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a few months ago, we went on a five-day tour around vietnam. the trip was initiated and supported by turkish airlines. from istanbul, they fly into ho chi minh city, landing just in time for the new arrivals to the watch the city’s nightlife blossom. the second installment of our tripartite story (part one can be found here) takes us to the mysterious mists of sapa valley…

the bus is swaying along the narrow serpentines winding around the mountain. we are on our way to sapa, a village in vietnam’s back country at a height of 1.600 meters. to our right a steep stone wall, to our left a dizzying gorge. the turn of each bend is rewarding, as new breathtaking views of the famous, oh so pictoresque, shining green rice terraces offer themselves – when they are not hidden in the mist.

nature is a tough beast here. sapa is the coldest, foggiest place in vietnam – but never for long. once the fog clears up, we head down a loamy trail. clouds reflect in the water of the terraces. water buffalo keep crossing our path.

between rocks and rice live the people of the mhong or dao. their traditional, artfully embroidered garments are colorful dashes in this world of browns and grays. but unike in vietnam’s busy cities, everything heer seems to happen very slowly – almost like time has stopped.

all photography by nora römer.