|A bird's eye view of Lai Chau city. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/ VOV5)
Each ethnic group has a unique culture that adds to Lai Chau’s diversity. Local authorities have launched a project to mobilize its resources to invest, exploit, and bring into full play traditional cultural values, and develop tourism for socio-economic growth.
“In the 2021-2025 period, we will set up 5 community-based tourism villages to provide tourism, cuisine, and cultural experiences of the Thai, Mong, Dao, and Lu ethnic groups,” said Tran Quang Khang, Deputy Head of Lai Chau’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Lai Chau has 5 National Intangible Cultural Heritages: Xoe dance, the tug-of-war game of the Thai, the maturity ritual for boys of the Dao group, the Gau Tao festival of the Mong, and the brocade weaving craft of the Lu. The Then singing of the Thai was named to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity.
To preserve traditional cultural values, Lai Chau has opened classes to teach people about its intangible cultural heritages and has revived the traditional festivals of its ethnic minorities. Mai Thi Hong Sim, Vice Chairwoman of Phong Tho district’s People’s Committee, said, “The Nang Han festival is held annually on the fifteenth day of the second lunar month in Muong So commune. The festival honors Nang Han, a heroine of the Thai group. It includes many folk games and attracts many visitors."
"On the tenth day of the third lunar month, we celebrate the Then Kin Pang festival – the water spraying festival – of the Thai. There are folk games and music performances.”
|Visitors and locals join a camp fire in Vang Pheo village. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/ VOV5)
Traditional weaving, embroidery, forging, and cuisine are among Lai Chau’s potentials. Two Lai Chau dishes – goby buried in ash and purple steamed sticky rice – are on the Vietnam Record Association’s list of Vietnam’s top 100 specialties. Sin Ho walnuts and Sung Phai corn liquor were on the list of Vietnam’s top 100 gift specialties for 2021-2022.
Lo Thi Nhung, owner of the Tam Nhung Homestay in Phong Tho district, said, “Thai cuisine includes goby buried in ash, river moss, and grilled fish. Visitors to our village have the opportunity to enjoy delicious Thai cuisine, observe Thai folk dances, and have their hair washed in the Thai style. We have a hair washing festival on the last day of the year to pray for good health and good luck.”
|Purple steamed sticky rice is on the Vietnam Record Association’s list of Vietnam’s top 100 specialties. (Photo: poliva.vn)
Lai Chau is promoting new tourism products and connecting with other northwestern provinces to boost tourism. It has also upgraded its infrastructure, organized more tours, and adopted preferential policies to attract more investors.
Tong Thanh Hai, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said, “We have submitted to the government a plan to build a new airport. Our plans to construct Eden garden, Tam Duong district, and an outdoor skiing area have been approved, and we are planning to build a waterfall, a hot spring, a horse-racing ground, and a golf course, and develop Lai Chau ginseng.”