Hiking in Sapa Vietnam 🇻🇳
This is my final post about Sapa in my vietnam series!
Who loves trekking and hiking? I do!
Who follows me long in my adventures knows that I have hiked in quite a lot of places in South East Asia and Europe.
I was in Sapa 2 days and visited Cat Cat village as well. Check it in my previous post.
You can also watch my video about it and learn where the village got its name from
In today's post I wanna show you the beauty and serenity of Sapa by hiking and tell you aboit some main ethnic groups.
I woke up early this morning to join a group of travelers and locals. Together we hiked about 4 km up and down Sapa's mountains to visit Sin Chai, a Hmong village in the end of the hike.
It was only when the French arrived in the 19th century that Sapa was acknowledged and included on the national map. The site where Sapa is located became a key location for the French military as well as missionaries. For decades, this mountainous backwater was unknown to tourists, but in 1993 Sapa became accessible to many when it was formally promoted as a tourists destination.
Today Sapa features the most spectacular sights and the most colorful cultures of the country. Surrounded by the magnificent Hoang Lien Son range, known as "the Tonkinese Alps" 1,500 meters above sea level, you will literally walk in the clouds when visiting this hill station.
Sapa is home to five ethnic minorities of Vietnam: H’mong (internationally known as Miao), Red Dao (Yao), Tay or Choang (Zhuang), Giay, and Phu La (Yi). Many of these people share the same traits with their brothers and sisters living in southern China.
The H’mong people, officially recorded in international books as the Miao people, are among one of the major ethnic minorities of Vietnam and China, with a population of eight million worldwide and one million in Vietnam. The H’Mong hunt and collect forest herbs and fruits and are less focused on agriculture and field work.
The majority of Sapa people are Hmong ethnic minority. The Hmong tribe in Sapa originally came from China 300 years ago. There is not a much-written history of Hmong people in Vietnam since their literacy is low. Hmong tradition and stories are passed down through rituals and legends.
Hmong tribe Vietnam has several Hmong subgroups. The best known Hmong tribes are the Black Hmong tribe, the White Hmong tribe, the Green Hmong tribe, and the Flower Hmong tribe. Vietnam Hmong tribes are identified by the way they dress. I told you about their tribal costume and rituals in my previous episode about Cat Cat village. So if you want to know about the Hmong people, watch this episode.
The Black Hmong tribe is dominant in Sapa. You can see many of them trekking with us.
Vietnam’s Hmong society is patriarchal. Every Hmong village has the head of the village who takes care of all issues in the village.
Another interesting tribe that I have seen was Red Dao tribe, pronounced Red Yao or Red Zao. It is the second-largest ethnic minority in Sapa district and one of the most distinctive Vietnam tribes. They are also called ‘Jungle People‘. You can easily recognize them as soon as you see they the first time, because of this distinctive feature: Red Dao women shave their heads and eyebrows. Yes! They do! Even if it sounds bizzare and not pretty to most of us, this is their way they perceive beauty in women. They wear a distinctive red triangular shaped turban, decorated with silver coins and red tassels. A square piece on there clothing symbolizes they are children of God.
Red Dao society in Vietnam is patriarchal with dominant men roll in the family.
Their unique belief system holds elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
For an illustration of their peculiar customs, when selecting a place for a family house, they dig a hole and fill it with rice. The rice represents family members and all their possessions. If the rice is still in the bowl the next morning, they build the house at the same place.
Photos are mine (C)
Do you like Sapa?
Check more at Vietnam Experience