Last year I traveled from south to north Vietnam. One of my last stops there was Sapa a small town in the mountains. Sapa was way much too touristy but from there you can do hiking trips to smaller villages where the Hmong minority lives.
The woman on the picture was the guide of our small hiking group. All the way through green rice fields up to little villages she was talking about the Hmong and their life.
The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. She told us that family is the most important thing and that every tribe there has a old wise person that gives advises. They mostly live in very small cottages with one room where everything is done: cooking, sleeping, living. So we went to her own house where we meet her children and her husband and cooked together. The family didn’t have a bathroom or toilets nor electricity. “The kitchen” is a hole in the ground where you can make a fire to cook.
But the food was actually really good, we had rice (of course) with cabbage and other vegetables.
The men are normally working on the rice fields to get food for their family. Cows and pigs are running around, as well as water buffalos. The women take care of the children and sew these nice colorful clothes.
This hiking trips was one of my best experiences in south east asia and just another example that you do not luxury to be happy.