Hoten (Jéw) - 96 years old - In a hut among the rice fields, Sapa

We visited Hoten's hut whilst on a hike through the rice fields with Sho ... Hoten was a gorgeous grandmother who at her ripe old age of 96 complained that she had just one problem - her eyes weren't so good anymore ... otherwise she was fit as a fiddle. What a fantastic face, feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to draw her. I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Sapa so had a chance to photocopy her portrait as well as that of the farmer's at the markets and pass them on. It's such a lovely feeling to think that they might be hung up somewhere in such a contrasting place to all I know and hopefully be a fond memory for them as more than just some tourist.

Heidi, Victoria Hotel, Sapa

Our favourite chill-out haunt with delectable desserts .... 30 May 2006

Farmer drinking tea, Sapa Markets

I came across this farmer sipping his tea as I walked through the markets in Sapa ... he had the most amazing face. It was one of those times I was by myself and I had to use my best sign language to communicate to him my request to draw him. To my amazement he accepted with a simple nod and hand gesture for me to join him. Before I knew it I was surrounded by a small crowd of locals speaking a million miles an hour around me - it was such an intense feeling not really knowing what they were saying - approving, disapproving, telling him to demand money ??? ... When I finally finished and showed him the portrait there was an overwhelming gush of laughter from everyone including the farmer. I then proceeded to request for obligatory signature ... after some confusion I realised he was illiterate ... but he left me a fabulous fingerprint. Priceless.

Chua Huong - monk at Perfume Pagoda

Im sure he was annoyed by all the tourists coming through, including me ... yet he let me draw him with a little reservation. It was quite nice to see him totally soften after he saw my efforts at which point I got the first break-through of a smile. 3 June 2006

Sarah, Hanoi

Originally from Perth, Sarah was our gracious guide showing us some of the tucked away wonders of Hanoi like the Green Tangerine. 25 May 2006

Sho - guide, Sapa

We were so fortunate to meet this remarkable young lady. Not only had she taught herself english just through spending time with tourists, but she was a joy to be around with so many extraordinary stories of life there ... such a breath of fresh air compared to many guides. She took us through the ankle deep in mud treks of the rice fields telling us of her brothers murder over a buffalo, about the Shaman woman we crossed, passed out intoxicated in the mud amongst the more daily routines of these hard working people.

Khu Laochai, Sapa

One of the girls that hung out around our hotel selling local trinkets

Abi Polus, Bagette & Chocolate, Sapa

Met Abi and Cathrine at one of these crazy 'where am I' places - a modern french style cafe in the middle of traditional Vietnam. Vietnam was once a French colony so a croissant and coffee for breakfast is not as strange request as you would expect in the middle of asia. 1 June 2006

Heidi, Hanoi

25 May 2006