Singing In The Lifeboats

It’s a funny and rather confusing mixture of contradictions in Meo Vac in Ha Giang Province, N.E Vietnam. The landscape is impressive but mad; huge rocky limestone karsts rising out of the mountains, rocks strewn all over the hillsides, and winding mountain roads reaching up into the low clouds, all of which would conspire to make it rather bleak and foreboding were it not for one other very important ingredient in the mix.

©ClareRowntreeXF18mmF2 RX-E1FUJIFILMMeo Vac

©ClareRowntreeXF18mmF2 RX-E1FUJIFILM

Everywhere you look, people seem to pop up from behind the rocks smiling.

©ClareRowntreeXF56mmF1.2 RX-E1FUJIFILM

Meo Vac is home to the green Hmong ethnic minority group of people, known for their hard work and tenacity. It’s quite incredible to see how they have manage to survive in the harsh terrain and often inclement weather, every inch of spare soil being planted with corn or manyon, just about the only crops which will grow up there.

©ClareRowntreeXF56mmF1.2 RX-E1FUJIFILM-3

©ClareRowntreeXF18mmF2 RX-E1FUJIFILM-2

Even more impressive is…

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