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20 days discover life moments through four Northeastern provinces of Vietnam

Unspoiled nature, diverse indigenous culture, and simple life of the people are recreated in the journey of Ha Giang - Cao Bang - Bac Kan - Thai Nguyen.

Le Thi Xuan Phuong, Da Nang, had a 20-day trip in June under the hot sun and sudden showers through Ha Giang - Cao Bang - Bac Kan - Thai Nguyen. She has been to unspoiled villages of the Northeast, such as Khun, Nam Hong, Nam Khoa, Ban Luoc, Tha village, Xa Phin, Lao Xa, Hoai Khao, Pac Ngoi, and La Bang. The natural landscape of each region is unique, from the hillsides with terraced fields in the rainy season to the valleys in the yellow season, from the rocky plateau covered with green corn to the roads under the forest canopy, the tea hills to the green lake. People in work, lifestyle, activities and culture here have a simple beauty.


The first stop in Phuong's journey is Khun village, Bang Lang commune, Quang Binh district, Ha Giang. Khun is located in the middle of a valley where rice is harvested, interspersed with peanut fields. Across the fields, under palm trees spreading umbrellas to shade the sun, people cut rice, people pluck peanuts. Khun is home to a community of 4 ethnic groups, Tay, Dao, Nung, and La Chi, with intact cultural life. Khun is surrounded by fresh, cool air because old forests surround it.

Hoang Su Phi is the western district of Ha Giang province, with 3,700 hectares covered by terraced fields. Hoang Su Phi terraced fields are the most beautiful in the pouring water and ripe rice seasons. In mid-June, from Ban Phung, Ban Luoc to Thong Nguyen and Nam Khoa, the terraced fields are poured with water and turned into mirrors reflecting the clouds and sky. This time is when people start working on the land, transplanting seedlings to green the fields. Hoang Su Phi is also home to many communities with diverse cultures, such as Dao, Tay, Nung, and La Chi.

A ritual worshiping of the Red Dao people in Thong Nguyen commune, Hoang Su Phi district, Ha Giang.

Unlike the winding roads around the hills and mountains in the west of Ha Giang, the villages in the low mountainous area near the center of Ha Giang city are peaceful in the middle of a flat valley. Tha village is a village of the Tay people in Phuong Do commune. The village in early June is bustling with the harvest season. Under the stilt houses roofed with palm leaves, the Tay people still preserve the beauty of their lifestyle, cuisine, and traditional crafts.

Nam Dam (Quan Ba) is a village of the Dao Cham people. Nam Dam village is wild and cool, surrounded by forests. Nam Dam has lakes and streams that cool the fields. The Cham people in Nam Dam live in houses built entirely of earth, roofed with yin and yang tiles. People still preserve their cultural identity in their lifestyles, activities, and religious life.

Lao Xa is a village of the Mong people in Sung La (Dong Van, Ha Giang). The houses with walls and roofs covered with yin and yang tiles are close to the rocky mountains. In the area, Mr. Mua Se Sinh's family still keeps the traditional silver carving craft, which has been maintained for 3 generations.

Majestic rocky mountains characterize the topography of Dong Van's rocky plateau. The winding roads crisscross the mountainside leading to the villages of Dong Van and Meo Vac. On those roads, there is a glimpse of Hmong women wearing dances to the fields. The quartet (or basket) is an item associated with Hmong women.

"Where there is Lanh, there are H'mong people". Lanh is associated with the cultural and spiritual life of the Mong people. Every summer, the blue Lanh field is interspersed between the corn fields. When flax is big enough, Hmong families, from older people to children, harvest the tree, from there, making it into yarn to make clothes.

Bao Lam buffalo market is in Pac Mieu town (Bao Lam, Cao Bang). Every 5 days, on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th days of the lunar calendar, Pac Mieu fair meets once. In addition to the huge cattle market, the fair is also a place to trade local products, pigs, chickens and a meeting place for people living around the area.

Hoai Khao ancient village (Nguyen Binh, Cao Bang) is a village of the Dao Tien people. The small village is nestled in the middle of a valley, where there are terraced fields in the process of transplanting. Hoai Khao is located under the forest canopy and has cool, pleasant air even in summer. Dao Tien women in Hoai Khao still embroider and keep the technique of drawing patterns with beeswax on the skirts. They sew their traditional clothes for everyday wear. To keep this technique, Hoai Khao people keep bees in bee caves. After days of plowing, people will go to the cave to get wax for beeswax painting when the work stops.

Ba Be Lake (Bac Kan) is green. Along the lake are forest-lined roads. Nestled by the lake is Pac Ngoi village, a village of the Tay people. From here, early in the morning, overlooking the lake, you can see clouds floating on the cliffs. The lake surface is calm, and the early morning dew board creates a poetic picture.

Thai Nguyen is a large tea-growing region of the country. In the summer, tea leaves have young green buds. The tea fields are full of green and vitality. People are harvesting in the La Bang tea area (Dai Tu). La Bang is also home to a clear Kem stream flowing through the tea fields.

Read more: 20+ spots included: Top best things to do in Ha Giang Province, Vietnam

List of things to do in Bac Kan Vietnam I have experienced

Chasing Waterfalls in Thai Nguyen

Cao Bang Vietnam with 11 admiring places to discover

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