Lo Lo Chai – A Goregrous Northern Village
Only one kilometer from Lung Cu Flag Tower, Lo Lo Chai village is located at the base of Dragon Mountain, Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province. The village offers some wonderful sightseeing, unique culture, and a wonderful culinary experience.
In the middle of the Northern region, this village is the home of the Lo Lo ethnic minority with the peaceful, rustic, and lovely view of the earthen houses and peach trees. The earthen houses (nha trinh tuong) are mainly built from thick walls and stones, which become an interesting cultural site that attracts many tourists. It is also called an "all-season house" for the natural air conditioning it creates despite the outside temperatures.
|The earthen house in Lo Lo Chai village, Ha Giang. Photo: Nguyen Minh Hieu|
This place still retains perfectly the cultural traits that passed down many generations, such as the rocky architecture of the houses, traditional industries (embroidering and woodwork), and traditional festivals such as Le cung than rung (ceremony of forest worship) and le mung lua moi (new rice ceremony). Travelers can also try on the most beautiful, delicate, and colorful brocade dresses made by the women in the village.
According to Sin Di Gai, head of Lo Lo Chai, the village is home to nearly 100 households, with some 90 percent of them Lo Lo ethnic minority. Travelers can stay at some of the most popular homestays here, such as Homie Homestay, Cuc Bac (North Pole) Homestay, Sister’s Homestay and Bar, as well as Lo Lo Chai Homestay.
|This village is the home of the Lo Lo ethnic minority with the peaceful, rustic, and lovely view of the earthen houses and peach trees. Photo: Baodantoc|
In addition to cultural experiences, visitors can also enjoy local traditional dishes such as chicken, black pork, buffalo meat, buckwheat flower wine, and maize wine.
Another wonderful experience for tourists is to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the early morning at the North Pole Café. The founder of this café is Japanese Yasushi Ogura, who loves Ha Giang for its pristine beauty and friendly ethnic communities. He invested his money to help Diu Di Chien’s family construct a coffee shop to help improve the lives of locals and boost community-based tourism. After the business became successful, Ogura invited people to teach Luc Thi Van, Chien’s wife, English as well as how to make coffee and drinks. After that, he handed over all business activities to Van and her husband.
|The Lo Lo Chai women in traditional embroidered clothes. Photo: Baodantoc|
The coffee shop presents the traditional architecture of the Lo Lo people, earthen walls, wooden pillars, and clay tile roofs. Many tourists are surprised that in this remote area, they can get delicious drinks and even use wifi.
Recently, Lo Lo Chai village has become a well-known tourist spot in the Northern region. Community tourism has become one of the main activities that helps improve the lives of people here. Ha Giang has more than 40 community-based tourism villages recognized by the Provincial People's Committee as famous tourist sites.
|The famous North Pole cafe in Lo Lo Chai. Photo: ALONGWALKER|
How to get to Ha Giang
The only way to get from Hanoi to Ha Giang is to travel by bus/van. Another option is to travel by sleeper bus. There is no train connection and no airport in Ha Giang province, so tourists will have to take the road.
The closest railway station is in Lao Cai (about 200km from Ha Giang city). There are also some travel agencies in Hanoi that offer assistance to organize transportation either by private car or by helping tourists book their bus tickets from Hanoi to Ha Giang.
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