Although it is spring, the sky in Dong Van District is covered with cold frost, no matter if it is the early morning or late afternoon. The majestic high mountain ranges stand against cold winds.

Meanwhile, in Sung La Valley, the scenery looks more delightful with green corn fields dotted with yellow canola flowers and smoke billowing from the roofs of local houses.

In their journey to explore the unique ‘trinh tuong’ houses and traditional crafts of the H’mong ethnic group, Lao Xa Village, which is just 6 km from the centre of Sung La Commune, has drawn great interest and curiosity from visitors.

Lao Xa Village has five ancient houses aged up to 80 years, and approximately 60 others built later. All of them were built using the traditional architecture of of the H’mong people.

A ‘trinh tuong’ house is a three-section house, with thick clay walls and a solid pillar system. Inside the house are fireplaces that are always flickering to keep the family warm day and night.

A local artisan in Lao Xa Village working on a piece of silver jewellery (Photo: NDO/Khieu Minh)

Notably, every house has several peach trees, pear trees, and plum trees. In front of the houses are green vegetable beds. Peach and pear flowers in Lao Xa bloom later than in other place as the blooming season often takes place after Tet (Lunar New Year Festival), thus the first lunar month is the most attractive season to visit the village.

The late blooming flowers add a great charm and fresh vitality to the natural landscape. In spring, the local H’mong ethnic women dress in their most beautiful and colourful brocade dresses to hang out and join in the cheerful spring activities.

Many families in the village still preserved their ancestor’s traditional craft, with the most famous practice is silver carving. Visitors can find delicate pieces of silver jewellery, which are made by skilled artisans, rustically displayed on linen cloths in front of the artisans’ houses.