Đà Lạt - Encroachment

Jeep on dirt road in the jungle. The road shown above, west of Đà Lạt City, contrasts poignantly with the marching lines of plantations (to be seen throughout the province) where large areas have had their natural vegetation cleared, and the land has been 'brought into production' Sunsetting over a lake. Sunset over Tà Đùng reservoir on Highway 28... Large areas of Đà Lạt, and its neighbouring provinces, illustrate the change, over two generations, from a countryside of jungle and scrub, to one of neat plantation lines. The principle engine of this change was the policy of the government which encouraged people, by the offer of free land, to move south from the densely occupied areas of the north. Certainly those who took up the offer have gained a good return on their efforts. This page has photos of areas which are much as they have been for hundreds of years, together with areas that have been converted to production. The work of Georges Condominas, who documented so vividly the Sur Luk area before these changes, is inset into this page. Morning view over laake to hills, with fishing nets and fisherman. ...and again in the morning with the mist clearing and serene feel of the place
- although it does not show the dams and construction works
Fisherman in canoe. Tending fixed nets at the lakeside A lift-net in a river. A lift net similar to those seen Go to another page. in Kerala Wide view across country to distant mountains. The area of Sur Luk which is some 50 kilometres north-west of Đà Lạt City. The picture was taken in 2008 - 60 years after Georges Condominas carried out his anthropological studies. The foreground hill has been entirely converted to cash crops River bending through landscape of light shrubs. Three more views of the Sur Luk area... Hillside solid with  coffee plantations. ...showing the way the country has been developed... ...to light scrub, plantations and fields View of wide valley with fields. Old photograph of village procession. Village procession from Condominas book, denser scrub in background George Condonminas in his 30s. Below Georges Condominas at a talk he gave in Ha Noi in 2007 when he was 86 years old, and to the right, as he appeared on the dust jacket of his book originally published fifty years earlier in 1957 George Condominas with microphone in his 80s in Ha Noi. The cover of Condominas' book. The cover of the Engish version of Condonminas ' book River with ferry boat moored. The River đăk Rong K'nó just near the village where Condominas lived Scraped hillside with shed, pond and house roof. The location, as near as I could judge, of Condonminas' village Steep hillside with coffee plantation. Coffee plantations in this area helping make Vietnam... Near and far hillsides with coffee planations. ...the world's second biggest exporter of coffee beans Dragon fruit trees. A dragon fruit plantation. Close view of fruit and leaves of dragon fruit. Dragon fruit and leaf Coffee bushes on plantation. Coffee plantation Black peppers hanging in pendants from their vines. Pendent black pepper fruit. Below, the pepper shrubs growing in a plantation Treeless wide valley with many scattered houses and their crops. Small holdings with their crops and houses now dot the landscape Black pepper vines growing in towers. A silkworm hatchery frame with hundreds of larvae. Silkworms offer a traditional source of income (feeding in their hatchery) Han wading through river, Jeep parked on bank. Checking a river to see if it is shallow enough for the Jeep Slimly supported, parapetless plank bridge. A bridge with more more rustic elegance than health and safety features Some pictures of water as a reminder that Vietnam is largely a very wet country. Three story square tower with windows and balconies in lake with pipe leading to it. Maybe an island pavilion - most likely a pumping station Narrow vertical dam under construction. Many new dams are radically changing the topography An area of bare soil with standing stones next to a road. New roads, like new water control, lead to a changed landscape Thatched houses in scrubland. And in places, apart from a reduction in trees, the scene might be familiar to Condominas Large cumulous cloud rising up to height of plane wing tip. Something of Đà Lạt, seen in passing over the province, which we can all hope will not change Trailers... Sleeper beside bombs. The next page of this section has images from Laos: Forests, 'Jars' and Bombs. Three women at a market in northern Vietnam. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'The Middle Voice'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 28th March 2020 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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