Be Overwhelmed With Some Unique Festivals In Sapa

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Sapa is a mountainous province in Lao Cai province, which has many beautiful landscapes and traditional cultural practices. Nowadays, the number of visitors interested in Sapa homestay tours is getting bigger and bigger as these trips create a new environment to learn about the unique culture as well as customs of the ethnic people. For tourists, Sapa festivals are the highlight that attracts them to reach Sapa. The following is some main festivals of Sapa people.

The ceremony of sweeping the village of Xa Pho

Every year, the residents in Xa Pho organize the festival of sweeping their village in February basing on the lunar calendar with the purpose of praying for the new peaceful and wealthy year.

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The festival of the sweeping village of Xa Pho

When joining the festival, people carry a bowl of rice, a chicken, money, two incense sticks and a bottle of wine. Those who bring dogs, pigs and goats, the headman of the village and some locals visit their family and pray for their family for one day.

By the appointed day, all the men in the village brought all the gifts to an empty area. Following the assignment, healthy men swiftly slaughter pork, chicken, goats, and dogs together. The shaman will sweep the house for the whole village. At the house, the priest places a cup of wine on the altar of the family, mumbling names of all family members in that house. Travelers also can take part in this festival with the local through Sapa homestay tours.

Dance Festival

This is an important and well-prepared festival of Dao people in Ta Van. Before the main day, young men practice some dance and young women dye indigo, embroidered new clothes. Dance holiday usually takes place in which the head of the family lives; all family members are also busy to help them prepare the holiday.

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Dance Festival in Sapa

The Dance festival commonly combine with any kind of folk art activities which are rich in cultural identity and absorbed in human nature. Through Sapa tours, tourists can even anticipate in the unique festival of the indigenous.

Festival of visiting fields

Took place on 8th January, the festival attracts a lot of local people. There are also many foreign tourists coming to enjoy and discover the special culture of mountainous people as things to do in Sapa.

The procession, decorated with vibrant colors in the symbol of yin and yang, will be the beginning of the ceremony. The procession group always has to depart early in the morning. The palanquin is carried out by two young couples and the worshipers lead the team. When worshipers implement rites, the other people will prepare some offerings for later rites. It is said that fortunetellers are on behalf of the local to get in touch with the gods and transfer their expectation of the proliferation, flourishing to the God.

The festival of visiting fields is one of the unique cultural characteristics of the ethnic. It indicates the profound national identity of Vietnamese.

The festival of welcoming new rice crop

To express the gratitude to the sacred, people of Xa Pho organize this festival before the new rice crop.  This festival has deeply agricultural threshold, so it quickly draws the curiosity of tourists from various regions. The indigenous are quite friendly and hospitable, so visitors who are from distant places, do not find it difficult to get Sapa homestays.

The ceremony of the welcome new soul of rice of Xa Pho is also a personal identity. On the new family meal, all the old rice was removed; the house was cleaned up with the meaning of replacing the old one. At that time, the family would ask beautiful, healthy women to cut the new rice, normally the wife and daughter of the landlord. They will get up early, prepare their hair neatly, dress beautifully, then quietly go to the field, and slash rice.

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Girls cropping rice in the festival

At Xa Pho, the local often avoid meeting their neighbors on the way to the rice fields. If you see the person cutting rice, you will have to avoid asking questions, because this is a ritual to welcome the soul of rice, very important and sacred. When the rice is cropped, the woman will go along to the east where the sun rises to welcome the radiant dawn. After picking rice at home, people will pound rice in the following morning and then cook them to offer the ancestors.

These are some highlighted festivals in Sapa taken places every year, hope you will enjoy them!

Enjoy your time in Pu Luong Retreat

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PuLuong Retreat is located in Pu Luong National Reserve, Ban Don District, Thanh Lam Commune, Ba Thuoc District, Thanh Hoa Province, which is about 180 km from Hanoi. This eco-friendly resort is a hot spot that many people decide to visit on their Pu Luong trekking tour in the North for exploring and relaxing in the mountains of Thanh Hoa.

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View from Pu Luong Retreat

This is a separate resort operating as a hotel. With a small space of only 2 stilt houses and 8 bungalows in an area of about 3000 m2, the resort cannot accommodate for visitors or guests who do not book. Puluong Retreat has 8 beautiful bungalows built right next to the terraced fields. All bungalows have beautiful views overlooking the bellowing valley. Every morning when you wake up, you will be surprised because of the wonderful view here with the cloud and bright sunrise from the mountains far away.

