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Cat Cat Village

in San Sa Ho Commune, Sa Pa District of Lao Cai Province is a beautiful destination on a tour to the mountainous area of Tay Bac (the northwest). To visit the village, go from the center of Sa Pa District for 2km along mist-covered zigzagging roads with mountains on one side and green terraced fields on the other.

is noted for its peaceful, splendid natural landscape and the unique customs and cultural activities of the ethnic people. In 2004, Lao Cai Province’s Tourism Company invested in creating an infrastructure and rebuilding the road to . This turned the village into Cat Cat Tourist Site with the aim of preserving and tapping the traditional crafts of the Mong ethnic people and opening a new direction for tourism in this area.

The Mong have lived in since the mid-19th century. They live in a community and reside in three-compartment houses roofed with fokienia wood. Along the way to the village we saw their houses near the mountain sides and terraced fields where they do farm and raise livestock. The Mong people still preserve most of their old, unique customs and habits such as wife-snatching, wedding ceremonies and many traditional crafts.

While following a brick-paved path leading to the hamlet we saw Mong women weaving and sewing in small houses on the side of the road. Working on old looms with skillful hands they produce many beautiful brocaded items with colourful delicate patterns such as bags, hats, clothes, dresses, purses and scarves.

Giang Thi Pao, a woman in , talked with us while she prepared thread to weave fabric. She said that besides the craft of weaving, Cat Cat villagers also have the traditional craft of silver carving which yields diverse varieties of products, mainly necklaces, bracelets and rings. Stone sculpture has also existed for many generations and brings a stable income to many villagers.

To develop the tourism potential in , Lao Cai Province’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Department has been involved in many programmes such as the “Cultural Festival Days in ” and the tours “A Day of Being a Dao Ethnic Farmer” and “A Day of Being a Mong Bride”. Participating in these programmes visitors will learn about and experience many interesting cultural activities of the Mong people in this peaceful mountainous village. (Source: VNP)

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