Cat Cat village – an impressive highlight of Lao Cai community tourism

From the center of Sapa Vietnam, follow the road towards Fanxipan mountain about 3km, visitors will come to Cat Cat village. Located at the foot of Hoang Lien Son mountain range, in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains, Cat Cat is an ideal community tourist destination for tourists who want to learn and explore the cultural life of the people of the Northwest highlands.

Cat Cat is a village of the Mong ethnic group, formed in the middle of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the French discovered and chose the village as a resort for officials. Here there is a beautiful waterfall that in French means “cat”. Therefore, the village is also named Cat Cat

Nearly 80 households are mostly located along the paved road in the middle of the village, some are scattered on the mountain slopes. Going about a few hundred meters of stairs is to the center of Cat Cat in Sapa Vietnam, where the convergence of three streams whispering day and night is Tien Sa stream, Vang stream and Silver stream, and Cat Cat waterfall rumbling and blowing white foam. Next to the waterfall, there are two suspension bridges, Si Bridge and A Lu Bridge, attracting a lot of tourists to admire the scenery and take souvenir photos.

Cat Cat village not only attracts tourists by its wild and lyrical natural scenery but also by the unique and diverse traditional culture of the Mong ethnic group. The Mong people in Cat Cat build their houses on the mountainside, the roofs are only a few tens of meters apart. These are three-room houses with trusses of three horizontal columns placed on round or square stone slabs, roofs with wooden planks, and sawn timber walls. The house has 3 doors, the main door is in the middle, 2 side doors at the two ends of the house. The main door is always closed, only open when the house has big business such as weddings, funerals, Tet holidays. In the house, there is an altar, an attic for storing food, a kitchen, a place to sleep and a place to receive guests. The most unique are the rice mills designed very creatively by the Mong people, not using human power but using water power to produce pure, fragrant white rice grains. Around the house are luxuriant, green bamboo bushes and terraced fields as far as the eye can see.

In addition to rice cultivation, the Mong people in Cat Cat also develop traditional crafts such as growing flax, weaving cloth, knitting living tools, silver carving and forging farm tools. Coming to Cat Cat village in Sapa Vietnam, visitors will be able to visit the display area and sell traditional handicrafts of the Mong ethnic people. Sophisticated and unique products created by the skillful hands of the people here not only bring vitality to the village but also show the typical culture of the Mong people preserved and preserved through the years. generations.

In addition, the local people still preserve many unique customs and practices, in which it is impossible not to mention “the custom of pulling wives”. When a boy falls in love with a girl, he will organize a party to invite friends to ask for a plan to “drag” the girl home and keep her for three days. After that, if the girl agrees to be the man’s wife, the official wedding ceremony will be conducted. If rejected, they drink a bowl of wine together, make friends, and everything goes back to normal. The Hmong wedding ceremony in Cat Cat is usually held from 2 to 7 days.

If you come to Cat Cat village on the first days of the year, visitors also have the opportunity to participate in the Gau Tao festival to pray for luck and destiny for the villagers. This is the biggest festival of the year reflecting the cultural and spiritual life of the Mong ethnic group. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy many specialties such as corn wine, thang co, “khaga gai” smoked meat, chicken blood soup, imitations cooked with bamboo shoots, corn tortillas, bean curd…

To develop the cultural and tourism potential of Cat Cat village, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Lao Cai province has implemented many special programs to attract visitors such as: “Cat Cat Mong Village Cultural Festival” , the experience tour program “One day as a H’mong farmer” or “One day as a H’mong bride”… Participating in these programs, visitors can learn and discover the rich folk cultural identity. of local people through traditional dances, smooth and deep love songs; see elderly artisans carving silver, weaving linen, embroidering brocade, forging knives and hoes; Or join the villagers in crossbow shooting contest, blindfolded goat catching contest, tug of war contest, bamboo bridge crossing contest…

With its own unique features of a Northwest highland village, Cat Cat has long become an impressive tourist destination, not to be missed by domestic and foreign tourists when coming to Sapa Vietnam. Thanks to the development of community-based tourism activities, the lives of local ethnic people have been significantly improved, giving Cat Cat a new look but without losing its traditional beauty for many generations.

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