Much modern equipment is not available at Puluong Retreat but basic facilities are provided, which help to bring visitors closer to nature. For that goal, this place is not equipped with television, refrigerator, air conditioning or other entertainment services, which might make you find it quite strange. However, this place is equipped with quite stable free Wi-Fi. These reasons are persuasive enough for tourists to choose the resort for their Pu Luong trekking tour.

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Wonderful swimming pool

The water in the swimming pool comes from the high mountains, flows in and out according to the circulation of nature. No chemicals are used to clean the pool or water here, so it is very safe. However, on the days when the weather change, the pool can appear algae, which might last for one to two weeks. Located in the nature reserve zone, most of the materials in the room are environmentally friendly, which is made in the Pu Luong area and stylized.

You cannot have a perfect Pu Luong trekking tour without enjoying dishes in the resort’s restaurant. The restaurant serves European, Asian and traditional Thai dishes made from local ingredients. However, guests should book their meals as the resort is located far from the center and the market.

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Wonderful place for tracking tour

Because the resort is located in Thanh Hoa Province, your Vietnam countryside tour to Pu Luong can take about 4-5 hours for traveling from Hanoi. In that journey, you can feel the change from the crowded urban life to a quiet and harmonious blue sky. Coming to Pu Luong, you can experience activities such as cycling, hiking, kayaking, rafting. In addition, you may gain experience of exploring the diversity of plants and animals in the nature reserve. You can also visit the ethnic villages and learn about the cultural identity of the Thai people in Thanh Hoa.

Each room and suite has a balcony, a living area, and views of the valley. Private bathrooms come with shower facilities, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Some suites include a bathtub. The resort has limited party activities such as singing all night, which make sure the absolute calm for visitors after 10 pm. This is also the principle of common behavior of the community living in the peaceful villages of the surrounding Thai people.

If you want to have a Pu Luong tailor-made tour, you can borrow motorbike to take a scenic stroll around to explore the nearby forest and visit a gorgeous waterfall. Watch terraced fields from above view and enjoy the silence of the region, there is no word describing the natural beauty in here. In your journey, you should get up early to enjoy the landscape’s beauty from the sunbeams in the dawn until the end of the horizon shines blue at sunset. You can have the feeling of standing in the clouds, among the mists. And if you can sleep a little later, you should take time to visit the empty field, in the middle of the grass and watch the starry sky.

If you have the intention to bring your children to Pu Luong Retreat, you should also carefully notice that the resort does not have a separate play area for children. In addition, as the resort is also an open space and close to the natural lake and pond, fields, you will have to keep your eye on the children. However, it is undeniable that this resort is a wonderful place for your Pu Luong tour. Therefore, let’s enjoy your tour in the most ideal resort.

Northern Vietnam tours to Sapa – what should you do?

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You might have heard a lot about Sapa as the top tourist destination in Vietnam. But as there are so many destinations, you might be wondering Where to go in northern Vietnam or more specifically is where to go in Sapa. Here are the top new destinations waiting for you to explore in Sapa.

Sin Chai Village

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Sin Chai field

Although only about 5 km from Sapa town, and adjacent to Cat Cat – a popular tourist destination of Sapa, the Sin Chai village does not have many tourists to visit. Therefore, Sin Chai still preserves the pristine beauty of the mountain landscape with the unique character of the H’Mong people. It must be on your list of the top things to do in Sapa, right?

The Sin Chai is located at the foot of Fansipan mountain. The house stretch in the valley surrounded by mountains, monorail roads. You must pass through the Cat Cat village to get to this town of Sapa. About 1,600 Hmong Black people here do cultivation and livestock for the living.

Just like the villages in Sapa and other upland areas in the Northwest, rainfall-dependent rained cultivation. The cultivation of rice and maize on terraced fields has only one season in mid-April. Or it may happen sooner or later depending on the summer thunderstorms.

This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to learn about the life of H’Mong people in Sapa. No noisy, no salesman rowing like Cat Cat, Ta Phin, Ta Van, Sin Chai is a peaceful place with no salesman.

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Sin Chai Village

To visit the village, you can go by motorcycles, cars to the top of the village. Then, to continue your journey, you have to hide a bike or motorbike on the road just large enough a motorcycle to pass through. Along the way through to the end of the village, you might meet the wood roofs house, cloth hanging in front of the house, the tools are not yet cleaned up. And that journey will bring a sense of peace, a little warm-hearted moment in a poor village of Sapa.

Coc San

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Thac Bac in Coc San

It is quite hard to get in Coc San due to the road filled with rocks. The beauty of Coc San is completely natural and wild.  From the highway, a small road of more than 1 km leads to Coc San. The two sides of the road are small fields and villages of local people. When you are about 300 – 400 m away from Coc San, you can hear the murmuring stream. Coc San is a system of waterfalls and caves of different size, so people can call this is Coc San or Coc San waterfall.

