Girl sharing bowl of noodles with monkey, Binh Thuan, Vietnam

Visions of Vietnam: 21 Beautiful Faces from Saigon, Hanoi and Beyond

Our eyes and (to a larger extent) our faces are the windows to our soul. Michael Clemmer writes:

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According to the ancient Chinese tradition of xiàng shù (face reading), the lines of our faces reveal not only the type of life we have lived but also how long we will live.

The lines of our forehead show the way of our thinking as well as parental influence.

That long line from the bridge of your nose down to your chin is called the Long Laugh Line. It’s the best. It says you will live past your 70s and those “crow’s feet” show that you are not easily fooled.

So skip that facelift and Botox. Every precious little line tells the world what a special person you are.

And in few places in the world is this more evident than Vietnam. Here, we share our favorite portraits from the people of Saigon, Hanoi, the Mekong Delta and beyond.

(Note: those with a weak stomach, turn back now. You’ve been warned …)

#1: Elderly Victim of Ketsana Typhoon

Ketsana typhoon
© Bùi Linh Ngân

One of many elderly queuing for relief rice from an NGO in Quang Nam Province – Vietnam, after Ketsana typhoon or “typhoon #9” in Vietnamese.

#2: A Motorcycle Taxi Rider in Chinatown

Bác xe ôm ở Chợ lớn Sài gòn (Explored #38) A Motorcycle Taxi rider in Chinatown Sai gon Viet Nam
© Tri Nguyen

#3: H’Mong Babygirl

H'Mong babygirl - mũ mèo nhỏ
© Bùi Linh Ngân

Babies in plateau areas are wrapped with hats, scarves, sweaters … everything but socks. It explains very clearly why all of them have running noses.

#4: Everyone Loves Noodles

Girl sharing bowl of noodles with monkey, Binh Thuan, Vietnam
© Anton Novoselov

#5: Wandering Sapa

Time (The first)
© Nguyá»…n Thành Lam

#6: The Face of Commerce in the Mekong

vietnam portraits
© Davidlohr Bueso

#7: The Local Butcher Shop

the butcher shop
© Bùi Linh Ngân

In the mountain regions of Vietnam, people love fatty pork.

#8: The Street Barber of Hanoi

Life in Hanoi, Vietnam
© Nathan O’Nions

#9: A Lifetime in the City

Asia } Vietnam } Ho Chi Minh } Aug 2010
© Edson Walker

#10: Carried Away

Carried away
© Staffan Scherz

#11: A Simple Smile

© Petr & Bara Ruzicka

#12: Generation in Hanoi

© Nathan O’Nions

#13: A Cham Priest at Kate Festival (Phan Rang, Ninh Thuan)

Cham Priest at Kate Festival, Vietnam
© Staffan Scherz

#14: The Ice Cream Man of Phu Quoc

© Eddy Milfort

#15: “I Wanna Be in the Photo Too!”

"I wanna be in the photo, too"
© Bùi Linh Ngân

#16: Calling It a Day

Calling it a day
© Staffan Scherz

#17: A Victim of the Saigon Monsoon

Saigon Monsoon
© mr_thomas

#18: Hard at Work in the Mekong (Cantho, Vietnam)

vietnam portraits
© Davidlohr Bueso

#19: Mobile Gift Shop in Hanoi

Ha Noi People, Vietnam
© Nathan O’Nions

#20: A Lifetime in Long An

Long An, Vietnam
© Staffan Scherz

#21: Curiosity

© Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha”

Founding Editor
  1. Dear Mike,

    Nice to known you from this article and also thanks a lot for your choice of my photo of Vietnam ! I’m very happy about this and my brother was show me this morning your write, my photo and some others photographer. I don’t known how to say, could I have a hard copy of your Article with my photo, then I will frame it and hang in my living room.
    Thanks and my Best Regards,

    Tri Nguyen

  2. @Tri: And thank YOU very much for the fantastic photo!

    Unfortunately we don’t really have any way to get a hard copy of this article to you. But you’re welcome to print it out and frame it that way =)

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