Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it stillDorothea Lange
Our visit to Indochina was only just over two years ago, yet in some ways it feels like a world away. A world barely touched by Covid, in which we didn’t question our ability to travel. Took it for granted, perhaps? Looking back at my photos I wonder why we didn’t realise that the disease already causing deaths and chaos in China would spread to engulf the whole world. Were we like ostriches, our heads in the sand? Or was it such an alien concept that we couldn’t envisage it?
Among the photos of that trip are many featuring the people of the region. People passed briefly on the street or encountered in a quiet village. People living their lives, as we were, unaware perhaps of what was coming. Although certainly by the time we reached Vietnam, the last of the three countries we visited, schools and universities were closed and businesses reliant on tourism were getting anxious.
Inspired by Terri’s Sunday Stills theme I thought I would share some of those images. My life and that of each of these people touched for a ‘fleeting moment’, then we went our separate ways. While this is true of all street photography, those from this trip have a special poignancy, knowing with the benefit of hindsight that their world, all our worlds, would never be quite the same again.
Disclaimer: many of these photos have appeared in previous posts about that trip. I’ve included links to a few of them should you wish to explore further.
Food vendor’s son by the Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Selling fried insects in Skun, Cambodia
Young monks visiting Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Traditional dancers taking a break at the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia
In a village near Siem Reap, Cambodia
Grandmother and granddaughter grinding rice to make a sort of milk in a family home near Siem Reap, Cambodia
In a monastery near Siem Reap, Cambodia
Vendor at the morning market in Luang Prabang, Laos
Weaver with her son in the small village of Sopchem, Laos
[My feature photo was also taken here, at the village primary school]
Mother and children crossing the river near Muang La in northern Laos
In the minority village of Ban Xong Ja, northern Laos
In the minority village of Phoe Taen Akha, northern Laos
Passing our hotel in old Hanoi, Vietnam
Growing rice near Halong Bay, Vietnam
In the Central Market, Hoi An, Vietnam
Making masks at the Traditional Art Performance House in Hoi An, Vietnam
Taking a selfie in Hoi An, Vietnam
Tourists by the Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam
Children in Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Bridal shoot at the HCMC History Museum, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
I travelled to Indochina in February 2020, just before the Covid pandemic took hold