato che gli si può attribuire.
A me à l'idea di un viaggio verso l'ignoto, o volendo, anche verso il futuro che non si conosce. Queste tre figure che si avventurano nella cortina di fumo sono significative del viaggio che l'uomo compie sulla terra senza sapere come e quando finirà.
Molto ben fatta e ricca di cose che non solo informano ma fanno anche riflettere la tua nota alla fotografia
Ciao e buona serata