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Where the rice is ripe

Nearly 200 kilometers north of Hanoi, the road to Bac Son takes visitors through winding passes clinging to tall limestone mountains featuring the Tay people’s traditional stilt houses with their unique architecture.

The flat plateau terrain and favorable year-round weather allows farmers in the region to cultivate two rice crops annually, which ripen at the end of July and October, painting Bac Son Valley yellow. At an altitude of more than 600m above sea level, the Na Lay Peak is an ideal spot offering a panoramic view of Bac Son Valley and its ripe rice fields.

Quynh Son Commune in Bac Son District is home to over 400 households of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups, who still retain their unique cultural identity and also know how to promote it to develop tourism.

Residents of Quynh Son have capitalized on the landscape to promote community-based tourism, trade fairs, Then tunes, Chau dances and culinary specialties. Over the past decade, eight households have started offering tourist accommodation services.

Tourism development has changed residents’ lives, helping them restore their stilt houses and traditional crafts, and buy home appliances to meet tourist demand.

Quynh Son is also known as a traditional craft village, where the famous yin and yang tiles of Bac Son and Lang Son Province are produced. Quynh Son yin and yang tiles are no longer used as construction material, but rather for art works and monument reconstructions, or serve nostalgic homeowners who appreciate ethnic culture. Since Quynh Son became a cultural tourism village, a growing number of households returned to making old tiles and building traditional houses.

Visitors to Bac Son at the beginning of lunar year can participate in the Long Tong Festival of the Tay ethnic group to pray for a favorable new year in terms of weather and bumper crops. This also offers an opportunity to have fun, perform cultural and artistic activities and demonstrate community solidarity.

Lang Son is the northern border region of Vietnam with high mountainous terrain, cold winters and distinctive culinary dishes such as roasted pork, roasted duck, Khau Nhuc (a typical steamed meat), sour noodle soup, egg rolls served with bamboo shoots, mac mat (Clausena indica) leaves, and wild lemon.

Bao Thoa

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