During the last trip I did with friends in Indochina, we had the opportunity to get in contact with local people. There are two experiences I would like to share. The first was in Cambodia. We took a tour along the river Tonle Sap. Fortunately our group was big enough to fill the boat, so we had the opportunity to have a chat with our guide. His name is Na and he comes from the hills behind the river shores that he calls mountains. His family works in the mangrove forest and hunt wild animals for eating and get some money. Na learnt english in one of the two school along the river, where also a lot of parentless children are looked after and teached basic education. He explained that the point of organizing these tours is to raise founds for children to provide them food.
The second one was in northern Vietnam in the region of Sa Pa. We booked two days and a night in a local house, precisely in the guide House. The guide Ly May Lai picked us up at the city center and drove us for a short trekking inside the rice fields until we reached her house. Their life is based on farming and craftsmanship. The main source of food comes from rice. Every family has a piece of land where to grow it. Nowadays only few families can afford a more modern machine that is used to separte grains of rice from the plants harvested. Who can’t afford it is still doing it by hands. Ly May Lai’s house welcome was very warm. Although the house didn’t offer five star services, all the family was very kind to us. Her mother come to the woods to collect special herbs to prepare a bath for us; they prepared a table full of food for our dinner and we ate and cheered toghether until late in the night; Once they came to bed her husband offered us few bottles of happy water (tipical hand made liquor)and let us stay awake and cheer with the other group of people. The day after we kept on walking on the ricefields until we reached the road where a bus was waiting for us.