We leave the high vertical mountains of Ha Giang to reach another province called Cao Bằng. The scenery has changed, still a lot of valleys and “large hills”.


As we are driving through a village, there is a town market happening in the center which we decide to check out.


It is very interesting to see people catching up with each other, sharing a drink, telling stories.


Some of the girls are wearing traditional attire.


We stop for food. Always good, fresh and spicy!


After that, we go and visit a village of one of the local people, called the Lo Los. There are only about 3500, living a very traditional and rural life. The women wear very characteristic clothes. They’ve been living the same way for centuries; a hard life but where everyone helps each other in small communities.


The clothes are colored from a plant called Indigo which gives it this very dark blue color.



We get invited to share tea in one of the houses.


Our host who doesn’t drink, instead smokes tobacco in an intriguing large pipe.


At his house, we learn that a wedding is happening tomorrow and we meet the bride (below!). She invites us to come over to her house where the village is gathered for a little party.


The men are preparing the meat.


These are the reserves of alcohol. Home-made rice wine! Enough for a whole army!



This is the groom.


This kid was super intrigued by my camera. He spent the whole evening trying to use it. Some of the shots below were taken by him!


It is very important to share the rice wine. It is a whole ritual. They also make sure that you drink your whole cup by shaming you if you don’t. All in good nature.


We are having a wonderful time. Our guide is very chatty and is sharing pictures on her phone.


Alas, it is getting dark and we have to leave our new friends to continue on our adventures. It is difficult to describe it with words, but this was such an intense encounter, interacting with people who were so nice with us, so welcoming even though hours before we were complete strangers, and with nothing in return. There is the famous saying in french that “Travels Broadens the Mind” and this was most definitely one particular evening that I will remember for a very long time.