|Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province|
Buffalo Surf spent a week in northern Vietnam doing field visits for work. One of the provinces I went to was Hoa Binh and it reminded me a lot of Vancouver Island where I last lived. Hoa Binh is mountainous and in the winter, rainy and foggy. One night coming out of our small wood hotel’s restaurant, I looked up and thought the mountain range was on fire. A red sheet of light glowed ominously in the fog at the top, but it turns out it was just the spot lights around a giant statue of Ho Chi Minh pointing the way to freedom.
There is much driving because northern Vietnam is spacious with rough terrain and the people are a little more spread out than in the crowded south. I thought often of rural woman at home with small children having to manage with some of the toilets I saw and used.