Smiles of children of ethnic minorities in Sapa
Going to Vietnam, tourists are way too similar to its popularity of various historical destinations, traditional food or breathtaking beaches as well as limestones. However, when it comes to Vietnam, it would be imperfect, not to mention the North West mountainous areas (especially Sapa), where travelers can enjoy a less touristy Vietnam, a Vietnam with basic life, simple people and colorful stuff.
Sapa is home to various Vietnamese ethnic minorities (most commonly you will find Hmong people, Jarai, Bahnar, Dzao or Thai peoples), each of which has its own language, signature handwoven costume (all of them are absolutely incredible!) as well as specific custom. Visiting hill tribe families in Sapa, travelers can not only observe their living areas (mostly stilted houses but in different architectures and structures, depending on specific ethnicity) but also immerse in their daily life.
Sapa can satisfy roughly all kinds of travelers, ranging from cultural-minded ones to adventurous ones. If you are the type of person who pays more attention to discover cultural differences, the specific lifestyle of various ethnicities here would undeniably satisfy you.
By meeting rice farmers who work on high terraces, you learn about their agriculture lifestyle; by visiting weavers and silversmiths, you know about their customs and costume; by listening to their traditional poetry, songs, and music, you discover their history and culture; and by simply trekking through majestic mountains, you enjoy the scenery of the places they call home.
Even if you are an adventure-addicted person, the experience of visiting hill tribes in Sapa can also meet your expectations. As the traffic system here is just in its infancy, the two only ways to get to the villages as well as to go sightseeing around are by bike and on foot. Adventurous tourists can enjoy the hiking experience, together with the risky feelings whenever having to transport from villages to villages of locals here. Surely, it will be an unforgettable experience!
For ones who want to book a homestay so that you can have the most genuine insight into the tribes’ lives, there would be women friendly accosting you after you reach Sapa for helping you do that. However, there are also some things to note for homestay. You have to keep in mind that: going on a homestay with ethnic people sometimes means you will have to eat simple or even local food (most of them have strange taste), use an outdoor bathroom with cold water or sleep on such a thin mattress. But, this is how most ethnic people live for years and only by trying those experiences you can totally immerse in their lives.