Vinh Long, Vietnam, is a village known for its pottery. The landscape is dotted with beehive-shaped brick kilns where ceramics are mass-produced by hand. Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell wanted to visit, but had a time getting there. People in Saigon wanted to sell them a package tour, and people in Vinh Long didn't know where the kilns were. Once they managed to find their way, they had a great time.
The level of freedom was amazing. This was the opposite of a visit to some “touristy” craft village. Everyone we encountered was busy working, and they never tried to sell us anything nor usher us into a gift shop. Neither did they simply ignore us… they were just friendly and normal, and seemed amused that foreigners would consider their jobs photo-worthy.
In fact, at the third factory we visited, we were followed inside by a brother and sister who lived in a house on-site. They knew enough English for a proper interrogation, and after the standard “What is your name, where do you come from”-type questions, they asked why we were there. We said that we thought these kilns were very beautiful. And they looked at each other, hardly able to suppress their laughter. “Really?!”
You will agree, when you see the pictures at For 91 Days.