Discovering Lo Lo Chai - the picturesque ethnic village in Ha Giang

Discovering Lo Lo Chai - the picturesque ethnic village in Ha Giang

Ha Giang 15.10.2021

In the journey to visit Ha Giang, many travelers have chosen Lo Lo Chai village as their ideal destination. This place is famous for its charming scenery along with the unique culture of the Lo Lo people, which has become a “highlight” of the Dong Van rock plateau.

Translated by nguyendo

Written by giangntm

The beauty of Northwest Vietnam not only lies in the wildness of the passes, mountains and hills, but it is also reflected in the ancient dwellings and long-standing cultural traditions. Lo Lo village is located at the northernmost point of the country, at the foot of Lung Cu flagpole and is as beautiful as a picture which captivates many visitors.

The location of Lo Lo Chai village

Located at the foot of Dragon Mountain (Nui Rong), Lo Lo Chai village is in Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang province. This is the residence of the Lo Lo and H'mong people, in which the number of Lo Lo people account for 90% of the total population, so the village was named after this ethnic group. As being located in the highlands and at the northernmost point of the country, Lo Lo Chai is almost “isolated” from the outside world.

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Lo Lo Chai village is located at the foot of Lung Cu flagpole. Photo: toquoc.vn

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The beautiful village of Lo Lo Chai is located at the northernmost point of the country. Photo: baomoi.com

How to get to Lo Lo Chai village

Motorcycles are the most popular means of transport chosen by many tourists when they come to Ha Giang.

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The road to Lo Lo Chai is winding rocky passes. Photo xedep.vn

To get to Lo Lo Chai, you need to travel from Ha Giang city center to Dong Van, from which you can make your way to the village. However, this route poses a big challenge to visitors as both sides of the road are steep cliffs and look like a deep abyss.

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The road from Dong Van district to Lo Lo Chai village.

The best time to visit Lo Lo Chai village

The best time to visit Lo Lo Chai is in winter with the extremely cold climate, which can drop to sub-zero degree at night and create a layer of white frost on the mountains. This makes the scenery more poetic and charming.

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Winter is the best time to visit Lo Lo Chai. Photo: bologgtravel.com

Exploring Lo Lo Chai village

To get to Lo Lo Chai, it may take you a day to conquer all the winding roads. In the morning of the following day, you can admire the sunrise at Lung Cu flagpole and start your journey of discovering famous destinations and experiencing the life of the Lo Lo people.

Experiencing the life and culture of the Lo Lo people

In the midst of the hectic life out there, there is a simple Lo Lo Chai village in Ha Giang province which is always fresh and peaceful. The locals lead a self-sufficient life and rely on each other with simple lifestyles.

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Lo Lo Chai village.

Lo Lo Chai currently has about 100 households, and associated with the daily activities and culture of the Lo Lo people are houses built of earth and old mossy yin-yang tile roofs. The earth house is a common type of house of the highland ethnic groups in Ha Giang which is cool in summer and warm in winter - suitable for the harsh weather of the highlands. The houses of the Lo Lo people usually have two floors reinforced with cobblestones. The locals take a wooden frame as a mold, then pour fine clay into this and press it strongly to make a wall 50-60cm thick. Next, they smooth the surface of the walls and tile the roof. The earth houses of the Lo Lo people can sustain for several decades.

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The walls of the Lo Lo people’s houses are usually 50-60cm thick and are made entirely of earth. Photo: pystravel

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The houses in Lo Lo Chai in the middle of the mountains and forests. Photo: dulichvietnam.vn

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The mothers and grandmothers are sitting and removing corn kernels in front of the porch. Photo: baodantoc.vn

You can also try wearing the sophisticated and colourful costumes of the Lo Lo people. The talented women have skillfully and creatively created brocade fabrics with eye-catching patterns such as buckwheat flowers, bird's feet and bird's eyes. It should be noted that these are all meaningful symbols of the Dong Van rock plateau.

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Lo Lo Chai women create their own unique brocade products. Photo: dacntoc.vn

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Trying on the colorful costumes of the Lo Lo people. Photo: mytour

If you want to experience the culture of the Lo Lo people, you should listen to the bronze drums and dance the Lo Lo dance. For the Lo Lo people, the bronze drum is considered a treasure: in the past, when their life was full of difficulties, the locals had to continuously migrate to other areas and - at the same time - they believed that the sounds of the bronze drums would lead the way for the deceased's soul to return to heaven. On every festival occasion, the sound of bronze drums supports the dance of the Lo Lo people and promotes a jubilant atmosphere.

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The bronze drum is considered a treasure by the Lo Lo people. Photo: treviettours

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The Cheraw dance of the Lo Lo people. Photo: amazingvietnam

When visiting this place in winter, you will find that Lo Lo people are used to the cold of this season - they can still live and work normally, which may explain why the life of Lo Lo Chai is busy at any time of the year. In winter, the sky is always clear and blue with sunshine regardless of the cold weather. Sipping the corn wine of the ethnic people, sitting together by the charcoal stove, or celebrating Tet holiday with the Lo Lo people are all memorable and unforgettable experiences for visitors. Otherwise, you can come here in spring to admire the romantic picture with blooming peach blossoms.

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The life of the Lo Lo people in winter. Photo: pystravel

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Visiting Lo Lo Chai on a romantic spring day when peach blossoms bloom. Photo: zing.vn

Conquering Lung Cu flagpole

Lo Lo Chai village is located at the foot of Lung Cu National flagpole, so you should not ignore this destination at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level. To be able to see the whole Lo Lo village from the flagpole, you need to climb about 389 stone steps on the mountain and 140 spiral steps inside the flagpole. On the top of the flagpole is the Vietnamese flag with an area of 54m2, representing 54 ethnic groups of the country.

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Conquering the Lung Cu flagpole with a 54m2 wide flag representing 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. Photo: zing.vn

Standing on the flagpole, you can admire the surprisingly majestic scenery of Ha Giang mountains and forests. At the flagpole, there are also many historical artifacts from the Hung Kings period preserved, especially the bronze drum, which may explain why Lo Lo villagers are also very proficient in beating Dong Son bronze drums.

Drinking coffee at Cuc Bac Cafe (Northernmost Cafe)

Few people think that, in such a remote mountainous area, there is still a bustling coffee shop visited by many tourists every day with the unique name “Cuc Bac Cafe” (Northernmost Cafe). The cafe is located at the foot of the Lung Cu flagpole, about 1km from the Vietnam-China border, built by Mr. Ogura Yasushy - a Japanese who has lived in Vietnam for many years. Currently, Mr. Ogura Yasushy has transferred the business rights to a person in the Lo Lo village to facilitate communication and preparation of drinks for customers.

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Photo: Giang Nguyen

The cafe is designed according to the traditional stone house architecture, and customers have to use a bell to order drinks. The taste of coffee in this coffee shop is often evaluated by tourists as being “unique” that cannot be found anywhere else - perhaps because the coffee beans are blended with the “flavour of the mountains and forests” in Lo Lo Chai.

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Lo Lo Chai women make coffee at Cuc Bac Cafe. Photo: luhanhvietnam

Lo Lo Chai will give you a journey that is both “strange and impressive” with low travel costs - you just need to be in good health to enjoy peaceful days in this village.