Ha Giang has long been considered Vietnam's Final Frontier--a place of mythical, mountainous landscapes and hill tribes still living lives untouched by modern times. It is the nation's northernmost province and a time capsule of sorts, devoid of the cities, traffic, noise and pollution that has come to characterize the rest of the country.
But while its remoteness has saved it from becoming part of Southeast Asia's well-worn tourist trail, it has also kept many of its residents--90% of whom are ethnic minorities--largely cut off from the rest of the world. Here they continue to harvest crops on rocky mountainsides and tend to vegetables on arid, hardly arable fields--modern currency for a plot of peace and serenity in a developing nation.
All images ©Aaron Joel Santos