Viet Nam with Kim and Kevin

From July 4 to 27, my brother Kevin and I travelled in Viet Nam, peering closely at the country through our respective lenses of filmmaker and historian. Here is the first installment, my first internet photos, and my first fitful start at using technology for sharing what I have learned.

15 August 2005

After a farewell dinner with Hien and his family (at which we decided to return later for an extra day in Hanoi), Kevin and I took an airconditioned sleeper train at night from Hanoi to Lao Cai, a border city with China in the northwest part of Viet Nam. We then took a bus on the curvilinear road up the mountains to the former French hill station of Sapa. We spent three days there, two of them trekking deep into the valley, where we were blessed with the talented guidance of a young Black Hmong woman, Ger, who led us through the landscape of her culture. The Black Hmong are the poorest ethnic group in Viet Nam, one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the time we were immersed in this culture was among the richest experiences of our lives.