Mardi 9 août 2011: en route pour Mai Chau, porte d'entrée du pays Thaï, en passant par Hoa Binh; rencontre avec les peuples Muong et dao.
Rice fields around Mai Chau. I just love that all this lush green!
Mai Chau, dans les rizières.
Mai Chau, village de Thaï blanc.
Traditional folk dances with bowls and chopsticks, fans and all sorts of accessories; nice!
Spectacle de danses traditionnelles.
On wednesday august 10, we entered H'mong territory far from modern civilization. Pleated skirts hung to dry under the roofs which womewhat reminded me of fourth of july decorations in the States!!! These are Blue H'mongs. With, as I already said, 54 ethnic tribes around here, you've got to be real precise when it comes to color, and it has nothing to do with discrimination but tribal identity!
Mercredi 10 août 2011: route de montagne qui surplombe la rivière Noire et traverse le territoire h'mong. Village de H'mong Bleu.
Here are Black Thais, no, not tuxedos!!! And as you can see, we are in the mountains. The people who are walking in line on the road with what looks like white towels on their heads are attending a funeral. In many asian countries white is the color for mourning; they must be horrified when they a bride here, all dressed in white!!!
Thaïs Noirs, enterrement sur la route et peuple H'mong.
Passage des cols Pha Din et de Tuan Giao avant d'atteindre la vallée de Dien Bien Phu.
Another Black Thai village, and I promise not to pull that silly joke again, once is enough! The women here wear their long hair in a high rise bun; they usually pin an old french indochina silver coin, a relica of the good old days, and so very chic! You should see them put their mandatory helmet on top when riding a motor bike; I really don't think it protects them if necessary, but the law is the law, and they all must wear one. Tje law doesn't precise that it should fit tightly or even be sturdy to be efficient!
Village de Thaïs Noirs juste avant d'arriver à Dien Bien Phu.
Jeudi 11 août 2011: musée, cimetière, vestiges de l'ancien champ de bataille de Dien Bien Phu; arbres de teck et PC du général de Castries.
Village de Thaïs Noirs.
Arrivée à Sin Ho, marché avec des H'mongs Rouges et Daos Noirs.
The hotel (bottom right picture) was a bit rustic to say the least! and the beds were as hard as rock!!! Not great for sleeping! So what? A little stiff in the morning after a sleepless night? It's part of the fun! Well at least we didn't see a single western tourist here in this far remote place!