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|Lo Lo Chai village seen from the Lung Cu National Flag Tower (Photo: dulich.realtimes.vn)|
The village is nestled in the rocky plateau of Ha Giang province and considered one of the most remote villages in the north of the country. Visitors to the village can easily spot the flagpole, which is about 1.4km away.
The village offers some wonderful sightseeing, with green colours falling into the rocky mountains, not to mention the unique culture and architecture.
Lo Lo Chai has also become a community-based cultural tourism village with homestays.
The main road, which leads into the village centre, is full of daisies. Visitors should traverse the road at a leisurely pace and see the village. They will recognise familiar trinh tuong (earthen) houses which appear after the stone fences, with maize hung on the houses and peach trees grown in front of them.
Near the village is a large natural lake which makes the atmosphere more fresher.
With the difficult, mountainous terrain, and frequent bad weather, especially in the winter, locals live in a self-sufficient way by growing maize, rice and vegetables.
According to Sin Di Gai, head of Lo Lo Chai, the village is home to nearly 100 households, with some 90 per cent of them Lo Lo ethnic minority.
Lo Lo Chai village is the only place in the province still home to the traditions of the Lo Lo people, with their earthen houses with rammed-earth walls, clay roofs, stone fences, traditional industries such as embroidering, woodwork; and traditional festivals such as le cung than rung (ceremony of forest worship) and le mung lua moi (new rice ceremony).
According to Tran Van Manh, a Hanoian backpacker, visitors should sleep one night in the village to experience the daily life of people here.
“Waking up with a cup of tea, seeing the thoughtful elderly, chattering children as well as women dyeing cloth or making cakes, you will be very happy as you notice that life is very simple. Time seems to stand still here,” said Manh.
Manh said there are many homestays in Lo Lo Chai, such as Homie homestay, Cuc Bac (North Pole) homestay, Sister’s homestay and Bar as well as Lo Lo Chai homestay.
The homestays have been designed and renovated on existing foundations of houses built by Lo Lo people.
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.
In the weekend evenings, cultural performances take place at the village's cultural house.
According to Manh, in Lo Lo Chai, you should check out the North Pole Café which is the most famous destination in the village.
The founder of this café is Japanese Yasushi Ogura, who loves Ha Giang for its pristine beauty and unique culture of local 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.
The shop is an upgrade of Chien’s house. The original architecture of the house has been maintained with a fence made of stones and a thick wall that keeps it warm in winter and cool in summer.
Ogura then invited people to teach Luc Thi Van, Chien’s wife, English as well as how to make coffee and drinks. After that, Ogura handed over all business activities to Van and her husband.
In front of the cafe sit old peach trees. In the spring, they have many crimson flowers, while in the summer, they are full of fruit.
Thanks to its charming culture and unique architecture, in recent years, the beauties of Lo Lo Chai has become known to many tourists and it's a must-see place in Ha Giang.