The Lighter Side of Vietnam

The Lighter Side of Vietnam

The Lighter Side of Vietnam

Say hello to Huong!

She is from the White Thai ethnic minority of which their roots can be traced back to the geographical regions of Myanmar and Southern China. They mainly inhabit parts of Northern Vietnam such as Mai Chau.

Huong was my guide as she took me around her village of Ban Lac, the local market and 1,000 Steps Cave. Even though she is from an ethnic minority, Huong is like most Vietnamese women who desire to have white skin which is the social norm in Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese women will go through great lengths to keep their skin white. They will cover their bodies in protective clothing from head to toe (they will also carry around an umbrella, a facemask and gloves) to protect themselves from the sun. Also, they will use skin-whitening creams and if their budget can afford it beauty salon treatments.

When we were going to climb up to the 1,000 Steps Cave (actually over 1,200 steps) I asked Huong if she was going to join us. I asked because it was very hot and dripping humid that day (as it is everyday in Vietnam) and she was wearing jeans, long sleeve shirt and a jacket with a hoodie to cover her head and face.

“I will join you because I am your guide,” she replied.

“Aren’t you hot with that jacket on, especially since we have a steep climb ahead of us,” I asked?

She said the hot weather did not bother her, but was afraid of the sun because she did not want to get dark skin.

I asked if I could take a photo of her before we started the climb and she said yes. She then proceeded to remove her jacket and roll up her sleeves.

“What are you doing,” I asked “I thought you didn’t want to expose your skin to the sun?”

“I want to show my light skin,” she exclaimed!

You gotta love Vietnam!

Check back for more of my adventures in Vietnam! One more photo in the comment section.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Taken on: 13th May, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Sam Antonio Photography's page of Flickr

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