Coc San is located between two low hills. The canyon forms an average slope, where waterfalls range from low to high like stairs. The caves in Coc San are distributed in many places, and there is something very special about this place is that it is almost bent by a waterfall. Coc San landscape is harmonious and comprehensive with nature. Visit here, you will feel the miraculous excitement from the waterfalls, stone tissue and caves. Coc San has rocky terraces with many small rocks of varying size with a spike. Particularly there are many flat and wide slides rocks that it is possible for a few dozen people to sit on. The climate in Coc San is so fresh and cool.

Due to the fact that it is hard to get in the cave, the number of tourist to Coc San is not high, it is only known within Lao Cai town and some neighboring areas. Moreover, although Coc San has many caves, most of them have not been discovered yet. Thanks to that, you can find your peaceful and wonderful time here. It can be said that the beauty of Coc San is completely natural nature without the impact of hand and the human mind to turn it into a real tourist.

Come to Sapa to discover the beauty of Coc San Grotto is a wonderful thing, do not miss the opportunity to take Sapa Vietnam tours to admire the natural beauty and breathe the fresh air pleasant atmosphere.

Advantages and disadvantages Vietnam homestays

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Tourism is now considered one of the most developed industries in the world. The need to explore new lands of people is increasing, which means that many popular guest houses to luxury hotels and resorts are built to serve the needs of visitors. However, the type of Homestay tourism is gradually becoming a trend, a lot of tourists choose. Vietnam tour packages from US will show you advantages and disadvantages of this type of accommodation.

Homestay – a term used for a spontaneous type of accommodation by individual or company but with the size of several single rooms or several separate villas in the same location. Most homestays are unique in architecture for competitive advantage, next to the location. With architectural strength and cost savings, homestay is a trend that helps homeowners earn more, as well as visitors who can experience local culture while staying at these locations. However, according to the tastes of more and more homestay customers, many hotels are invested in the homestay model, with unique architecture and relatively large number of rooms, the guests cannot feel the local culture.

Advantages:

  • The architecture and decoration are unique, the cultural features of different regions in the world are collected by homestay owners and brought into every corner of the house, every room. Careful details are what makes the success of the homestay.

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A homestay in Dalat

  • The price is lower than the hotels in the same geographical area. Staying at homestay will save you quite a lot of travel expenses. A double room in Da Lat is priced at less than VND200,000 per night. Some other places in the center of Dalat provide accommodation for around 300,000 VND per night. Or to those who yearn to travel to the sunny coast of Hoi An, they can book a double room for only 250,000 VND per night.

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A unique homestay

  • The hosts are friendly, they have flexible policies like check in, check out, price, guests and more.

At Homestay, the host will certainly give you a new destination, making the journey more meaningful and memorable than ever. This is why tourist of Vietnam private tours always choose homestays as their accommodation when traveling.

  • Access to the habits of living, the local culture through the conversation with the hosts

You may have heard, read a lot about the beauty of the culture and customs of a land before you decide to travel there. But there is no better way to learn about a culture by meeting people directly. At homestay, you will find an insight into local culture, through homeowners, which no other type of tourism can have.

  • Unforgettable memories

Most people have at least once slept in motels and hotels. But certainly, no one remembers a receptionist or a room there. But Homestay is different. You will miss the friendly, honest of the hosts, cozy family dinners, delicious food, some jokes with local people, etc. Homestay will surely leave you memories that you can not forget in your life.

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Tourists can have a breakfast like they are at home

  • Adaptable to the new land

Coming to a strange land brings many interesting but also hidden many difficulties. When you arrive, you will have to spend a lot of time getting to know the surroundings. However, when traveling to Homestay in Vietnam, you will meet and interact with local people, right in their own home. Friendly owners will certainly help you to adapt, feel comfortable and secure with new accommodation.

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A homestay’s room

  • Enjoy the local meals

Most of the beautiful homestays now include a light breakfast when you pay in the room cost. Of course, some motels and other hotels can also provide breakfast on request, but the special thing about homestay is that you can share your meal with the host. As a result, you have more opportunities to learn about local cuisine.

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Tourists can have meals with host’s family

Talking to homeowners will also help you get a better look at local attractions, cultural specifics before you visit them. If you are interested and have time, you can have an intimate dinner with the host.

Disadvantages:

There are some disadvantageous features guests should know about the Vietnam homestays.

