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Vietnamese lowlanders (called người Kinh by ethnic minorities) number about 15 percent of the Sa Pa region population. However, they control much of the local economy by building hotels, the infrastructure, and the services needed to support the influx of tourists, both national and international. People from inside Việt Nam now go to Sa Pa on vacations, and they are the majority of the tourists seen there.

Lowlander Vietnamese in Sa Pa.

Lowlander Vietnamese in Sa Pa.

Lowlanders (người Kinh) in Sa Pa.

Lowlanders (người Kinh) in Sa Pa.

In talking to some H’Mong and Red Dao people, I sensed resentment that the lowlanders have taken a disproportionate share of the economy, monopolizing hotels and travel services.

H'Mong woman and daughter selling vegetables at outdoor Sa Pa market.

H’Mong woman and daughter selling vegetables at outdoor Sa Pa market.

Lowlanders selling barbecue chicken at a stand in Hàm Rồng park.

Lowlanders serving barbecue chicken at a stand in Hàm Rồng park.

Group of H'Mong women in front of a hotel in Sa Pa.

Group of H’Mong women in front of a hotel in Sa Pa.

H'Mong girl walking downhill.

H’Mong girl walking downhill.

H'Mong woman and child.

H’Mong woman and child.

Highlander and Lowlander.

Highlander and Lowlander.

Young and old.

Young and old.

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