Visiting Bac Ha District in Lao Cai ProvinceUnder Blog
Lao Cai province not only has Sapa, it also has an amazing land called Bac Ha. With imposing and wonderful natural beauty and extraordinary cultural and historical, Bac Ha is becoming an potential site which attract a lot of tourists.
When to visit
You can find interesting things about Bac Ha in anytime in year. However, you should choose the time when local festivals are held such as horse racing festival in the beginning of June, Bac Ha temple festival in 7th in the 7th month of Lunar calendar, etc. Or some other ideal times are the terrace fields turn to yellow, Tet holiday (when peach blossom and plum blossom are blooming).
What to see
Bac Ha fair
Bac Ha fair is the biggest and most typical market in Lao Cai. The fair is held in every Sunday morning. In the mountainous area like Bac Ha, the fair for locals is held only once per week, which is why it is so important and special with the ethnic minorities here. They bring anything they have to the fair to purchase. Sometimes, when having nothing, they still go to the fair for a cup of wine and meeting their friends.
Visiting the fair, you will find various unique products which are divided into different sections, including handicraft products (brocade), local puppy and dog section (this type of dog is really special and featured), buffalo section, food section, etc.
Hoang A Tuong Palace
This is the castle owed by the “King” of the Mong people. It was built in 1914, under the semi-feudal-colony time. The mansion is the combination of Asia and French style with closed rectangular layouts. Its owners were father and son Hoang Yen Chao and Hoang A Tuong, Tay ethnic people who ruled a region with 70 percent of the population are H’mong people and were called “King.”
The castle covers an area of 4,000m² in which the main building occupies 420m². In front of its arched doors are earthen banks. Occupying a pivotal position overlooking the Bac Ha valley, the castle serves both as the residence of Hoang Yen Chao, then Hoang A Tuong and as a fortress. Its network of walls, bunkers, and battlements were reinforced by a mortar mixed with sugar molasses. In a distance, the white castle jutting out from the valley looks imposing and majestic.
Bac Ha Temple
The temple was built in the end of 19th century to dedicate two brothers Vu Van Uyen and Vu Van Mat – the ones who brought fame and wealth for Bac Ha people under Nguyen Dynasty. It has beautiful architecture and a very special history with the locals. Especially, the annual festival held in Bac Ha temple is really a big party of the local that you should not miss.
What to eat
Corn wine: it is the most famous wine in Lao Cai. The wine is made from the corn grown in the high mountain in Pho Village (also a famous destination in Bac Ha) and the very clean water taken from the stream running through De Cave. It is really a special wine that never makes you drunk when you enjoy it.
Thang Co: the famous food of northwest ethnic people in Vietnam has origin from Bac Ha. So it is pretty sure that you must try this food in this land. Thang Co in Bac Ha is normally made from horse meat, buffalo meats.
And there are a lot of local foods that you should try such as seven-color-sticky-rice, chan chim mushroom, plum, etc.
Especially, recently, Bac Ha operated the tour by local stagecoach to visit ecosystem areas and cultural villages.