Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang not only is known for unique Geopark title recognized by UNESCO Global Geoparks, but also for the forgotten age-old villages such as Thien Huong Village (or Mã Pắng Village). This is the 100-year-old village in Dong Van that preserves the pristine landscape, the Tay’s minority traditional customs, off-the-beaten-track trails, antique architecture of the Tay ethnic minority, etc.
How to get to the hidden Thien Huong Village in Dong Van Ha Giang
Photo hunters and thrill-seekers love to discover the hidden hill-tribe villages in the mountainous regions, and Thien Huong Village in Dong Van Ha Giang is a place to go. It is a bumpy and rural road to the village; one side is the cliff while another side is the abyss. Furthermore, the mountain is so high that could meet the cloud, making you think of “a sky gate”. Spreading the eyes, you can even catch the stunning curved roads on the mountainous terrace.
From the center of Dong Van Town, it takes 30 minutes to drive to this beautiful village of the Tay ethnic minority. In the entrance to the village, you see the stunning hundred-of-year-old banyan trees that stand firmly and withstand the hard test of time. This place has a worshipping shrine for the locals to do homage to the village spirit.
Traditional Life and Custom of Tay ethnic minority in Thien Huong Village Dong Van
Regarding the local costumes, Tay women keep the tradition to wear the black knee-length dresses and the black headscarves while working in the fields. Also, the Tay men wear the black garments like the Mong males during their daily lives. In this village, women earn their livings by weaving fabrics to make the kids’ clothes. Besides, both men and women work in agriculture and producing corn wine.
The deeper you go inside the village, the more antique houses of more than 100 years old that you can contemplate. Each house was built in the ancient architecture, with the double-tile roof, clay wall, and two compartments. While the upper compartment is for storage, the lower compartment is for living and cooking. One outstanding trait of the Tay houses is the ancestor’s altar which is arranged in a solemn manner. In two sides of the altar are the parallel sentences. And, in front of the gate of the house, people hang three amulets to fight against the devils.
In many talks about Ha Giang Vietnam beverages, it cannot help mentioning the fermented corn wine of Thien Huong Village – the most delicious corn wine of the region. This specialty requires time and effort to produce. It must go through the strict procedure. First, people will pick more than 30 kinds of remedial tree leaves for fermentation. Next, they cook the kernels and then pour them out to cool down. To continue, people will mill the yeast, mix it with the cooked kernels, and brew the complex tightly in bags for one week. A week later, they will open the bags and distill the corn wine. The sophisticated procedure results in the sweet and fragrant wine that is also good for the sensitive stomach. The Thien Huong Corn Wine has been sold well in the region, plus some areas out of the provincial contexts.
Though more than a hundred of years has passed, the Thien Huong Village in Ha Giang preserves the traditional beauty that tourists come to cherish. The villagers still live in a poverty, but they keep the nature-friendly lifestyle and welcoming attitude toward all guests. So if you don’t mind the bumpy and rural path filled with earth and grass, or mud (when the rain falls), let’s trek to Thien Huong village and enjoy the peaceful life apart from the city bustle. It is a perfect shelter to escape several days in Dong Van.
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