Photographer's Note

Located in Lao Cai province 330km northwest of Hanoi, Sapa is an old former French hill station at 1500m elevation nestled amongst Hoang Lien Son Mountains near the Chinese border. What makes this place so interesting is the local minorities who inhabited this region. Two major ethnic groups are the Black Hmong and the Red Dzao who are mostly farmers. They practise their own culture and speak their own languages in their daily life. Each can easily be identified by a variation of their colorful decorated clothing.

The Black Hmong can be identified by their indigo dress and long belts worn several times around their waists. They also decorate themselves with many silver bracelets and large silver necklace and ear rings.

The Flower Hmong women stand apart with their vibrant dress. They wear a number of skirts and underskirts all made with very colorful fabrics. Their tops are embroided, often with flower motifs, and their heads are covered with elaborately shaped and balanced red scarfs.

The scenery around Sapa is so stunning. In the morning, as the mist is evaporating over the green peaks, it reveals the endless valleys of sweeping rice fields. And amids the green fileds, you can make out clusters of small huts and hamlets. They are the villages populated by these ethnic minorities-the montagnards or "mountain people" the term used during the former French colonial period.

This is a portrait of a charming Red Dzao lady, shot taken at Tha Pin village north east of Sapa

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6584 W: 150 N: 14404] (63499)
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