  • Poor sound insulation can affect sleep and quietness.
  • Locations in the trail, alley, and hard to find.
  • The number of rooms at each homestay is low, in some homestays, there is only one room, so this limits the number of guests accompany.
  • Ability to provide financial invoices is low
  • Accompanying services such as meals, car rental, tour consultancy etc. depend on the availability of time of the host.
  • Suitable guests for homestays – the advice from Vietnam tour operators
  • Tourists love to explore, adventure, self-journey
  • Tourists of Vietnam family packages who want to learn about culture through architecture and cuisine
  • Older guests need resort air and talk with others than sightseeing

Despite the disadvantages, the Vietnam homestays tend to become one of the most popular for tourists when they have Vietnam tour packages from US. Let’s try it now and tell us about your feelings.

Cao Bang Cultural Richness

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Vietnam is a country of cultural diversity. There are a total of 54 ethnic groups in the country. However, as the Kinh people occupy for the majority of the population, visitors rarely get the chance to get to know about other ethnic groups.

In big cities, you can mostly catch up with the Kinh people. But in the other provinces like Cao Bang, you may meet ethnic people.

Are you a curious traveler? Are you looking into the cultural diversity of Vietnam? Are you traveling with your loved ones?

Then book your North Vietnam group tour to Cao Bang!

Cao Bang is one of the must-visit destinations in Northern Vietnam. The natural beauty of this province is beyond the normal words. It is also home to many historical sites.

But what is most attractive to visitors is in cultural diversity.

Cao Bang owns its rich traditional culture to its many ethnic groups. Unlike other places, where mainly there are only Kinh people and rarely any other people of different ethnics, Cao Bang itself is home to the people of 24 different ethnic groups.

You will meet with a lot of Tay people here as the Tay ethnic occupies about 40% of Cao Bang’s population. There are also a lot of Nung people (about 30% of the population).

Other main groups are Dao, San Chi, Mong, Kinh, and Hoa. Though different they might be, they all live in harmony and enjoy their traditional heritage and culture.

There is usually a notable difference between the Southern and Northern Vietnam Culture. But not many people realize that there is also a vast difference between each ethnic’s culture.

Here is some brief information about the Tay, Nung and Dao ethnics’ tradition and culture.

The Tay ethnic’s culture:

The Tay must be the group whose culture is the most vivid to visitors. And do not be surprised if you catch sight of writings you cannot understand! The reason is they have their own language system named the Tay-Nung language system. The men’s traditional costume includes an indigo-blue Ao dai, white trousers with a turban. The women cover their hair with a square scarf. They also wear indigo-blue Ao dai but with buttons on the right. They also tie a same-colored string around their waist. And if you are curious, the fabric they use is handmade – woven and dyed by them.

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Tay women in their traditional clothes

They also have cultural activities. The most popular one is Then singing. There are also Luon singing and Chau dancing.

The Nung ethnic’s culture:

Nung group is a bit different since they have separate branches. The branches are divided based on their differences in clothes and languages. There are Nung Inh, Nung An, and Nung Loi – just to name a few. Despite their branches, they still share some similar features. Nung female clothes typically have big sleeves. They also wear colorfully decorated wristbands.

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Nung ethnic’s traditional costumes

Da Hai singing, fan dancing, scarf dancing and two-string violin are largely enjoyed within the group.

The Dao ethnic’s culture:

Much like the Nung, the Dao ethnic also has their own branches. In Cao Bang, the typical Dao branch in Cao Bang is Dao Do. Compared to the men, Dao Do women have more intricate clothing.

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A Dao Do woman

The costumes of the women often include dresses, camisoles, trousers and head scarfs. Their clothes are usually meticulously embroidered by hand. The men’s costumes are simpler: only trousers and shirts. Their trousers have big legs and are decorated with colorful squares. Their shirts usually have five buttons on the chest.

In the past, both the men and women of the Dao Ethnic have long hair. Now, only the women do. Men usually cut their hair short.

The Dao Ethnic loves their jewelry: they have necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. These items are not merely accessories to the Dao People. They also carry cultural values and express their beliefs. You can ask the local to try wearing their provincial clothes on your North Vietnam group tour.

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The fascinating Cap sac ritual

 Pao Dung Singing and Cap Sac Ritual (maturity ritual) are considered to be their most exquisite cultural heritage.

So do not hesitate to book your Northern Vietnam cultural tour and explore the exquisite beauty of these ethnics!

Ha Giang’s highlight – Dong Van Karst Plateau

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About 320 kilometers from the capital of Vietnam – Hanoi – is Ha Giang Province. Ha Giang is Vietnam’s northernmost province. It is one of the must-visit locations for international people trekking in Vietnam.

