In the lush hanging valleys above Luang Prabang Hmong families have carved patches of farming land out of the jungle, preserving much of the highland seclusion they've become accustomed to in countries - Laos, Vietnam and China - that only tolerate them. This family has grown local staples, like water spinach, for decades. Recently, there has been mounting pressure on them by visiting Chinese traders to grow crops more suitable for the Chinese market. This family planted eggplant, a crop not typically used locally, for two years until the trader stopped coming and reneged on his promise of payment.
The family, like the vast majority of farmers in Laos, have returned to farming locally consumed crops.