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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

A day on karst plateau

Text & photos by Ngo Vinh Phu

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Dong Van Karst Plateau, in the northernmost mountainous region of Vietnam, is inhabited by many ethnic communities such as H’Mong, Lo Lo, Dao, Ha Nhi, San Chi, and La Chi.

To earn a living in the land, they have to work hard on the rugged mountain ranges. Their children either go to school or help their parents.

The photos below capture daily life in Sung La Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province, in the karst plateau.

Local farmers grow crops on the mountain soil among the cat-ear-shaped rocks. Plowing on mountain soil is extremely difficult, requiring skills completely different from plowing in the delta.
In the cold mist of the first days of the year, people in Sung La Commune, Dong Van District, work hard to break up the hillsides into terraced fields to grow maize – the staple food of the H’Mong people.
Children go to school on spring days. They pass through gardens in the full bloom of canola and peach flowers.
The bustling flea market in the karst plateau in the daytime, especially during spring
Meanwhile, the elderly stay at home to take care of livestock…
…or to prepare food. A quiet, peaceful life!
The H’Mong women sit at their looms on days off from farming. Most women here know how to weave jute threads into their clothes.
Other farmers harvest white radish – a familiar crop of the people here
After a hard day, on their return home, every farmer carries firewood or a large bunch of vegetables on their backs to be used as feed for pigs, cows, chickens, etc. The H’Mong women are diligent and work hard from early morning until late at night.
After a hard day, on their return home, every farmer carries firewood or a large bunch of vegetables on their backs to be used as feed for pigs, cows, chickens, etc. The H’Mong women are diligent and work hard from early morning until late at night.
Pupils return home from school
Children help their families when they return home in the afternoon
Children wait for their mothers at home
The afternoon is also when the fire lights up in every family. Children are in the warm embrace of their families.

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