Cat Cat Village
Location: Cat Cat Village is 2km from Sapa Townlet, Sapa District.
Characteristics: This is an age-old village of H’Mong ethnic group remaining unique customs and practices that are lots in other villages.
Visitors to Cat Cat have an opportunity to admire a lively and colorful picture. That is the image of young women sitting by looms with colorful pieces of brocade decorated with designs of flowers and birds. When these pieces of brocade are finished, they are dyed and embroidered with beautiful designs. A noteworthy is that H’Mong women use plants and leaves to dye these brocade fabrics. And then they roll a round and smooth section of wood covered with wax on fabrics to polish them, making their colors durable.
In addition to the brocade weaving craft, many residents in Cat Cat are good at manipulating gold and silver jewelry. Their products are fairly sophisticated, especially jewelry for women.
Tourists to Cat Cat are most attracted by its unique customs, including the custom of “pulling wife”. A man can ask his friends to lure a girl he likes to his house and keeps her there in three days. During these days, if the girl agrees to become his wife, a wedding will be held. However, the girl can happily go home after three days if she does not like him.
Traditional houses of H’Mong people in Cat Cat have three rooms with three doors and covered with po mu wood roof. In the house there are three columns that stand in round or square stones. The walls are made from sawn timber. The main door is always closed and only opens when people in the house organize important events. Altar, inlaid floor containing food, places for sleeping, kitchen and receiving guests are indispensable parts of the houses.
Visitors to Cat Cat Village can discover countless unique features of H’Mong.The small waterfall here is a good spot to kick back and rest -- quite dynamic in rainy season. Musical dance of local minorities are good choice while doing a walk here.
Ta Phin Village
Ta Phin Village is located in Ta Phin Commune, Sa Pa District, about 12km northeast of Sa Pa Town. The village is surrounded by mountains and owns spectacular rice terraces. The best time to visit Ta Phin is in late afternoon when tourists can enjoy amazing view of sunset over the village and the whole surrounding areas.
In Ta Phin Village there are two ethnic minorities living in harmony. They are the Red Dao, who make up the majority, and the Black Mong. It is the best for the tourists to distin-guish the difference in culture, way of living of ethnic minorities in Sapa.
A common sight in the village is to see the woman and the girls sitting together, gossiping and laughing, head down focused on a piece of indigo coloured cloth. They make their embroidery and brocade products that are sold and traded amongst the villages and visitors. The locals are friendly and will invite the tourists to go to their homes to show how they live and what they have.
Ta Phin Village now is also a famous destina-tion for trekking tours. Whether the tourists choose to stay overnight in the village or just visit for a day, the locals will be happy to organise a tour for them through the village. The tourists may meet locals working the field, see traditional housing, visit caves and medicine bath complex or go for a long walk through the rice paddies and mountain views.
Ta Van Village
Ta Van is located in Vietnam in the northern province of Lao Cai, about 5 kilometres from Sapa, at an altitude of 1, 816 meters. This province borders the province of Yunnan in south-west China, and the indigenous people here share many cultural features with their Chinese neighbours.
Also located in the valley of Muong Hoa, Ta van is a village of Giay people, who look more like the traditional Viet living the Red delta. This village is normally a combination in the visit to Lao chai village on the trek to Muong Hoa valley. It is also a popular stop for those who would like to experience an overnight home stay with a family of Giay people here, sharing dinner with them as a member of their family.
Ta Van is a small village set within a picturesque valley not far from the northern Vietnamese mountain resort of Sa Pa. The area is renowned for its colourful ethnic minorities, and Ta Van is home to two such groups. A stay with one of the farmer families here will give you a close-up experience of the life-style and culture typical of the area. Trekking in the surrounding area is most satisfying
Ban Ho Village
Ban Ho Village, located more than 26 kilometers away from the famous resort town of Sapa.
Ban Ho Village, home to the Tay minorities and perhaps the most picturesque of the whole Challenge.
Situated alongside a turquoise fast flowing stream, it will be possible to take a little rest from a trek on one of the large boulders at the streams edge. You can also take a little time to explore this village before pushing on over the suspension bridge and trekking through ride fields to the Red Dao village of Nam Toong.
Even though Ban Ho is not too far from the center of Sapa Vietnam not many tourists have visited the village because of the tough approach road, which is under construction and slippery in the rainy season.
However, the village is also accessible by driving from Sapa to Su Pan Village and then trekking 10 kilometers to Ban Ho. Topas is one of a number of tour operators who offer this one-day package, with cost determined by the number of participants.
Ban Ho Village, Ban Ho is worth the somewhat difficult journey to get there, as the village rewards visitors with stunning views of unspoiled sites and an opportunity to discover the daily activities of the ethnic people Tay.
On the way to the waterfalls, which were named by locals after seeing fish jumping out of the water in the old days, visitors will pass brooks gently running down bamboo cylinders that locals use to channel the water into their terraced paddy fields, wooden houses perched on the sides of rolling hills and wild flowers.
When they emerge from the water in the dry season the boulders and stones along the Lavie Stream are artworks that resemble different figures, depending on the imagination of viewers. In the rainy season from May till September visitors can see water flowers created by the splashing water running into the boulders.
The trails and roads from Ban Ho also lead to the quiet Red Dao Village of Nam Toong and other ethnic communities, where trekkers can enjoy the best of Northern Vietnam, such as deep valleys, amazing mountains and simple people.
Motorcycles can be hired in Sapa at US$5 a day to travel to the Muong Hoa Valley, where more than 200 stones have been discovered, all carved with simple and complicated images of different patterns, as well as scenic villages of ethnic groups.
Muong Hoa valley
There are numbers of ethnic minorities people living in this valley. Beautiful hamlets, secluded waterfall, ancient rocks, rice terraces make this valley enjoyable for any tours to Sapa.
The valley last for 18kms along with Muong Hoa river where you may indulge in the pristine water or beholding the scence of Black Hmong people working on the farm. Many traditional activities such as weaving, black smith, stone carving are well- preserved here to make this valley colorful.
Thac Bac (Silver waterfall Sapa)
Thac Bac lies beside National Highway No 4D, about 12km from Sa Pa Town’s centre. Silver Waterfall is formed by sources of water from the Lo Sui Tong mountain peak. From the distance, the waterfall looks like a white dragon looking down from the sky. You can reach the Silver Waterfall by motor bike or by car in half an hour. From there you can see stunning view of the surrounding mountains and the last forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park.