Customers at the Bắc Hà Market

Two women. The pleasure of an ice cream admired at the Bắc Hà market in northern Vietnam The last page introduced the market at Bắc Hà in Lào Cai Province, concentrating on those selling their wares. This page continues with the market, but showing something of the buyers. While nearly all the vendors come from within walking distance of the market, the customers come from around the world; these photographs seek to avoid dispelling the illusion of a local market, and so minimise foreign appearances. Man and woman.
A man and woman checking their money
Choosing vegetables. Choosing courgettes Woman with earring. Woman with earring Group gossiping. Gossip amongst shoppers - balloons welcomed Young woman. Hallmarks of the Flower H'Mông women:
gold teeth, bright clothes and earrings
As noticed on the last page the people at the market, who attract photographers like magnets, are the women of the Flower H'Mông ethnic group. The women's clothes are wonderful works of art which take the makers many months to weave and then embroider. The men, as with other ethnic groups in the north, wear plain dark jackets with low collars and woven toggles for fastenings. Men, woman and dog. Hardly visible on a small screen are the toothpicks both the Viet woman and man are chewing - a ubiquitous practice in Vietnam. The dog sadly, by its breed, is also for chewing Woman paying. In contrast to those western clad Viet, a H'Mông woman pays for her vegetables The local H'Mông people act as a magnet for tourists, but in all parts of Vietnam the majority group, the Viet (known in Vietnam as Kinh), are present, dressed as westerners dress. Girls eating pineapple. These girls are managing the sticky feat of eating chunks of pineapple while perambulating Man and woman. Viet man and local woman Man and sugar cane. A man is taking home his uncut sugar cane Cutting up sugar cane. Here the cane is being cut into short lengths to form individual portions; eaten as we eat sweets Meal in market hall. Here a photographer is allowed to intrude onto this page.
For a shot he missed see the page on 'Mat Meals'
Social gatherings are at the heart of markets (and all else) in Vietnam, and food is at the heart of social gatherings. All markets have a range of eating and drinking options. Man at cafe table. In the buildings around all markets cafés abound, allowing customers to contemplate the commotion in peace Cafe under canvas. Some cafés operate in permanent halls
like the one in the picture higher up,
others, like the one above, appear
under shelters erected on the day
Man in hat eating. This is the less common male equivalent of the conical hats worn by women; here he has it over his cap Men after eating. A group of men looking a little slowed down after eating and no doubt some drinking Women and money. Women are the entrepreneurs of Vietnam, money is rarely too far from even the most convivial of occasions The next page goes back to Đồng Văn and takes a look inside the palace on which the café, of a previous page, was modelled. Dong Van palace screen. line
Saturday 19th November 2016 Murphy on duty

Go to the Picture Posting contents page Return to the top