Explore Suoi Giang: The Stunning Peak of Joy in North Vietnam

Nestled at an impressive altitude of over 1,000m above sea level, Suoi Giang commune in Yen Bai Province is renowned for its enchanting tea fields and a captivating legend surrounding the "peak of bliss".

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The legend of the snow shan tea tree in Suoi Giang has been passed down for generations among the Hmong people. According to the legend, a fairy planted mysterious seeds in this beautiful land, which eventually grew into green plants.

Many years later, a group of H’mong people migrated to the area and got lost while searching for food due to a malaria epidemic. They stumbled upon these strange plants and decided to eat the leaves. Surprisingly, they found that the leaves improved their health and kept them awake. Believing it to be a sign from the heavens, the H’mong people decided to settle there and named the place “Suoi Giang.”

Suoi Giang is known for its legend of the snow shan tea tree. Photo: Dulich3mien

Suoi Giang is blessed with a cooling climate throughout the year. Visitors can experience all four seasons in just one day, with warm daytime temperatures and cold nights. The weather here is similar to that of Sapa and Dalat, making it a perfect destination for those who love the winter chill all year round.

A Journey to Escape Poverty

Suoi Giang used to be a poor and secluded commune located in Van Chan district. However, with the implementation of ethnic policy programs and projects, as well as the efforts of local authorities and residents, the poverty rate has been significantly reduced. It is expected that by 2024, the poverty rate in Suoi Giang commune will be less than 16%.

The stunning scenery of Suoi Giang commune. Photo: suoigiangtravel

Spring is a special time in Suoi Giang, with cold weather that attracts visitors to gather around a fire and enjoy a cup of traditional Shan Tuyet tea.

During this season, people also celebrate ceremonies to honor the Suoi Giang ancestral tea tree and organize various cultural, artistic, and culinary activities.

Spring is the perfect time to visit Suoi Giang. Photo: Asiantravel

Suoi Giang commune has made remarkable progress in meeting the criteria for a new rural area. The local community is determined to develop Suoi Giang into a rural commune that is closely associated with tourism by 2025.

Tourism development is seen as a new opportunity to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of the residents.

The Story of “Mountain Peak of Happiness”

A dedicated local teacher has played a significant role in the development of the mountainous village. Over the past two years, the people of Pang Cang village in Suoi Giang commune have grown fond of seeing teacher Tu Lien wearing traditional Mong costumes and walking to school. Despite the altitude of nearly 1,400m, Ms. Lien’s classroom is always filled with students on Friday and Saturday nights. The sound of children reading lessons creates a lively atmosphere in the entire area.

Chu Thi Tu Lien serves as the Vice Principal of Hoang Van Thu Primary and Secondary School in Nghia Lo Town, Yen Bai Province.

Tu Lien and her students. Photo: Dan Toc & Phat Trien

Every morning, the female teacher greets her students at the gate. Instead of the usual Vietnamese greetings, the children say “Hello Teacher!” or “Good Morning Grandma!” This habit was introduced by Ms. Lien to improve their English language skills.

The classroom consists of children between the ages of 9 and 13. The teacher connects the computer to a big screen and searches for the lesson plan.

The children spread out mats and organize their desks and school supplies. Within minutes, the classroom is ready. The students start with cheerful dancing and singing, bringing warmth to the room. This enchanting scene has earned Suoi Giang the nickname “Mountain Peak of Happiness” among tourists and photographers who visit the area.

Ms. Lien wearing her traditional H’Mong dress. Photo: Dan Toc & Phat Trien

Ethnic culture and English are the primary focus of Ms. Lien’s teachings. Her goal is to help the children become confident tour guides who can promote their national culture to foreign tourists. Her efforts align with Suoi Giang’s aim to develop community tourism and introduce its unique cultural values to the world.

While some children in Suoi Giang receive online teachings from teachers in Nghia Lo, Ms. Lien’s class is completely free of charge. She dedicates her time and resources to educate the children because of her love for the land and people of Suoi Giang. In the future, she plans to open more classes to provide education opportunities for all children in the area. Her initiative has received support from local authorities and the community.

Charlotte Pho