After a day of walking and climbing, we arrived at the village in the afternoon. It is where highland people (Hmong and Khmu) are staying. Before entering the village, we met an old couple there. Our tour guide passes them our empty mineral bottles. They seem very happy! We were told that those bottles are very useful to them and it is almost a great gift for them. They will use it in many ways.
Traditional style homestay
We were brought to the house of chief. It is a newly built bungalow for special guest like us. Below picture is where we spent the night. A mother and her son is dropping by and check us out as we (2 Asian and 1 European) came and crash at their village.
The house is very basic, made from wood and straw and do not have a concrete floor. There are two rooms, both with mosquito net and blanket.
There is no electricity, so we open up the big window in front of the living area to have some light and fresh air. I was sitting at the living room and enjoy the “back to basic” moment.
There is no water supply here… The only water source is here…
The water is from a spring nearby. The whole village will come here for fresh water and shower. The small hut on the left is the village toilet. We can do “big business” and shower there.
I try to imagine the life my grandparent 50 years back (in Tangkak, a small town in Johor, Malaysia), I was told they were living a hard life… Are they living in such basic condition? Probably I should show my grandma these pictures I have… The people here rely heavily on agriculture and hunting to get the main source of food. That time when we visit is dry season and it is hard for them to farm. Some of the man go hunting at night.
There is a school next to the village. I’m not sure if they have text book for the kids. From what I know through our guide, he learn English from his work as he never go to school. He use to be a skill hunter and living a basic life in jungle. He told that he wants to provide a better life for his family so he left his village and go to town to find opportunity. He is now a English speaking private guide with skilful trekking experience. The money is good.
There’s a field next to the school (below picture), there are a few teenagers playing football. Very basic structure.
At our leisure time, the guide bring us to visit a cave at the back of village.
We were told that long ago during war, people use this place as a secret meeting place.
After we visit the cave, we go back and walk around the village. The people here like to spend their leisure time outside the house in the evening.
Hill Tribes People at their leisure time
The kids here do not have any fancy toys but they have fun playing anything they can find with their friends. Below a series of photos of the locals I find very interesting…
Dinner and breakfast in the hill tribe village
Consider the fact food is scarce here and we were given eggs in every meal, I feel really blessed. We light up the candle in the evening for dinner. We had deep fried river weed, soup with vegetable and eggs, A nice meal from the chief’s kitchen.
The breakfast is impressive. Let me explain why…
They do not have gas and electricity. The lady wake up really early to start a fire in the kitchen and cook us hot noodle soup with egg. I was simply amazed and appreciate her effort.
Forgot to mention that the morning here is a little bit chilly. Hot noodle soup with egg never taste so good!
After breakfast, Patrick demonstrate his football skill.
We pack up and continue our journey at about 7:30am.
Day 2 journey begin…
Please stay tuned for part 3 as we stop walking and slip all the way down the hill…