This mountainous area has so much to offer that you might just want to spend more than a few days here.

Here in Ha Giang, Dong Van Karst Plateau is among the best destinations for your Vietnam trekking tours.

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Dong Van Karst Plateau from above

Dong Van Karst Plateau is about 140 kilometers from the center of Ha Giang city.

The plateau is now an UNESCO-recognized heritage. In 2010, Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark became a member of the Global Geoparks Network. This marks its appearance as the first Global Geopark in Vietnam. It is also the second geopark in Southeast Asia that is officially recognized.

Located in Ha Giang Province, Dong Van Karst Plateau lies across the four districts: Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Quan Ba. It covers an area of 2350 km­­2.

Its surface is mostly covered by limestone with the spectacular landscape of high mountains and deep canyons. Its peak is Mieu Vac Mount, reaching 1971 meters above sea level. Its deepest canyon is Tu San, with a depth of approximate 700-800 meters.

It is also home to Vietnam’s 17 ethnic groups. This is what gives Dong Van Karst Plateau its rich and unique cultural characteristic.

So here are a few things to consider if you are planning a trip to Dong Van.

When is the best time to visit Dong Van?

For not just Dong Van but Ha Giang province as a whole, visitors are always welcome. The seasonal beauty is different and appealing to its visitors so any time during the year is suitable to visit the place.

However, if you are visiting on a Sunday, you have a chance to participate in Dong Van’s market.

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The natural beauty of Sung La Valley

Also, During November and December, you have the chance to see endless fields of buckwheat flowers in Dong Van.

What are the places to visit?

On your trip to Dong Van Karst Plateau, these are the must-visit sites like communes along 4C Road: Pho Cao, Sung La, Sa Phin and Thai Phin Tung. Many claims that Sung La valley is the absolute highlight of Pao’s house and many other houses of Lo Lo and Mong people.

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The famous Pao’s house of Dong Van

There are also other destinations near the place that you should visit. Here is a list:

  • Sa Phin Sky Gate (15 kilometers from Dong Van)
  • Lung Cu Flag Tower (26 kilometers from Sa Phin)
  • Lo Lo Cultural Village (at the bottom of Lung Cu Flag Tower)
  • Pho Bang Border Gate (9 kilometers from Sa Phin)

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Lung Cu Flag Tower from afar

And if you are visiting on a Sunday morning, remember to visit Dong Van market!

What to pack?

Just like any other trip to Vietnam’s remote areas, wear light-weighted and comfortable clothes. Make sure that they are warm enough as it might get pretty cold during the night.

Remember to wear your training shoes as you will have to walk a lot.

Bring your essentials. Pack some snacks and water for the long road trips.

Now you are good to go!

If you are in love with those trekking tours in Vietnam, why not book one and visit Dong Van?

Note:

According to experienced local travelers, the safest and most common route, starting from Hanoi, is Ha Noi – Vinh Yen – Viet Tri – Doan Hung – Phu Tho – Tuyen Quang – Ha Giang.

Due to the hilly terrain, we do not recommend you to travel by yourself if you are not an experienced driver. In Vietnam’s remote areas, the directions on the road may be unclear and hard to follow. Plus, it is hard to get help in case of trouble.

That is why we recommend that you book your Vietnam tours through a travel agency. To have a hassle-free experience while traveling, it is always better to have a local guide with you.

So are you ready for these Vietnam trekking tours?

Vietnam countryside tours to Mai Chau

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The picturesque scenery surrounded by mountains, majestic, immense rice fields will dispel the noisy crowd that always surrounds you in the city, Vietnam countryside tours to Mai Chau must be the right choice.

Each season Mai Chau has its own features so you can go to Mai Chau at any time. However, if you want to have the best time for countryside tour in Vietnam, then visiting Mai Chau in summer is an ideal choice with cool weather.

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Mai Chau field

Mai Chau is far from Hoa Binh City about 60km, so motorbike is considered as the most convenient for you to have Vietnam countryside tours in one day. If you don’t like moving by motorbike, you can catch a direct bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau. From the town, if you want to thoroughly explore the scenery and practices of Mai Chau people, the best way is experiencing the bike.

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Cycling in Mai Chau

Come to Mai Chau and ride the bike around the village, you will be able to see the peaceful scenery, visit the village or climb the high slopes to admire the scenic serenity from the high viewpoint.

Up to now, despite the high rise buildings and urban areas, Mai Chau still retains the green of the mountains, the rustic simplicity of terraced fields, stilt houses. If you want luxury and peace, you can also visit Ecolodge Mai Chau to enjoy the service here, Ecolodge is located on the hill of Pu Pu just a few steps away from the Lac Village.

