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Shots N Snippets

"Pleeeeaase... let me go! Release meeeee! I beg yooouuuu!" I could almost hear that pleading in oink language; in what seemed to be the loudest and longest wail of a pig's agony I'd ever endured. My heart went for the pig.

Just down from the main road, the irregular-shaped mild slope landing about the size of a badminton court was the pig section. Puppies also shared the space. All over the red earth landing, owners stood and waited for prospects to come and buy their legged properties.  Some leashed to the owners, some to wooden poles sticking out from the ground. At some spots, there was a filled clump of a gunny sack lying on the dusty red soil, with a hairy pig snout jutting out of a fist-size hole at the bottom of the sack.

"We did not pay for a commercialized, purpose-built 'homestay' with no farm on it. What we wanted is to homestay with a family in an authentic farmhouse so that we can experience their daily lifestyle!" my travel partner raged.

We brought this up with our tour guide amongst other gripes. "Ok! Ok! I will try to look for a new homestay for you," the tour guide pacified us.

After lunch the next day, we were told that we would be 'looking' for a new homestay. Our guide took us for a walk as he asked around for the location of a farmhouse homestay. We were kept in suspense as he kept stopping to ask for directions. At one point, he stopped at a local house where he asked permission from the owner for us to take some photographs.

"We will go trekking through this farm for a short-cut to the homestay." Puzzled, we just followed.

The mists were beginning to descend on us. Weather was very unpredictable in the Bac Ha highlands. It could be sunny now and the next minute, the place covered with mists so thick, you couldn't see what was ahead of you.

These beautiful shiny bowls were neatly arranged for display at one of the stalls catering to tourists in Can Cau market, Vietnam. Pleasant to look at, yet makes one wonder if they were made locally or had been imported solely for sale to tourists visiting the area.

The Saturday Can Cau market is a weekly meeting point for the ethnic minorities in the northwest Vietnam highlands, especially the Hmong people. They come to buy and sell farm products, animals, household items, corn wine, farming implements and such amongst the locals. Some come just to relax after a week of hard work, meet up with friends, eat and drink! Like the bowls, the traditional clothes of the ethnic groups are just as colourful and varied.

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Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

A little about me

Josh For some, it's shopping therapy. Others, movie therapy. Yet more, reading therapy. For me, it's writing therapy.
Why writing? When I travel, I enjoy first-hand the experience like in shopping therapy. But when I write about my travels, I live vicariously the experience again, as if like a movie sequel (or more like GroundHog Day, except that this is fun!). Yes, writing evokes the memories, the fun and the not-so-fun but all-in-all it gives the satisfaction of reliving the sense of place once more.
With images, it enhances the experience down one's travel memory lane. With this in mind, I hope to share my travel stories in words and images with you. For your escape therapy! More...

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