A visit to Ta Phin Village
Though Sapa has long been familiar with tourists, Ta Phin Village is still a new name. Located about 17km west of Sapa, Ta Phin is a village of Black Mong and Red Dao’s people who have a rich culture that has not been damaged by modern life.
Ta Phin Village is located in Ta Phin Commune, Sa Pa District, about 12km northeast of Sa Pa Town. The village is surrounded by mountains with spectacular rice terraces. The best time to visit Ta Phin is in late afternoon when tourists can enjoy amazing view of sunset over the village and the surrounding areas.
In Ta Phin Village there are two ethnic minorities living in harmony. They are the Red Dao, who make up the majority, and the Black Mong. It is best for the tourists to distinguish the difference in culture, way of living of ethnic minorities in Sapa.
Ta Phin is the nearest village of Red Dao’s ethnic group within the area of Sapa district. From Sapa, it will take about 30 minutes to reach by motorbike. The mountainous road can make it difficult for cars to move, so the best solution is to hire a “xe om”, or motorbike taxi, and the experienced driver will take you at a very reasonable price with many useful tips.
A common sight in the village is to see the woman and the girls sitting together, gossiping and laughing, head down focused on a piece of indigo colored cloth. They make embroidery and brocade productssold and traded amongst the villages and visitors. The locals are friendly and will invite the tourists to go to their homes to show how they live and what they own.
Since 1998, Ta Phin has been the “brocade village”, where tourists can find distinctively hand-made brocades made by ethnic people. All of the products are eye-catching with numerous bright colors and patterns, ranging from bags, scarves, purses, skirts, and even backpacks and coats.
Ta Phin is also the main supply of brocade for shops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and the products are exported to foreign countries as well.
Through time, Ta Phin Village, however, keeps its special traditions. If you are lucky enough, you can have a chance to participate in a Red Daowedding, seeing how carefully they prepare for the complicated customs for this occasion.
There are also several local festivals such as “dancing festival”, “greeting for the new house”, and“oath-taking ceremony” that will help you understand more about the simple but happy life of ethnic people.
Ta Phin Village has recently become a famous destination for trekking tours. Whether the tourists choose to stay overnight in the village or just visit for a day, the locals will be happy to organize a tour. The tourists may meet locals working in the field, see traditional housing, visit caves and medicine bath complex or go for a long walk through the rice paddies and see mountains.
Ta Phin Cave
Red Dao women
Ta Phin ancient monastery
Compiled by Pha Le