Around the World Trip - Last Stop, Vietnam

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The final country on our Around the World adventure was Vietnam. We spent eight days in this beautiful country and visited four very unique locations: Hoi An, Hanoi, Sapa, and the stunning Ha Long Bay.  There are a few more images than usual in this post, but represent only a glimpse into this stunning country. Hoi An is a beautifully maintained 19th century trading port and UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its lanterns and the place to get custom made clothes and shoes made within hours.

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Below are helical incense burners inside a temple. They have a donor's wishes and hopes tied on as as yellow tags. Make a donation, and you, too, can make a wish!

To market, to market...

Onto to Sapa, a small town high up in the mountains of northern Vietnam. It's known for its terraced rice fields and surprisingly, North Face clothing. Why? This is one of where much of the North Face clothing is made. Who knew?

Sapa is also home to several of Vietnam's ethic tribes which include the Black Hmong, Flower Hmong, and the Red Dao.

This very shy Hmong girl's clothing was made by her mother from hemp and cotton, accented by cross stitch patterns. The women harvest the hemp, spin the thread, dye it, weave into cloth, then cross stitch detailed patterns.  The amount of work to produce their colorful clothing was incredible. (Note her wellies- many of the Hmong women wore them and for good reason.)

And finally, Ha Long Bay on the northeast coast of Vietnam.

We stopped along the road so I could walk down to the rice fields.  I'd seen the woman working in the fields, so impressed by their their back breaking efforts.  Once they understood I was admiring their strong backs, they smiled and one waved in appreciation.