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Lai Chau

3.8 /5 15 votes

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Best Time: February - April Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

"Explore the unexplored Vietnam "

Lai Chau Tourism

Nestled in the midst of sloping mountains and plateaus, Lai Chau is a quaint town with monumental government buildings. This town offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the mystic scenery of the Vietnamese countryside. In addition to that, you can learn about the locals, go trekking, backpacking or just kick back and relax with a book and some local coffee.

Lai Chau is a relatively less developed town. This remoteness gives rise to a town, steeped in mystery and unexplored natural wonders. Lai Chau is also home to a variety of ethnic minorities living together in harmony. A visit to Lai Chau is ideal for those who are curious about the culture of different groups and wish to learn about them. It is also an ideal location for nature enthusiasts, trekkers, mountaineers, cavers and those who want to relax amidst the mountains and sip on some local beverage. Lai Chau offers you a cultural paradise, the Sin Ho settlement, which is one of the highest settlements in Vietnam. You can live amongst the Sin Ho people and learn about their way of life. Apart from that, you can also go trekking in the wilds of the Hoang Lien National park, summit the largest mountain in Indochina - Fansipan, go cave exploring in Tien Son Caves or marvel at the intricate structures created by the elements at Dong Thieu Duong Caves. You can pick up some local souvenirs at the Tam Duong Market and if you manage to coincide your visit with one of the festivals, you can immerse yourself in the festivities and celebrate Vietnam style!

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Shopping in Lai Chau

Two things you should not miss shopping for in Lai Chau are forest peppers and coffee. Forest peppers are grown exclusively in the Indochine region. Being a native of Vietnam, forest peppers are grown and exported from Lai Chau. Cofee plantations are present extensively on the mountain slopes and you can choose to buy from the source itself.

Festivals of the Lai Chau Region

Festivals are one among the most exciting activities of Lai Chau. The most popular one in Lai Chau is ïHoa Ban festivalÍ, which reflects the cultural and spiritual life of people. This festival takes place in the seond lunar month when the hoa ban flower blooms. The boy picks up the most beautiful flower and puts it in a girlÍs hair. The girl hides under the fresh leaves. This is not only the time for love but also for people to pray for good crops and happiness and express their gratitude to their ancestors. The festival is always full of songs and prayers. Another famous festival is ïHan Khuong festivalÍ, which takes place in spring. Young unmarried girls sing love songs ïHamÍ on a stage ïKhuongÍ. Young, unmarried boys sing songs back. This festival is primarily for the young people to interact with each other. ïGau Tao festivalÍ, a festival of HÍmong people, is held every spring. This takes place after the lunar new year, where couples go to the market together to buy new things for their homes. It signifies new beginnings.

Religion of Lai Chau

Religion followed is similar to that followed throughout the rest of Vietnam

Lai Chau Customs

Mang and La Hu are two ethnic minorities that live only in Lai Chau region of Vietnam. They have a lot of indigenous customs and traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. Each of these tribes has their way of celebrating weddings and mourning during funerals. One of the places you can go to observe their traditions is the Thursday and Sunday markets, which is an essential part of their lifestyle, where the women sell handicrafts and other local items such as chicken, pork, honey, rice, and tea. The official musical instrument played by the La Hu tribe boys is the 'Khen,' performed during the Gau Tao festival.

Language of Lai Chau

Vietnamese is the language spoken in Lai Chau, just like every other part of Vietnam. Lai Chau is remote and so there are not many English speakers.

Nightlife in Lai Chau

Lai Chau is a very remote destination and it has next to no nightlife. However, there are a few, low-key locations that the locals frequent. Karaoke Chau Long is a popular Nightclub to unwind and sing after a long day. A less crowded location is Tu Sam Lai Chau nightclub.

Restaurants and Local Food in Lai Chau

Lai Chau has an exotic cuisine authentic to this area in north-western Vietnam. Some of the local delicacies include - Nguyen Thanh Trung, consisting of smoked pork marinated with salt, chilies and nuts; Sticky Rice coloured purple with a leaf called Khau Cam and served with grilled fish and cinnamon pork paste; Freshwater Fish marinated with local nuts called •Mac Khensê, green chillies, lotus seeds and herbs and attached onto bamboo sticks and grilled over a charcoal flame and Bitter Bamboo shoot and Bauhinia salad. Moss soup and grilled moss is a local party food. Another indispensable part of the Lai Chau cuisine is Mong Ke (corn) wine.
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Lai Chau Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Scenic Beauty, Cultural Exposure

What's Not So Great?

Frequent Power Cuts, Remote Area

How To Reach Lai Chau

Lai Chau is a relatively remote area. The only was of reaching Lai Chau is by road - may it be by bus, car or Xe Om. Lai Chau does not have a railway station or an airport

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