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Photographer's Note

This is a shot of a Black Hmong mother and her sleeping baby on her back. No modifications made except from cropping.

While the scenery around Sa Pa was nothing short of spectacular, I felt that it was the people that stood out. So many tribes, so many dialects, so many colors, so many differences, yet in harmony with the charming but harsh environment and definitely a world away from bustling Hanoi. I felt there was an affection between this mother and the baby, yet different from my stereotyped notion of affection. The wrinkled face, the stained hands from the textile dye, the traditional clothing and the serene baby were all testaments to the way of life these people lead. Most of my photos from that region was scenery, but I am partial to this one, as I came as close I could to the NW Viet Nam experience through my lens.

The town of Sa Pa is a very interesting place to visit and to use as a stepping stone to explore the absolutely magnificent North-West region of Viet Nam. It is the capital of the Sa Pa district which is part of the Lao Cai province, bordering China, under the shade of the famous Fan Si Pan mountain. More interestingly, it is the converging point and biggest common market of numerous minority tribes of this region (such as the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, etc.). It is located at 1500m above sea level and it offers hunderds of miles of trekking trails for a true experience and it is rich in photo opportunities. The most common approach is with a night train from Hanoi, which is about 380 kms to the South East, but a world away in reality.

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