Lak Lake in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is a magical place.

In this article the photographs will tell their own story about this wonderful region.  Join me as I show you beautiful, tranquil images from this region   I spent almost a week recharging my batteries with my friend, the extremely talented photographer Gosia, living in communal longhouses, cycling around dusty lanes and paddy fields and getting to know the local people.

Lak Lake, reflections

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

It was here at Lak Lake that I finally, eventually came to love Vietnam.  Most people live in traditional villages with the majority of the homes being the wooden communal longhouses.  The residents are farmers, working hard in the paddy fields, walking their buffalo and cattle to the fields each day and rearing the friendly little black Vietnamese pigs and chickens.

Lak Lake sunset

sunset over Lak Lake

 

Lak Lake dawn

Dawn over Lak Lake

If you want the opportunity to travel with me and experience sights like this for yourself I can now offer you the chance.  Read more about it on my Travel with Me page here

 

Lak Lake paddy fields

hard at work preparing the rice fields for planting

 

Lak Lake beautiful lady

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

The lady above had childlike qualities.  She would wander around the village muttering quietly to herself and moving with perfect grace and poise.  Gosia gave her some biscuits.  The lady sat down and seemed confused by this action which is when Gosia took this image of her.

Lak Lake cows

taking the cows home through the town

 

Lake Lake farmers

taking the farm workers home

 

Lak Lake fishing

fishing on the shallow lake

 

Lak Lake market

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

I love the grumpy face on this market trader. She agreed to her photograph being taken but refused to smile for it.

Lak Lake lake

we cycled several hours in searing heat to get to this reservoir

 

Lak Lake children

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

We stopped at a roadside cart selling sugar cane juice.  These three little girls were playing outside their home and pretending to be shy.  Their father (the juice seller) was encouraging them to come over and chat to us.  This photograph was totally unposed

Lak Lake bamboo

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

 

Lak lake motorcyclists

motorcyclists stopping for directions

 

Lak Lake transport

transporting troops I think

 

Lak Lake sunset

another stunning sunset across the paddy fields

 

:Lak Lake transport

more transport options. Sadly the elephant rides were quite popular with the day trippers

 

31 people in a 15 seater minivan. For 5 HOURS!!!

31 people in a 15 seater minivan. For 5 HOURS!!!  No air conditioning and copious vomiting by the Vietnamese

 

Lak Lake lunchbreak

ladies herding their buffalo breaking for lunch in the shade

 

Lak Lake kids

taking the kids to school

 

Lak Lake children

children playing in their family boat

 

Lak Lake goat

a friendly goat

 

Lak Lake wedding

the wedding marquee set up in the main street

 

Lak Lake wedding

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

Drinking rice whiskey, rice wine and rice vodka at the wedding.

Lak Lake beds

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

We stayed in three different communal longhouses.  This was the first one

 

Lak Lake paddy fields

Paddy fields

 

Lak Lake fish

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

 

Lak Lake homes

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

 

Lak Lake longhouses

traditional communal longhouses

Every village had its own customs, house designs and traditions.  In some of them, the number of windows would signify the number of females in the home.  Each time a girl was born a new window would be cut out of the side of the house.

Lak Lake lunch

Woller choosing his breakfast

 

Lak Lake motorbike

wide load #noroadrules

 

Lak Lake motorbike

nothing is impossible

I helped this lady load her motorbike as she couldn’t balance the boxes and tie them all down by herself.  I watched her ride away with my heart in my mouth – hoping that I had strapped things down properly with her

Lak Lake motorbike

problem? what problem?

 

Lak Lake breakfast

our favourite breakfast stop in the market

This lady would bring all the other stall holders over to watch us eating at her place.  She was so proud.  And hardworking. In the evenings she ran a food stall out on the street with her children helping her.

Lak Lake hammock

hammocks outside a roadside drink stall. So sensible

 

Lak Lake pigs

cute little piggies

 

Lak Lake baby

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

Another proud father on his motorbike who asked Gosia to take a picture of his daughter

Lak Lake food

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

 

Lak Lake food

roadside food stall

People hate the sun and wrap up tightly against it despite the heat.  To be brown signifies to be a poor farmer.  Pale is more beautiful

Lak Lake market

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

Would you eat your breakfast here?  This would be a perfect food challenge if you are doing the Smash the Pumpkin Project.  Read about that project here and find out how challenging yourself with little things like where you eat your lunch can boost your self-confidence and self- esteem

Lak Lake sunset

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

 

Lak Lake dancers

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

We gatecrashed a Russian tour group’s cultural evening.

Lak Lake cows

rural life

 

Lak Lake view

view across Lak Lake

 

Lak Lake coffee blossom

coffee blossom

The coffee shrubs were in full blossom when we were there.  The scent was amazing – similar to jasmine.

Lak Lake rice

drying rice in the road

 

Lak Lake cooking

cooking up the pigs lunch

 

Lak Lake bicycle

stopping for a break

 

Lak Lake children

meeting the kids

We had stopped for a beer at a tiny hut by the road.  I gave some old teeshirts to the mum.  They were worn and slightly damaged but she dragged me over to see her sewing machine and then dragged the kids over to pose with me.  She would alter them for the children

Lak Lake children

children by Lak Lake

 

Lak Lake children

kids are the same the world over

One evening there was a tap at our door and these two little boys came in.  They poked around our bags and belongings and then spotted the computer.  They only left when the battery ran flat

Lak Lake elephants

elephant rides at Lak Lake. Be a good traveller.  Don’t ride elephants

 

Lak Lake sunset

another sunset over Lak Lake

 

Lak Lake hostel

staying at the hostel on Lak Lake

 

Lak Lake rural scene

rural scene unchanged for years

 

Lak Lake cemetary

funeral flowers at the cemetery

 

Lak Lake reservoir

panoramic view at one of the reservoirs on our bike ride

 

Lak Lake reservoir

Peace and quiet

 

Lak Lake cycling

cycling along almost deserted dusty lanes

 

Lak Lake lotus flowers

green fields and lotus flowers in the lake

 

Lak Lake boat

ordinary people living their ordinary lives

 

food cooked by the side of the road

Photo: Gosia Czerwinska

You can read more about Lak Lake on my blog post at this link: Dalat Lake or Lak Lake.  What’s the difference?

Thank you to Gosia Czerwinska for some amazing photographs and some wonderful memories.

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