Visions of Vietnam: Women, their Smiling Faces, and their Clothing

by teasugaradream
( April 6th, 2011 )

Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country. There are 54 distinct groups, each with its own culture, lifestyle, heritage, and language. Each ethnic group also has its own style of clothing.

When I visited Vietnam, I had the opportunity to experience about six groups personally, although I probably saw many more as I traveled around. I was definitely intrigued with the style of clothing of each group, and how they differed.

Black Dzao Woman Vietnam

Many women were willing models, and showed some of their biggest smiles when the camera was taking their pictures. The woman above is a Black Dzao, taken at the Tam Duong market in the Sapa region of Vietnam. The hair is worn in a bun, kept in place by a silver frame resting on top of the head.

Flower H'mong Woman Vietnam

This woman is of the Flower H’mong, one of the most colorfully dressed groups, with intricately embroidered clothing. This photo was taken at the Coc Ly market in the Bac Ha region. I love her happy and enthusiastic smile.

Mekong Delta Woman Vietnam

This friendly woman’s photo was taken in the Mekong Delta area, where I was on a bicycle ride in this region. She was walking on the road as I was passing by, and more than willing to model for this photo. I love the warmth and wisdom in her smile.

The clothing of each of woman is definitely beautiful, and representative of their ethnicity.

Sweet Travels!

See more photos at DeliciousBaby!

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Bhutan: Bags are Packed!

by teasugaradream
( April 2nd, 2011 )

Preliminary itinerary created. Time off work requested. Deposit check paid. Bags are packed. I’m going to Bhutan! Well, ok, maybe the bags aren’t packet yet. But I am going to Bhutan!

Bhutan. Land of the Thunder Dragon. A place where their quality of life is measured by Gross National Happiness, rather than Gross Domestic Product. Where they’ve been considered the eighth happiest country on this planet. Nestled in the Himalayas, surrounded by Tibet, Nepal, India, and China. Where Buddhism is the main religion and agriculture is a way of life. Sprinkled with temples and monasteries and prayer flags and prayer wheels. Where thirteen traditional arts and crafts are mastered. Where archery is the national sport and the takin is the national animal. Where trekking is common, and festivals abound.

Flag of Bhutan

Bhutan’s National Flag

In October of this year, I will be joining Beth Whitman of Wanderlust and Lipstick, and WanderTours, on her Bhutan Laya Trek.  But I’m planning on extending her trip, however, arriving in Bhutan a few days ahead in order to experience a festival and a few additional places. And after the Laya Trek trip, I will stay longer in the country and venture to the middle to gather other happy experiences.

Bhutan Takin Jigme Dorji National Park

Bhutan’s National Animal, The Takin

Please stay tuned for blogs about my planning of this trip, how it came to be, research that I am doing to learn more about the country, and how I prepare over the next six months until departure.

Blue Himalyan Poppy Bhutan National Flower

Bhutan’s National Flower, The Blue Poppy

Of course, I shall continue to blog about past trips to Vietnam, to Europe, to the Galapagos, and other assorted travels.

Sweet (and Happy) Travels!

Photo Credits: All from Wikipedia.

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Visions of Vietnam: The Children #3

by teasugaradream
( March 29th, 2011 )

I pulled out the journal that I had written while I was in Vietnam, and found the following two entries that I wrote about the children:

“It was the children, however, that made my experiences that much more colorful. They would not only greet me with smiles, but they would wave and say ‘hallo,’ or better yet, instead, most would say ‘bye bye’ as a greeting. It was completely adorable. Perhaps ‘bye’ is easier for them to say than ‘hallo?’ Or perhaps that is what they were taught? I don’t know. But no matter what the reason, to be greeted with ‘bye bye’ made me smile and laugh with joy.”

Vietnam Children

“The children were also very enthusiastic when it came to taking pictures. All I had to do was show them my camera, and they would immediately gather together, look at the camera, and give their biggest smiles and giggles. And waves and peace signs. Adorable.”

Vietnam Children in a Hammock

Hammocks seemed to be a favorite place for the children.

Vietnam Children in a Hammock

An older child taking care of her younger sibling, by carrying the baby on her back was precious to see.

Vietnam Sister Carrying Baby

I also found these entries in my Vietnam journal. The first was written early in my travels, the second was written in the middle of my trip, and the third was written near the end:

“For every picture I took, I probably could have taken 6 more…”
“For every picture, there is at least a dozen more…”
“For every picture I took, I can take 6, no 12, no 24 more…”

Especially of the children.

Sweet (and precious) Travels!

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