It is during the summer of 2011 in Hoi An that it all began. Réhahn, the photographer, who was at the time a tourist with great interest for Vietnam, met Bui Thi Xong, a Vietnamese woman aged 74 years old at the time of their encounter.


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This is the incredible story of an elder Vietnamese lady that has become an iconic figure of Vietnam after posing for the French photographer.

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Little did this 75-year-old boat-rower know that this soon-to-be iconic photo would change her life

She was a shy and poor lady not used to seeing herself in photos, so she hid her face by reflex

Réhahn used her portrait as his book cover because for him it represented the joy of life despite old age and poverty

The photographer promised the lady that if his book becomes successful, he would buy her a new boat because the old one she had would scare off the tourists

After 6 months, the world recognized the hidden beauty behind the photo – Mrs Xong appeared on TV broadcast 5 times, became the most famous woman in Vietnam and, with a new boat, her tourism business is thriving as never