Mountains and hills cover around two thirds of Vietnam and our photography tour was to the mountains in the north. The scenery was stunning, the air was a little cooler, and we felt as if we were seeing the ‘real’ Vietnam, instead of the popular tourist spots that can feel rather commercialised. Our focus (pardon the pun) was to be the rice terraces and the work that goes into producing this commodity. It was rice planting season and we saw the terraces in various stages in different areas. I’ve found it hard to whittle down my photographs as there were so many scenes and breathtaking vistas captured.
Every aspect of rice production is labour intensive, and although we saw the occasional motorised plough, buffalo are still mostly used to prepare the ground for planting.
Teamwork obviously makes the planting quicker on each terrace but it doesn’t mean that each individual does less work. It must be nicer to be able to have a chat with fellow workers than to work alone though.
The woman below right and bottom was throwing bundles of rice to workers in other terraces.
This terrace is now all planted and I thought that the scene was beautiful.
Below you can see how water flows down from one terrace to the next. I particularly like the worker walking back to his hut, carrying one of his tools and wearing a traditional hat.
The terraces below have much more established plants and the colour is very striking, as are the shapes.
The local people are very used to walking along narrow muddy walls and I didn’t see anyone lose their footing.
The sun was getting lower in the sky and casting great shadows. Wherever I travel, I always try to photograph the Country’s flag.
This poor lady looks utterly exhausted 🙁
These children however are having a great time playing in the water. I’m sure they will build great immune systems as it may well have buffalo poo in it!! I’d love to see a Persil or Daz advert getting those clothes clean!!
Some of the terraces have been planted below, some are just flooded, a couple appear to be dried up, and some others appear to be full of weeds from last season.
I liked the way the blue sky was reflected in the water below. There’s a great contrast in the photos between the blue, brown and green colours.
The planters are catching up with the buffalo who is having a rest!
The steepest hillsides don’t deter them from carving terraces to grow rice.
Golden Hour. We thought we were done for the day, but our guide wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to photograph this light !
Even after the sun had dropped behind the mountain there were still photographs to be taken.
Finally, when the rice is ready it’s still labour intensive as it’s hand picked, tied into bundles and carried out of the fields. This is an early crop from another area, and they will probably be able to grow two crops a year.