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Shots N Snippets

Hillside Market at Can Cau

in Vietnam
on: 18 October 2012

In the Northwest Vietnam highlands, there are many tribes of people groups with their distinctive traditional wear. Each tribe has an identifiable style which clearly differentiates them from the rest. In this image, the womenfolk here are from the Flower Hmong people. They are distinguished by the cheerful bands of multi-coloured embroidery that adorn their clothing.

This hillside market is located at Can Cau, which is between Lao Cai and the China border. It is a weekly Saturday market where the tribes from nearby areas gather to buy and sell farm products, animals, farming equipment, household items and clothes. It is also a time when they take a break from farming duties, meet friends, eat and drink while the youths take the opportunity to connect with their lovers.

The first tomb we visited in Hue was for Emperor Minh Mang, who ruled from 1820 to 1840. The luxuriant gardens and man-made lakes with the imperial temple, seen here in this image, would have been easily passed as a massive park. One can't help but feel completely peaceful and serene walking around the grounds.

Each mausoleum has a specific character and design. Even so, they each contain five essential elements. Usually there is an honour courtyard filled with stone figures of mandarins, horses and elephants. Next is a stele pavilion that houses a huge marble tablet describing the emperor's accomplishments and virtues, written in Chinese characters. The third element is a temple for the worship of the emperor and the empress. It is usually built higher from the ground. As for the sepulcher, it is normally enclosed in some manner, where the emperor's remains were buried. The final feature consists of beautiful lakes surrounded by frangipani and pine trees, which gives the tombs the peaceful ambience.

The houses in Hoi An dates back to the 18th and 19th century. Some had been lovingly preserved by successive generations of families living in the houses up till today.

The Tan Ky House is a two-storey shophouse built in the late eighteenth-century. It incorporates influences from Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architectural styles, which is a typical characteristic in Hoi An. Situated next to the Thu Bon River, floods are an annual occurrence in the river city. As the back of the house is literally meters away from the river, it is often flooded. Marks on one wall inside the house recorded a few of the recent flood heights. One flood in 1964, said to be the worst flood ever in Hoi An, almost covered the entire ground level.

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