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Pictures | Wed May 12, 2010 | 9:35am EDT

The love market

<p>Ethnic Hmong wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 mi) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. For nearly a hundred years, the Khau Vai love market as been known as a lovers' rendezvous.  REUTERS/Kham </p>

Ethnic Hmong wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 mi) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. For nearly a hundred years, the Khau Vai love market as been known as a lovers' rendezvous. ...more

Ethnic Hmong wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 mi) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. For nearly a hundred years, the Khau Vai love market as been known as a lovers' rendezvous. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Ethnic San Chi girls look at a mobile phone while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. This is no ordinary farmer's market. Flirting, courting and, hopefully, canoodling are the order of the day. Some travel days to attend. REUTERS/Kham </p>

Ethnic San Chi girls look at a mobile phone while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. This is no ordinary farmer's market. Flirting, courting and, hopefully, canoodling are the order of the day. Some travel days to attend....more

Ethnic San Chi girls look at a mobile phone while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. This is no ordinary farmer's market. Flirting, courting and, hopefully, canoodling are the order of the day. Some travel days to attend. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>A Hmong girl goes to Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Young, dreamy singles trek to Khau Vai in hopes of finding a first love. Wayward lovers come to escape their families. Older generations might hope to bump into an old flame.  REUTERS/Kham </p>

A Hmong girl goes to Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Young, dreamy singles trek to Khau Vai in hopes of finding a first love. Wayward lovers come to escape their families. Older generations might hope to bump into an old flame. REUTERS/Kham more

A Hmong girl goes to Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Young, dreamy singles trek to Khau Vai in hopes of finding a first love. Wayward lovers come to escape their families. Older generations might hope to bump into an old flame. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Ethnic Hmong people eat for breakfast as other men drink wine at Khau Vai "love market" May 10, 2010. Married men and women often return to the love market to rendezvous with former lovers, and they are allowed to meet again without jealousy from their spouses during this one event of the year. REUTERS/Kham </p>

Ethnic Hmong people eat for breakfast as other men drink wine at Khau Vai "love market" May 10, 2010. Married men and women often return to the love market to rendezvous with former lovers, and they are allowed to meet again without jealousy from...more

Ethnic Hmong people eat for breakfast as other men drink wine at Khau Vai "love market" May 10, 2010. Married men and women often return to the love market to rendezvous with former lovers, and they are allowed to meet again without jealousy from their spouses during this one event of the year. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Ethnic Hmong girls attend "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. Members of Giay, Nung, Tay, Dzao, San Chi, Lo Lo and Hmong hill tribes trek from across the mountainous districts of the Dong Van Plateau and as far away as nearby Cao Bang province to Khau Vai, which is in Ha Giang province near the border with China. REUTERS/Kham </p>

Ethnic Hmong girls attend "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. Members of Giay, Nung, Tay, Dzao, San Chi, Lo Lo and Hmong hill tribes trek from across the mountainous districts of the Dong Van Plateau and as far away as nearby Cao Bang...more

Ethnic Hmong girls attend "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. Members of Giay, Nung, Tay, Dzao, San Chi, Lo Lo and Hmong hill tribes trek from across the mountainous districts of the Dong Van Plateau and as far away as nearby Cao Bang province to Khau Vai, which is in Ha Giang province near the border with China. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Young Hmong women wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it the market dates back to 1919. A young couple from different tribes, Nung and Giay, are said to have met at Khau Vai. The girl was so beautiful, though, that her tribe did not want to let her marry a man from another tribe.  REUTERS/Kham </p>

Young Hmong women wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it the market dates back to 1919. A young couple from different tribes, Nung and Giay, are said to have met at Khau Vai. The girl was so beautiful, though,...more

Young Hmong women wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it the market dates back to 1919. A young couple from different tribes, Nung and Giay, are said to have met at Khau Vai. The girl was so beautiful, though, that her tribe did not want to let her marry a man from another tribe. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>A Hmong woman smiles at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it that a violent conflict resulted between the two lovers' tribes. One day, as the boy watched the two tribes do battle, he ran to the girl and they decided that to stop the bloodshed they would part ways. But they made a pact: once a year, on the 26th day of the third month of the lunar year, they would meet at Khau Vai. Thereafter Khau Vai became a meeting place for lovers. REUTERS/Kham </p>

A Hmong woman smiles at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it that a violent conflict resulted between the two lovers' tribes. One day, as the boy watched the two tribes do battle, he ran to the girl and they decided that to stop the...more

A Hmong woman smiles at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. Legend has it that a violent conflict resulted between the two lovers' tribes. One day, as the boy watched the two tribes do battle, he ran to the girl and they decided that to stop the bloodshed they would part ways. But they made a pact: once a year, on the 26th day of the third month of the lunar year, they would meet at Khau Vai. Thereafter Khau Vai became a meeting place for lovers. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>An ethnic Hmong man lies on the ground drunk at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham </p>

An ethnic Hmong man lies on the ground drunk at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

An ethnic Hmong man lies on the ground drunk at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Ethnic San Chi girls giggle while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Kham </p>

Ethnic San Chi girls giggle while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

Ethnic San Chi girls giggle while attending the "love market" in Khau Vai village May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Hmong girls wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Kham </p>

Hmong girls wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

Hmong girls wait for their lovers at the Khau Vai 'love market' May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>An Ethnic Giay woman (R) and Nung man sing while attending the "love market" May 9, 2010.  REUTERS/Kham </p>

An Ethnic Giay woman (R) and Nung man sing while attending the "love market" May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

An Ethnic Giay woman (R) and Nung man sing while attending the "love market" May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>The love market village of Khau Vai is seen from the top of a mountain in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 miles) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham</p>

The love market village of Khau Vai is seen from the top of a mountain in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 miles) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

The love market village of Khau Vai is seen from the top of a mountain in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province, 500 km (310 miles) north of Hanoi May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kham

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