Sin Ho shines in mountain mist
Sin Ho is a scenic village nestled in the mountains of Lai Chau Province and worth visiting, particularly for those who want to discover stunning scenery and cultural diversity of ethnic groups.
Surprisingly, Sin Ho attracts a small number of tourists as the tough approach roads put off the idea of both Vietnamese and foreigners for a journey to the village, which is described as a princess sleeping in the mountains.
But, as soon as tourists arrive in the village they will shout out joy for having overcome so many unforgettable experiences.
Traveling to Sin Ho from Dien Bien Phu City offers a lot of rewards, which include the old bridge Hang Tom spanning the mighty Da River and the beautiful landscapes along the road of nearly 160 kilometers from the northern city.
Especially, the 38-kilometer trip from the Chan Nua T-junction up to the elevation of over 1,000 meters where Sin Ho is situated is not for travelers with a weak heart. Although the distance is short, the journey can take a long time as the road is under construction.
Adventure lovers must bob themselves on a narrow road and pass swift breath holding curves. In return, they will be offered a panorama of picturesque scenes featuring terraced paddy fields carved into and homes of ethnic villagers perched on mountainside.
Travelers often stop on the way for breathtaking scenery, which are masses of clouds hanging somewhere in the air and half-covering the mountain peaks when the sun rises up from the blankets of mist in the morning.
The road section on the top of the mountains provides the adventurers with a superior stand to review what they may pass, and see the road like a big brown red dragon winding up the mountainside.
Cold winds wail through travelers' clothes on the way up to Sin Ho, where ethnic tribes settled a long time ago and still retain their traditional culture and habits.
There's a chance for them to see ethnic women shouldering bamboo baskets going to their farms and fields or back homes. There is a colorful market on Sunday, when Red Mong, Dao and other ethnic peoples gather there for their buying and selling.
The items on sale at the market range from life’s necessities such as clothes and scarves to farm produce like banana, vegetables and fruits. Ethnic women bring jewelry, including necklaces and bracelaces, to the market for sale to tourists.
But Sin Ho is not the right place for those seekers of comfortable accommodation for an overnight stay and good food. The new municipal of Lai Chau, about a 60-kilometer drive from Sin Ho, is one of the proposed replacements and where there are fish caught from streams and other specialties of the northern province of offer.
Departing Sin Ho about three kilometers comes a pretty quiet village surrounded by a stunning backdrop of mountains and hills. There, boys sit on the back of their buffaloes going around; children play games and women weave tho cam (ethnic fabric) handicrafts in front of their homes besides leafless pear trees in a winter afternoon.
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