Exploring Wondrous Century-old Village in Ha Giang

Extend your must-visit places with this beautiful hidden destination, only 7km away from Dong Van town, Ha Giang.

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Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
The name Thien Huong means Heaven Aroma, suits this village perfectly. Photo: Van Hni

From the center of Dong Van town in Ha Giang, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach the beautiful village of Thien Huong. Yet this place seems to be a secret from most tourists.

The name Thien Huong means Heavenly Aroma. The poetic name depicts the surreal beauty this villages holds. Another name for this village is Ma Pang. In case you haven’t heard of either name, here’s some information for your next trip to Ha Giang’s most secret location.

God’s sacred refuge

Thien Huong is a very special ancient village, here there is an architectural complex that still retains the features of ancient architecture, festivals, special folklore customs.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
The banyan trees stand tall welcome the arrivals. Photo: Yen Lee Youtube Channel

When arriving to this village, the first thing that makes people impressed is the village’s hundreds of years old banyan trees, standing tall like the gods protecting the village.

The banyan tree is a symbol of longevity, supple vitality in Vietnamese culture.

Villagers believe the trees are a natural refuge for gods. Hence, under the banyan tree are century-old temples. There are shrines that became a symbol of the sacred and inviolable.

The right time to visit

The people of Thien Huong built a village temple to worship Lam God or Forest God. The ancestors depended on the forests to hunt for food and shelter, so the forest has become the most important element.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Villager fish in the small pond. Photo: Van Hni

The descendants today still keep same belief, hence the annual ceremony. The tradition helps them enter into the spiritual element, rarely seen in today’s time.

Every year in the third lunar month of the third lunar month, the people of Thien Huong village gather to hold a ceremony to worship the god Lam, in this temple, this is considered the most important holiday of the village.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Life in Thien Huong depends on the forest. Photo: Yen Lee Youtube Channel

No matter where they are across Vietnam, they try to go home to Thien Huong to attend the ceremony. So many generations of returnees, when going through the banyan garden, have the feeling of god’s protection upon them.

Nature and man-made beauty

This small village still retains almost intact the ancient village architecture. It is an ancient village with just around 100 people, mainly Tay and Day people. The layout here is not flat, but rather bumpy since most houses lean on the mountainside. Photographers find this feature very appealing.

Adventurers is probably impressed by the curved roads around the village. Also, the stone fence surrounding the houses and along the roads add to the watercolor-painting-like scenery.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
The layout of houses in Thien Huong. Photo: Van Hni

Every season the village is dotted with wildflowers and greenery. Flowers make the roads more poetic, the stone fences more vivid, and the village more romantic and ancient.

The houses of the Tay and Day are basically the same house architecture as the Mong people, but the ceilings are higher with more spacious indoor areas. than. And the layout in the house, bedroom, and location of the altar are also different.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Children playing. Photo: Van Hni
Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
The road back home. Photo: Van Hni

The quietness but not creating a feeling of solitude, because you can hear singing as the adults work in farming and breeding, while the children play and study, all in unity. The cheerful melody matches all aspects of daily life in the meaning: song about romance, about new house, about harvest, etc.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
The minority people making bamboo hat. Photo: Van Hni
Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Take a journey back in time and enter a mental oasis for your soul. Photo: Van Hni

Another fun activity is making herb wine. They have many health benefits, different wines according to different season.

The local pick flowers and herb and store them away for months to create distinctive taste. Its gentle and smooth taste can satisfy any curious person. They are so generous that you can receive wine bottles as welcome gifts.

There is no shopping place to buy local souvenirs. The host only charge you small amount of money for your stay and food, drinks.

Guests can stay in local houses, occasionally during free time from harvesting, the host can accompany you to discover the village. But since the village is not big and there is only one main road, it is easy to go and explore by yourself.

Traditional delicacy

Food culture is also a highlight when traveling to Thien Huong. The village is famous for its unique traditional rice cake and especially, corn wine.

Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Hot rice cake. Photo: Van Hni
Wondrous Century-old Village to Visit in Ha Giang
Corn wine is the local speciality. Photo: Authentiktravel

Thien Huong wine is a specialty of the village that loved by tourists. At first, wine makers will pick more than 30 kinds of leaves to make the yeast, then the yeast is cooked the corn expands as big as a finger then pour out to chill. Continuing this process, people will start to glaze, mix thoroughly. It should be aged for a week till the yeast is ready to be brewed to delicious corn wine.

When traveling to Thien Huong village, Ha Giang province, you return to the past, emerging in century-old lifestyle. You will find warm welcome from the bright smile and eyes of the locals.

Zoey Nguyễn