Mèo Vạc is a small mountain town on the highway that begins in the northern city of Hà Giang and loops through spectacular mountain scenery before returning to Hà Giang. This road and the sights along the road are a major tourist attraction in Vietnam. Many of the people living in and around Mèo Vạc are citizens of Vietnam, but ethnically not Vietnamese. The Hmong are an important group in this area, and there are a number of other ethnic groups who live and work in this part of northern Vietnam.
Chúc mừng năm mới!
It’s New Year’s Eve – tomorrow is the first day of the lunar new year. Tonight, the Tết celebration is well under way in Vietnam. Earlier today, the Hoi An market was crowded with people buying last minute food and flowers for holiday rituals.
Hoi An’s central market seen from across the Thu Bon River.
The Vietnamese diet is heavy on green vegetables, both cooked and raw greens that accompany meat and fish dishes – this is one of the things I love about being here. Hoi An’s principal market in the old town has a wide range of vegetables, some are not to be found outside of Vietnam.
Some chili for breakfast? Lao food is delicious, but a lot of it is loaded with chili – fiery, set-your-mouth-on-fire hot chili. Delicate palettes beware. This morning street market had plenty of several varieties of chili available.
Châu Đốc is a Vietnamese city sitting on the country’s border with Cambodia. The Hau River (Sông Hậu), part of the massive Mekong Delta system of rivers, flows through Châu Đốc. Every morning a floating market is busy in the center of the river. People from the northern side of the river bring their fruits and vegetables to the market for buyers from the south side who take their wholesale purchases back to markets in the city.