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Photographer's Note

Only a few kilometers from the Chinese border, the village of Sapa attracts thousands of tourists every year. With valleys full of rice terraces and locals eager to show you their culture, I can say it was worth the train ride from Hanoi. It's not too many years ago that tourists were not welcome in this area, and my guide told me for example that 10 years ago most of the locals would think that a picture would capture their soul. This is still the case in many Vietnamese villages, while the tourist industry have liberalized Sapa. I also saw a small church and my guide said that among 5% of the people were Christian, partly due to more tourists. The Government has long restricted tourism in the valley to preserve the local heritage. Still, parts of the valley are reserved the locals.

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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 572] (3082)
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