This is back-breaking work, forever bending over at 90° planting the rice in water that must be less than 10°C, during hours at a time. No tea-breaks here...
Lots of friendly faces on our walk through the village and fields and amazing to see how long the people actually stand up to their knees in the water.
These houses are just one large room with bedrooms and kitchen blocked off by thick(ish) curtains. The curtains certainly didn't stop the pervading smells of the kitchen to invade the whole house. Promiscuity abounds as there are often 3 or 4 generations living under the one roof. Difficult for a European to contemplate living in these conditions, but these Black Thai's seemed happy enough.
Just along the road from Chieng Khoang in another village called Quynh Nhai there are two restaurants opposite each other. After being checked out by our guide and driver, they opted for the one on the left hand side of the road going north. This is a mother and daughter place with kids and dogs running around too. I can't say it was the cleanest place I've ever eaten in but if you want local, this is a great place. Caremelised pork was the main dish with of course the inevitable rice, washed down with, dare I say it, coke....no beer in the place. But it was fine, 270.000 VND (just 10 euros) for the 4 of us.
Note the Black Thai chignons of the two women.