From VietNam to Laos. Relation of the trip made by the Friends of 19 to 30 March 2013 by Jacqueline BERTHELOT-BLANCHET.

Dedicated to a part of North Vietnam not generally appearing in classic tours, the Friends' journey began with Hanoi, "the city of the rising dragon" arisen, according to legend, from fights between the deities of the soil and the spirits of water and once again became the capital of Indochina during the French presence in South-East Asia.

After Ha long inland, our trip continued in Upper Tonkin to meet the minorities of North Vietnam as well as in Laos where the mountainous regions served as a refuge for these populations originating from southern China. , following their various revolts against the administration of the Middle Empire.

Special mention goes to the Hmong minority (of mainly animist obedience) belonging to the Miao family, with particularly the Bac Ha market, located near Sapa, where the variety of traditional costumes, colors and beauty of adornments allow the identification of the group to which each of them belongs (white, flowery, green, red and black).

After the Pakou caves and before Vientiane, its temples and its museums, Luang Prabang was the highlight of this journey: a real jewel dotted with Buddhist temples, colonial Lao-style buildings, this former royal capital nestled in the hills and lush green forests offered everyone an unforgettable moment of serenity, far from the hectic bustle of the big Asian cities.

Of course, this journey would not have been complete if a visit had not been scheduled at the tomb of Henri Mouhot, on the banks of the Nam Khan River, not far from Luang Prabang about which this great discoverer of 'Angkor wrote: "If it weren't for the scorching heat, I would call it a little paradise."

An enriching journey in a friendly atmosphere specific to our society of Friends.

Bac Ha Market (Province of HoangLien Son): meeting minorities. © J.Berthelot-Blanchet

Vat Ho Phra Keo (Vientiane) © J.Berthelot-Blanchet


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