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Interesting cycling tour

The landscape here is harmonious with nature to create a large and fresh space. Mai Chau attracts a lot of Vietnamese people and visitors from the West. This is must be an answer to your question of where to go for countryside tour in Vietnam, right?

Not only that, you will surely enjoy the eye-catching images of stilted houses, winding roads, and even flooded people. In Mai Chau, for the stilted houses you rented there, the landlord can also provide you free bicycles or one with reasonable price.

On one day in this valley, you can see four different seasons. The early morning was like the spring, the sun was shining through the bright yellow leaves like summer at noon, wind whispers softly in your ears like in an autumn afternoon, and it becomes colder like winter in the evening.

There is nothing interesting like sitting on a bicycle and crossing the rice paddies, the stilted houses close together, the windy paths and watching the scene of the people here. For me it is a great thing, it makes you feel forget about the fatigue of life. You will have chances to visit Van, Xa village, Toan hamlet, Chaam Long, Tra village, Chieng Xa, Nhot hamlet, Na Phon; Lac village, Ban Van village and Mai Chau market.

Lac Lac and Pom Coong villages are two popular tourist spots of Mai Chau, so the accommodation here is very improved. You can stay in these hotels or the tourist homestay where you can find out and understand the lives of ethnic minorities in this place.

During your journey, you can try the variety of traditional foods here. Mai Chau has a very rich, various but unique culinary source provided by Mai Chau dishes such as Lam steamed Rice, Sour Marinated Beef, Bitter Mango, Muong Pork, Dried Bee, Mai Chau Sticky Rice, chicken hill, Mai Ha wine, grilled spring fish, etc.

You must pass by Thung Khe on your countryside tour in Mai Chau Vietnam. On the peak, you can admire Mai Chau valley from above. Especially, in Thung Khe you also can experience 4 seasons, spring summer, autumn and winter in just one day. With windy bends and beautiful natural scenery, Thung Khe Pass attracts a lot of foreign as well as domestic tourists coming here to explore marvelous nature each year. Or you can visit La Lac, Pom Coong where you can have many attractive community services such as homestays, homestay tours, and cultural tours of ethnic minorities, festivals, or specialties Mai Chau. These two tourism haunts cannot be ignored when you go to Mai Chau in one day.

Travel over Bac Ha in North Vietnam group tour

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Bac Ha (Lao Cai) is a Northwestern district with many beautiful scenic spots bearing nature and history. When having a North Vietnam group tour, in addition to the natural scenery gifted as the majestic mountains, rivers, and caves, you cannot miss the chance to visit Bac Ha. This is also the ideal place to discover the primitive, the customs of Bac Ha people with dishes bearing the identity of the Northwest.

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Beautiful nature in Bac Ha

If you want to feel full of activities, the culture of the people here, the ideal time to have North Vietnam group tour to Bac Ha is the period of 2 days weekend. If you move from Hanoi (300 km distance) from early morning on Saturday, you will arrive in the middle of the afternoon. There are many guesthouses. You can endure the time before dark to visit the Imperial Citadel in the center of Bac Ha, with beautiful features bearing Asia-Europe architectural combination.

Go for another 3 km, you can visit the Thai Giang Pho Flower Valley with many flowers that if you like, you can easily buy a pot to bring home. Coming to Giang Luu Flower Valley, immersed in the color space of the flowers and fresh air of the mountains to help visitors dispel fatigue.

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Bac Ha market

At about 8 p.m every Saturday, you can enjoy the musical exchange program of the Hmong people. The program is attracted by a variety of music items such as star dancing, local dance, flute playing or songs by the Hmong people. At the end of the day, both tourists and locals join hands and dances around the campfire.

On the second day in the land of Bac Ha, there are many interesting things waiting for you. From early morning to 3 p.m on Sundays, the local fair is held every week. In this market, you can enjoy many specialties or buy souvenirs and gifts in the highlands for friends. These can be hats, scarves, handbags, pillow cases, bracelets – neckwear and so on are meticulously processed and eye-catching.

During your tour in Bac Ha, you can be surprised by the various and unique of the food here. If you want to discover the cuisine of Vietnam, then Bac Ha will definitely not let you down. The following is some dishes that you must enjoy in your Bac Ha tour.

