Not far from SaPa there is a very beautiful village called Ta Phin. A visit there is sure to be memorable. As we arrived at the village, the word had already gotten out that a group of tourists was on its way. As the bus parked, the local women seemed to decide which of them was going to be accompanying which one of us on our walk through the village. When we got off the bus, it was easy to see they were delighted to meet us, and most delighted that we might, at the end of the tour, buy some of their wares.
The village is one in which the Dao people live. They are one of the 54 ethnic minority groups that live in Vietnam. Many of these minority groups also live in China, particularly in Yunnan Province which is north of Vietnam.
In this village, many of the women speak rudimentary English and chat with visitors as we make our way past the homes and fields. Although the head coverings the women wear vary, this is a matter of choice rather than custom. Some women simply find the close to the heard carves more comfortable and others like those that sit
high on the head. So often, we Westerners imagine there is significance in others’ customs, but just like us, they too have their own preferences and choice.
We walk past the rice terraces and fields.
The second woman from the left has a baby on her back. You can see his little head with a hat peeking out over the top of the blue carrier.
These people live amidst such beauty, and although from a Western standard, their living arrangements are far from elegant, one has the feeling that these people are happy and content. The Vietnamese government has put virtually every village on the electric grid and there is free education provided for children in the elementary grades. The people see improvement from year to year in their standard of living.
This picture has been reposted to Work of the Poet
A tour of TaPhin will leave you speechless too.