| We continued on to Ban Ho (Tay Village) where the Muong Hum Market is located in the Lai Chai province. This was the only day we had sun and a partial view of the sky and mountains. We never saw Fan Si Pan mountain. Our driver and translator conferred at length and decided we should stop and look at the view as it was probably going to be the best that could be had. One can see from my photo that during our time in north Vietnam we drove above, through and below the clouds. It is easy to understand why outfits are so colorful against the green fields and the white mist. The majority of our trip took place with low visibility, light mist and cold! There is a reason everyone in our photos, ourselves included, have layers bundled one on top of the other.
Another item of note is the electric infrastructure, Vietnam has installed significant and impressive electric power supply throughout the mountain. The poles installed around the roads and wires strung across huge valleys show a tremendous dedication of labor & capital to providing power to this part of the country. We saw several dam installations and water turbines providing the power to the region. Entire towns had been relocated and renamed to allow for the water power to be collected and stored for energy production.
The Muong Hum market was mostly populated by the Red Dzao in magnificent headpieces, the Flower Hmong in their colorful and coin embellished collars and the Hahni with their striking hairstyles set off by the blue trim in their outfits. An occasional Black Hmong would wander thru the marketplace. It was quite the social occasion as many groups seemed more interested in sharing stories than shopping.
The Hahni lady was not shy against charging me to take her photo but I paid up as her hair fashion was unique and I wanted to capture the impressive styling.
From the market we visited a Hahni village, outside of Ban Ho. This village was less prosperous than other villages. The children were in a gay mood and welcomed us. Most of the residents were away working so we did not stay long. We moved on to Sa Pa, our home base for the next couple of days.
Kay and I were delighted that there was a Hmong loom set up in the lobby. Now my travel notes break down for me here as I noted that the hotel lobby weavers are Tay from Ban Ho? But I also noted Hmong, foiled again by notes taken in the field.