The first specialty cannot be missed when coming to Bac Ha market is Thang Co. This dish is so popular that nearly every time in the dining area, there is a large pan boiling to boast as well as inviting customers. Although it is a traditional meal in Bac Ha, many visitors feel strange and anxious about the smell of Thang Co. When the pan is still on the stove, people can eat Thang Co and sit right next to the pan. The best time to try Thang Co is when the weather is cold. You can enjoy the meal with a cup of excellent wine, which is a favorite part of many people when visiting the market in Bac Ha. Today, Thang Co is a little variety of the taste so that many visitors can try it. But you can still find the old tried and sold in the market. Nearly 200 years, Bac Ha is the cradle of this meal. Therefore, you can find here the original taste of this meal. A wonderful meal for a group tour in Northern Vietnam, right?

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Seven-color steamed sticky rice

The second specialty that you should try is the two dishes named Men Men and seven colors sticky rice that is sold pretty much at the market in Bac Ha in a central area. Getting to know people who sole this two dishes is pretty easy as they always have one or two hidden containers in front of them. Men Men is made from the finest selected corn seeds. After harvesting, the maize is separated by a small mortar. Then mix with a certain amount of water and beat until cooked. The golden stain, so lightly hand-picked, eat the smell of corn and smell of corn. Vegetarian food with tofu will be very delicious and harmonious taste. The seven colors are probably the most popular dish for anyone who has traveled the Northwest. The past seven colors only appeared on New Year’s Eve, but later as it is the favorite dishes in many markets and restaurants, it is also popular sold in Bac Ha market. The seven colors – pink, red, red, blue, yellow, green, banana, yellow – are not only valuable in nutritional ingredients but also deeply spiritual value. Legend tells that every color of the sticky rice represents for each month of the war that took place in Muong Khuong, Lao Cai. Ethnic people have created eye-catching glutinous rice and especially with only natural ingredients to create fresh colors, brewing unique feature into traditional dishes.

If Ha Giang has the Nho Que River winding as fear of silver, Moc Chau has a brilliant golden field, Y Ty has sky clouds, “bong lai scene”, the land of Bac Ha again brings beauty. Single, mixed colors in its own way. And if you are wondering where to go, what to play then quickly book Vietnam tour packages from US and go to visit to feel the unique and the beauty of Bac Ha.

Fansipan Mountain Train – a new fascinating traveling experience in Sapa tours

Sapa is an appealing tourist attraction in the Far North of Vietnam, which welcomes numerous flocks of both domestic and international travelers every year. This mountainous area captures visitors’ heart with the spectacular landscapes and distinctive cultural identities of the local ethnic people. The new mountain railway that has just been opened on March 31st, 2018 is a new highlight that considerably contributes to the attraction of Sapa.

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The town of Sapa under the morning mist

With a total length of approximately 2 km, this is the longest mountain railway in Vietnam. It starts at MGallery Hotel in the town of Sapa and ends at the cable car station on Fansipan – one of the top Sapa tourist attractions with marvelous scenery. The train goes across 2 tunnels and 4 viaducts at a maximal speed of 10 m/s and can serve up to 2,000 passengers per hour.

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Muong Hoa Mountain Train

Ordinarily, to reach Fansipan from Sapa, travelers will need to go by car over the rugged roads across the steep slopes and passes in around 20 minutes. Now, when Muong Hoa mountain train is available to use, the travel time will be shortened to 4 minutes, and it will be much safer.

The train consists of two carriages which were designed and constructed by Doppelmayr Garaventa – a reputable Swiss company which is well-known for train carriage of top quality. Each carriage is 20 meters long and 3 meters wide. It weighs up to 200 tons and can carry 200 customers at once. The price for a two-way ticket is VND 200,000/person (around $8.5) for adults and VND 150,000/person (around $7) for kids (under 1 meter tall).

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Inside the carriage

The interior of the train reminisces us of the classic and elegant European carriages with perfect lighting system, antique ceiling pans and bends, and luxurious gold-plated metal details. The transparent glass windows along the hull allow passengers to take in the exquisite scenery along the way.

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Muong Hoa Gas Station

The journey to conquer the beauty of the mountainous Northwest by Muong Hoa mountain train is just like a movie. In that film, not only will passengers be overwhelmed by the antique European vibe at the gas station but you will also be attracted by the luxury and sophistication of the train’s interior. The western-style architectural works harmonize well with the rustic eastern natural scenery.

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Spectacular view from the railway

Going through the tunnels and viaducts, travelers will stand in awe when the picturesque mountains loom in front of your eyes. The mountain ranges soar up as if they are going to kiss the heaven. In late spring and early autumn, the region looks poetic with colorful terraced rice fields while in the winter, the mountains are crowned with a headdress of ice. Deep in the valley, the peaceful hamlets of tribal people appear under the morning mist or the glorious twilight.

