Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority peoples. The scenery of the Sa Pa region in large part reflects the relationship between the minority people and nature. If you have a plan for Sapa tours, you shouldn’t miss the Ta Phin village as one of the ideal Sapa attractions, with unspoilt scenery and the specials customs of Dao Do ethnic people and unique services.
Ta Phin is a small village, located about 15 km to the west of Sapa town, in northern Vietnam. The village is surrounded by mountains and has spectacular rice terraces. It is home to ethnic populations of approximately 1000 Red Dao, 150 Black Hmong and few people from the King ethnic group. In all there are 13 hamlets and 20 or more small communes scattered throughout these hamlets. You can trek throughout the countryside and enjoy the picturesque landscape of spectacular rice fields, mountains, streams and hills tribe houses. Travelling to and from Red Dao and Black Hmong communes you will have a chance to learn the difference between the traditional tribal cultures.
Ta Phin is nestled in a beautiful and pristine valley, 30 minutes by motorbike from Sapa center. The mountain roads can make it difficult for cars, so the best solution is to hire a motorbike for about 100,000 VND (4 dollars)/ per day, and most hotels have this service. Another way is to go for a nice trek through rice paddies, beautiful sceneries and some villages, but it depends on your health because you know the way to Ta Phin village is quite far and rocky.
Whether you come by foot or motorbike you will have to buy a ticket which actually costs 20,000 VND / person. The money collected is used to repair roads and schools here.
The best time to visit Ta Phin village is in the late afternoon when? (without?) Tourists and enjoy an amazing view of the sunset over the village and the whole surrounding areas. Its impressive and you will have a breath-taking view over the village, promising you an unforgettable time and wonderful pictures.
Ta Phin village is home to the Red Yao ethnic group who still keep strong customs. You can catch images of Red Yao women in very beautiful and colourful dresses made from brocade, a traditional hand-made product of local people. It has quite a reputation and eye-catching with numerous bright patterns and colors. They have made various designs using handmade brocades, such as backpacks, travel bags, scarves, handbags, purses, and coats which are entirely made by the skilful hands of H'Mong and Dao Do women. The motifs on the brocade are carefully and exquisitely decorated with various images of plants, birds, flowers, trees, etc which always cause curiosity and are a special attraction for tourists travelling to Sapa. Brocade is an indispensable gift for tourists when sightseeing in Sapa. To the ethnic people of Ta Phin, brocades have an important meaning, and is not only used to decorate and embellish but also as a memento in a wedding day.
There are amazing medicinal plants in the jungle that are used to make their traditional herbal baths. According to the tradition of Red Yao people, each herbal remedy includes over 10 kinds of herbs, sometimes this number reaches to 120. Visiting Ta Phin village, tourists should try to use the herbs-bathing service one time, which is a unique feature in daily activities of Red Yao people (just around 100,000 VND/ person). It is especially helpful for physical and mental fatigue, as it relaxes your body and renews your energy by enhancing overall circulation and soothing your daily tensions. In particular, for women, the herbs-bathing service will help them remove dead skin and impurities, leaving the skin soft, clean, and silky smooth, it also relieves some chronic illnesses including rheumatism, joint pain and plenty of other things.
The herbal baths of Red Yao people
In addition, the top of the village also has an ancient monastery with mossy and ancient stone walls, very suitable for visitors to take unique pictures. If you want to know more about the life of the Red Yao, visitors can overnight at the homestay Ta Phin, listen to interesting stories of ethnic people and enjoy buffalo meat stew, sticky rice glutinous rice.
After having an enjoyable experience at Ta Phin Village and discovering the beauty of Muong Hoa Valley, you can visit Ta Phin Cave at the foot of Hoang Lien Son Mountain. Ta Phin Cave is about 5 meters high, 3 meters wide and has a pathway to the ground. Inside the cave, there are many stalactites sparkling with various shapes, like fairies, pregnant women holding a baby, giant raspberry... Entering the cave, visitors will encounter a large rock lying on its side, on the stone image are the footprints of chicken and the rock also has indentations like a horse’s toe. On the opposite is a cliff with fine French carvings.