|The way to Sin Suoi Ho Bungalow in Lai Chau province (photo: Ngoc Anh)
Located nearly 1,500m above sea level, the hamlet, home to 149 Mong households, has a cool climate. Sin Suoi Ho in the Mong language means “spring having gold” as there is a spring and a waterfall full of water all the year round.
Since the hamlet was recognized as a community tourism site, villagers have been earning income from services at homestays in traditional Hong wood houses, short stay bungalows, cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
Vang A Chinh, Head of Sin Suoi Ho hamlet, says: “We have 12 households offering homestays plus 26 bungalows, a cooperative, and 2 tourism companies. Visitors stay in traditional Mong houses and eat at local eateries. A homestay costs 10 USD per night per person. Bungalow prices range from 12 to 30 USD per night per person. At night we have art performances, dancing, singing, and a campfire. The hamlet has 3 waterfalls. Making traditional Mong clothing to sell to tourists bring us a good income. Visitors come from all over Vietnam, many from Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hoi An. There are also visitors from the US, Singapore, Canada, and elsewhere.”
|Vang A Chinh, Head of Sin Suoi Ho hamlet (photo: Ngoc Anh)
Every Saturday Sin Suoi Ho hamlet holds a fair, an interesting place to experience the local life. Walking around, tourists are amazed by its natural beauty as well as its well-tended gardens growing pears, orchids, and many other varieties of flowers. There is a 300-year-old stone wall that has stood since the hamlet was established and a 300-year-old Tung qua sủ tree, whose leaves are used to dye fabric.
Tourists experience the Mong culture, wade through a sea of clouds in the early morning, soak in the cool water beneath a waterfall, contemplate vast terraced rice fields, and relax in an orchid garden.
Pham Ngoc Quynh, a tourist from HCMC, says: “I’ve been to Lai Chau many times but this is the first time I’ve visited Sin Suoi Ho. The hamlet is nice and clean. The houses are in harmony with nature. Each house has a unique gate. The plants are very beautiful. This place is well worth a visit. The local people are friendly. Everyone wants to come here again. I learned about Sin Suoi Ho through several YouTube channels and some friends who came here to hunt clouds.”
An interesting place to stay in is a “bird nest” room built in a tree. Vang A Lu, owner of the bird nest homestay, said: “Tourists are fascinated to sleep in a bird nest room. I have 6 of them. Each nest is 2.8m x 2.6m, accommodates 2 adults and 1 or 2 children, has wifi, hot and cold water, and other amenities. Tourists can attend an art performance of the hamlet’s art troupe. Near the market is an exhibit of farm tools, much like a small museum.”
|Every homestay has a typical gate. (photo: Ngoc Anh)
Sin Suoi Ho has been selected for a project called “New rural development in combination with rural tourism in some hamlets in Lai Chau province from 2020-2025.”
Cheo Quay Hoa, Chairman of Sin Suoi Ho hamlet’s People’s Committee, said: “As part of the new rural development program, since 2015 we have grown tea trees and orchids. We have about 38,000 orchids to supply northern provinces. Every year Sin Suoi Ho earns between 85,000 and 138,000 USD selling orchids. Lai Chau province has 11 tourism hamlets. Before the pandemic we welcomed about 30,000 visitors a year, mostly Vietnamese.”
The Vietnam Tourism Association honored Sin Suoi Ho as a Typical Community Tourism Village in 2019.