Truly a back breaking job
Very ecological packaging
Beautiful rice paddies everywhere
Can't forget how to ride a bicycle ? Even after 40 years ?
Burning the slash
Thao well at ease
Weaved fabric they make
Fishing with a bamboo pole split into many segments
Water buffalo power
Wooden houses on stilt (I could not get a reason for it because these are build quite high above the valley floor)
01-23 Chopstick factory on the way to Pu Long
A worker feed a bamboo (these are HEAVY!) at a time to the sawyer ...
... who cuts the bamboo nodes...
... and measure the proper length of culm against a stop (the 3 bars under the culm being ejected)
One the other side of the chute a woman divides the culms segments in two with a machete and stacks the half culms on her left...
Another woman brings the half culms to each work station
At the workstation a worker feeds the half pipe against a rest (on the right of the machine), while a strong piston constantly pushes the abutted segment against a wedge (far end of the table)
The wedge separate a "square"-based section that is pushed by the same motion against a circular die under the wheel. The die cuts a circular section out of the square bamboo stick and the periphery gets ejected as waste (that will be used to make paper)
With his right hand he feeds the segment, while with his left he prepares the next half pipe
The wedge and wheel are better seen here
The newly formed chopstick is ejected to a collection bin
Which is empty every so often and the chopsticks stacked and aligned
They are first set to air and sun dry
Lots of them !
The debris are collected to make paper
To smooth the chopsticks they are stacked in this machines that vibrates them, and each chopstick serves as sandpaper for its neighbors. Clever system !
The useless cuts are used to make paper and to power a dryer for the chopsticks
The dried chopstick ready for the market. Interestingly this system produces individual chopsticks, not the kind of "twin" chopstick you separate in the restaurant
The engineering of mountain side into terraces is so remarkable to me !
And preventing the water from seeping out !
No need for PVC pipes here
The timeless practice of river washing...
... while the kids are playing
The water-buffalo bath
The Pu Long waterwheels: a remarkable feat of ingenuity!
These tall waterwheels are entirely build of collected local material. No metal fastener, no concrete. The most environmentally friendly possibly build
The pier are build from a large bamboo basket in which a forked tree trunk is set and maintain by large river rocks. The vertical tree and the axle are the only non-bamboo vegetable material. Everything is lashed with bamboo "strings"
The axle is also solid wood into which split bamboo are inserted as spokes
This man is building a new one. The vertical post, axle and spokes are already made
"Paddles" made of split bamboo catch the kinetic force of the water flow (note that the water is not deep at all!)
Bamboo culms are attached at an angle, so they fill as they enter the water but keep the water (previous image) on the up motion
At the apex of the curve the obliquity of the culms discharges the water in a collector (made of bamboo)
... well a little sabotage by the wind !
Hollowed bamboo then conduct the water to the fields
The system is very impressive. I was not able to get though what happens when there is a river flood... I guess the structures can tolerate only so much.
Collecting grass for the buffaloes
This man uses a hand scythe to collect grass to feed his buffaloes... what an amount of work !
Thao is about as thin as the bamboo
The non-terraced mountain flanks are covered in eucalyptus plantations. The small (15-20 cm) trees are peeled into sheets that will be send to Korea to make plywood.
Preparing the field
Vietnam = motorbike !
"And who are you ?"
"Red Dao" ethnic group that shave their eyebrows
These little girls collect scrap wood and bamboo to sell
Checking her earnings...
...and sharing with her co-worker
Guess who is the leader of this group !
This hat is her crown ! She will share the money gift with her friends.
Flower Hmong ethnic group
Poor motorbike !
Street-side hair saloon
Hey, big Sister, can we try to do like mom and dad ?
Black Hmong ethnic group
Pan Hou to Ha-Giang
Peeling coconuts to make coconut candy
The market in Ha-Giang
Fans preparing for a soccer (football) match
Ha Giang to Dong Van
Red Dao (also spelled Dzao)
Zero visibility mountain road ... and the guard rail stops before the curve !
White sugar cane
The dentist in the market
"Oh that sugar cane is sooooooooooo good !!"
Kids selling flower crowns near the Palace of Hmong King Vuong Chinh Duc in Ha Giang
Regal look! Almost like Henry VIII, aside from the toothpick!
This is North Vietnam, high in the mountains and there is no heating system in the houses
Heading to the cattle market
Ba Be lake
Ha Long Bay
Tu and Tuan
"I am cold, and I have no customers !"
Visit to Huyen's family
Huyen and her family
I'll take any teat !
Don't pull so hard !
Tuan's family in Dalat and his delightful mother
Playing and singing "Million roses"
Wedding party going for a photoshoot, note the flip-flop of the bride :)
A magnificent bonsai tree
The silk factory
Dat & Huyen's wedding invitation
Dr Quynh Nguyen — Dr Bao Quan — Dr Linh Nguyen
Tu Hieu monastery
A pretty red bug molting
Small mahogany logs each about 15 cm in diameter, and not very straight as the stacking indicates
The band saws. Amazingly the logs are not clamped onto the carriages, simply held in place by !!! HAND !!! No OSHA supervision here !
Those boards are about 8 cm wide. They are used for flooring or small furniture.
The sawmill owner who took time from his lunch to show his business. Very nice young guy !
The "Dong Ba" market in Hue, which to me sounded like "Don't Buy" but was quite fun.
The farming museum in Hue. These 2 ladies were making hats
The medical image team of Dong Hoi with Dr Chung and Dr Tuan
Phong Nha Ke Bang
Rive cave tour
These fishermen raise fish in underwater (of course !) cages, then rake the river bed for algae that they collect to feed their fish. A very laborious method.
And they have to bail out the extra water from the algae
The cave is visited on a boat pushed with a long pole
Fresh pepper! I had never seen that, just the dry one, and this was very tasty.
Be Than restaurant