Arriving at Muong Hoa Cable Station, travelers will continue to conquer Sun World Fansipan Legend tourism complex with cable car through Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range to reach Fansipan Peak – the roof of Indochina and explore the cultural and spiritual complex on the top.

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Sea of Cloud on Fansipan

Conquering Fansipan Peak is among the top things to do in Sapa. As the summit of Indochina, Fansipan is a marvelous mountain peak with exceptionally beautiful surroundings. Standing on the top of the mountain, travelers will be able to take a bird’s eye view over the spectacular northwestern mountains. The scenery is extraordinarily awe-inspiring even on cloudy days. The marvelous Sea of Cloud will definitely make your jaw drop.

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Spiritual complex on Fansipan in the winter

The newly opened spiritual and cultural complex is another huge appeal of Fansipan. Officially established on January 30th, 2018, the complex consists of two major impressive works: Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda and the giant statue of Buddha. The complex is now open for both Buddhist pilgrims and visitors. It would be wonderful to learn about culture and religion while enjoying the majestic scenery of Fansipan.

If you are about to travel to Northern Vietnam, do not miss to visit the wonderland of Sapa. Besides the naturally-born beauty of this land, the enjoyable experience that Muong Hoa Mountain Train offers is also worth giving a try.

The grandiose beauty of Sapa’s terraced rice fields

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The terraced rice fields in Sapa is a perfect combination of nature and human’s effort. They have surprised millions of tourists who go on North Vietnam group tours.

When is the best time to visit the terraced fields in Sapa?

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Terraced rice field sapa

Terraced rice fields are considered a symbol of Sapa as well as Northern Vietnam group tours. You can find them in various images showing the beauty of Sapa.

There are two seasons in a year that the terraced fields look most spectacular. The first one is the ripening season, which is from September to November. And the second one is the flooded rice field season, which is from April to May.

Visiting Sapa in those times, you will have a chance to observe two most important phases in the local farmers’ cultivation process. Especially, the ripening season – the second phase – lasts only about 1-2 weeks so you should book your tickets soon.

In case you are busy in those months, December, January, and February can some other ideal choices. Sapa is in winter at that time. But if you are lucky, you can see the snow falling thick in the fields. It is something that infrequently happens in a tropical country like Vietnam.

A long history of terraced fields in Sapa

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Ripening season sapa

Most people, even those who live in Vietnam, know that terraced rice fields are attractive. But hardly do they discover their long history.

The terraced field is a cultivation method of numerous ethnic groups in not only Vietnam but also the world. After hundreds of years being introduced to Vietnam, it has become very common in mountainous areas.

The ground for this method is the terrain of mountainous areas. Because it is full of obstacles, growing crops is very difficult for farmers. Therefore, they overcome it by choosing hillslopes where there are rich soil and grow rice for food.

The terraced rice fields in Sapa have been created and maintained by many generations. The ethnic groups which are the most excellent at terraced field farming are the Hani, Yao, Hmong, Giay, and Tay.

In today’s time, the terraced rice fields are not only a symbol of Northern Vietnam but also the main source of food for many hill tribes. It is an effective method of agriculture on sloped terrain. Moreover, it contributes an enormous part to tourism products in Sapa in particular and in Northern Vietnam in general.

After over a hundred years, the beauty of terraced rice fields in Sapa has been spread beyond Vietnam borders and heading to the world. North Vietnam tours; therefore, become very common and famous.

The magnificence of the terraced fields

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Flooded field season sapa

Sometimes, living in cities makes us forget how beautiful this world is. We are so busy with our lives that we completely don’t have time to rest. And only when we want a life in the slow lane do we start finding places such as Sapa. It is the spot where various people visit to look for some peace in their soul.

The tranquil atmosphere and grandiose landscape of Sapa’s terraced fields cannot be found in many destinations. Perhaps, this is the reason why photographers always choose the ripening as well as flooded rice field seasons to have group tours in North Vietnam.

In the ripening season, the terraced paddy fields turning from green to yellow make an incredible scenery. Each step is layered on another one, keeping on to the horizon. Mother Nature has given Sapa a precious gift that hardly any other places can have.

The flooded rice field season is another attractive point of Sapa. This is the time before farmers start their cultivation process and also the wet season. The rain comes very often and quickly fills up the fields. As a result, they get flooded and the most delightful landscapes of summer start appearing.

When you look from above, the fields are similar to the smooth hair of a pretty girl. But if you look closely, it is just like a giant waterfall with hundreds of steps. You can even hear the sound of water flowing and birds singing if you pay attention. Try sitting somewhere and feel the atmosphere. Your soul will find its peace immediately.

This is probably one of the explanations for the attractiveness of Sapa and also North Vietnam group tours.