Meeting Tay people at Tha village in Ha Giang
- on Jan 8, 2020       By: BN
Not far from Ha Giang city, the Tha village invites you to stroll in peace around the traditional Tay houses under the shade of old bamboo. Before hitting the winding paths towards the famous Dong Van plateau, take the time to stop at Thon Tha or Tha village. A moment of relaxation and discovery in the small world of the Tay will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories.
This small village is home to a hundred houses nestled in the middle of green rice fields which overlook the mountains. The dirt roads take you to cross the thatched houses on stilts. Cemented dwellings are also rare there, consisting more of classrooms, information services or a community clinic.
Tha village is one of the cultural villages for community tourism promoted by Ha Giang province in recent years. This greatly supports the lives of people living on rice and craft activities.
The land spans some 180 hectares surrounded by forest in the North and West. Two small streams cross in the centre of the village to finally pour into the Lo river. We can see in each house, there are one or even a few ponds for the family fish farm. Its natural setting is ideal for being in a place as calm as it is magnificent. After a stroll around the village, take a pleasant break to meet a local family. In one of the houses built entirely of wood, bamboo and straws, you will taste the hospitality of the hosts around a few teas.
In the field, the kitchen or at your reception, we can meet the Tay woman dressed in the black dress, the traditional clothing of the Tay. Sober and probably one of the least sophisticated ethnic outfits seen in the mountains of the North, it does not prevent itself from perfectly accompanying the Tay woman on any occasion. The artisanal weaving is transmitted among the Tay through the generations. The scarves, bag, clothing… in brocade are made before your eyes. And if you wish, the weaver will explain to you with the greatest attention some of the ancestral techniques.
To get closer to local life, sleeping with locals is an experience to be lived absolutely even if the comfort is indeed more modest compared to hotels in the city. On the other hand, everything will be largely rewarded by the conviviality and the moments of sharing with family members.
In the company of the hosts, you can try to prepare local recipes and then savour the alluring cuisine with mountain smells. Soup with local fish and young bamboo, wild chicken salad, dwarf pig grilled in a bamboo trunk to taste with wild vegetables and San Lung corn alcohol... are some of the popular dishes in the region and popular with guests. Grills are present in the Tay meal, especially on the occasion of traditional festivals or the celebration of a new home. The meat is marinated with local spices and should tastefully surprise all guests.
Then singing, a heritage preserved by the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic groups
At nightfall, it's time to immerse yourself in a folklore evening where young Tay women proudly improvise the melodious Then songs. This traditional spectacle is not to be missed so you can learn a little more about the intangible cultural heritage enriched by the ethnic groups living in the North, Tay, Nung and Thai.
How to get there?
Tha village is located in the Phuong Do commune, six kilometres from Ha Giang city to the Northwest. Take the Hanh Phuc road or the Happiness road via the national road no. 2, towards the Thanh Thuy border post. Upon arriving at the headquarters of the People's Committee of Phuong Dong Commune, you will find the entrance to the village.
Homestay in Tha village
For those who want to stay in these nameless but well-known shelters, here are some good addresses:
At Thien, Quyen or Nghiem family who offer clean rooms for a price between 50,000 to 80,000 VND per person.
Meals are also available there, costing 50,000 VND per meal per person.