When discussing tourism in Ha Giang, most tourists will mention the popular destinations of Nho Que river and the terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi or Dong Van, Meo Vac.
However, few people are aware of a small and enchanting village called Lo Lo Chai, located in the northernmost part of Vietnam.
This village offers a rustic charm thanks to the traditions of the local ethnic minority groups who live peacefully among the ancient mountains.
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A Special Place with a Special Name
Firstly, Lo Lo Chai has a unique geographical position. It is located at the foot of Dragon Mountain, Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang.
To reach Lo Lo Chai, visitors must travel 150km on a pass road to Dong Van Karst Plateau. They will then continue on a paved road, with one side featuring the Cat Ear mountain range and the other side featuring cliffs leading down to deep valleys.
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The name Lo Lo Chai comes from one of the local tribes, the Lo Lo, who have a significant cultural heritage in the village.
The Extraordinary Indigenous Culture of the Lo Lo People
The residents of Lo Lo Chai still follow their ancient customs in their daily lives, including their distinct architecture, traditional costumes, traditional festivals, and other aspects of material and spiritual life.
Upon arrival in the village, visitors are greeted by a road lined with orange chrysanthemums leading to houses with tiled roofs, surrounded by stone fences and rammed earth walls. Corn is dried on the rafters, and peach trees and vegetables adorn the front of the houses.
The women and children of Lo Lo Chai can often be seen wearing colorful traditional dresses while walking along the village road. They maintain the tradition of wearing traditional brocade costumes every day, not just during holidays and Tet.
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Farming is their main occupation, with rice, potatoes, corn, and cassava being grown for daily meals. Some families also maintain traditional occupations such as carpentry and sewing.
Traditional festivals, including worshiping ceremonies, new rice festivals, new house celebrations, and folk dances, are still preserved by the people of Lo Lo Chai.
These unique traditions contribute to the strange and peaceful beauty of Lo Lo Chai, creating an experience akin to entering a real-life fairy world.
Ha Giang’s Outstanding Community Cultural Tourist Attraction
In recent years, since Dong Van Karst Plateau was recognized by UNESCO as a Global Geopark in 2010, the villagers of Lo Lo Chai have increasingly turned to tourism services as a source of income and to promote the village to a larger number of visitors.
The village has been recognized as a Cultural Village and included in the Traditional Cultural Village Conservation Project by the province.
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According to the Ethnic Newspaper, Sinh Di Gai and his family were the first in the village to establish a homestay for tourists in 2014. This has become a stable source of income, averaging about VND80 million (US$3,216.47) per year.
Inspired by Gai’s success, many other households in the village have followed suit, serving approximately 1,000 visitors each month.
Visitors to Lo Lo Chai will be warmly welcomed and invited to experience the village’s hospitality, including enjoying a cup of tea, rustic tobacco, sitting by a hot pot, or savoring Thang Co with a cup of corn wine in the cold weather.
Visitors can also rent or purchase traditional costumes directly. The price ranges from a few million VND for a set to up to VND15 million (US$603.09) for more elaborate weaving.
The best time to visit Lo Lo Chai village is at the end of the year, when the cool air and warm hospitality create a charming, Christmas-like atmosphere.