Hang Thi Su
Introduction to Sin Suoi Ho Village
If you want to experience what it is like to live in a proud community village, rich in flora and fauna and off the beaten path, then the Sin Suoi Ho could be for you. It is situated in Lai Chau province, in the Sin Suoi Ho commune of Phong Tho town. It is roughly 30km from Lai Chau at an elevation of 1500 metres above sea level.
The local people are friendly and hospitable, most of the households in the village are related to each other. The community organisation is quite tight and the head of the village has a good reputation within the community. The community is friendly and has good communication skills, which is very favourable for the development of tourism.
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The Sin Suoi Ho village has 103 households with 595 people, of which 100% are H'mong people, who live together. A year round cool climate and a beautifully unspoiled natural landscape can be enjoyed here.
This village is one of a humble and simple nature, where the local community is full of pride at having been recognised as a local tourist spot since June 2015.
Villagers live in wooden, walled houses with beautiful architecture, bearing the characteristics of the H'mong people, and surrounded by stone walls. The walls are only waist high, mainly to separate the house land from the hilly land outside. This construction method will help to keep the home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and safe from any wild animals and the sometimes harsh environment.
You can learn more about the building process when you stay in one of the village homestays. No matter how big or small, the Mong people's house is, it usually has three distinct sections.
The Hmong people arrange the area on the left of the three sections to house the stove and the owner's bedroom. The room on the right features a fireplace as well as a guest bed. The nave is broader to accommodate the ancestral altar and serves as a gathering space for family and friends to dine and drink. The attic floor is used to store furniture and victuals. The home might have one or two wings to accommodate a grain mill and carry out the rice pounding. Extra doors and windows made of wood or bamboo give ventilation, also present in the houses are aged apricot trees. The door of each house always opens inward rather than outward. Off to the side of the main door, the Mong people set up livestock barns, the precise location of these will depend on the wind direction but all are encapsulated within the stone fence.
For the locals to earn their living the main sources of income, besides tourism, are winemaking, knitting, traditional brocade embroidery and blacksmithing.
Here, in Sin Suoi Ho village you will find customs and cultural activities which are specific to the area. You will be able to see the local farming and the use of traditional, manual production methods. For those of you who like to immerse themselves in the culture of an area, you will be welcomed in this village, as you learn more of the family traditions and about the nature here.
The village has its own arts team who will produce cultural performances which help to portray the rich history. These include dances and singing along with traditional musical instruments such as: Khen, Drum, Flute and Khen La.
As for the clothing, anyone interested in textiles will be in awe of some of the beautiful traditional outfits. The women's costumes are very colorful and diverse. They typically include skirts, split-breasted tops with bibs on the back, a Thai style apron covering the abdomen, belts, headscarves, and leggings. The shirt opens to the left side of the chest, fastened with a button; the arms, collar and hem are all embroidered with patterns. Men's clothes are similar to those of Nung men; long pants, an almost brushed velvet material with sagittal waistband, short shirt with wide neck, belly button opening, and indigo-coloured clothes. Jewellery includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and rings.
Sin Suoi Ho Village
Hang Thi Su
Transport to Sin Suoi Ho Village
Visitors can come to Sin Suoi Ho from 3 directions; from Lai Chau city, from Muong So commune, (via Nam Xe), or from Sang Ma Sao commune (Bat Xat district).
Guests can take a bus from My Dinh bus station to Lai Chau bus station then take a taxi, or motorbike taxi, to Sin Suoi Ho village. It is about 30km and, currently, there is no bus from Lai Chau to Sin Suoi Ho. Guests can’t walk from Lai Chau to Sin Suoi Ho.
Getting around the area
One of the best ways to explore more of the area is to do one of the half day motorbike tours, your homestay will be able to help you book this.
What’s good to eat in Sin Suoi Ho Village
Coming to Sin Suoi Ho, visitors will enjoy the extremely unique cuisine of the people here, especially in the village of vegetables, fruits, and meat. Here they are mainly self-sufficient, and they will take advantage of the available seasonal food. In the village food safety and hygiene is maintained and freshness is a given. You are likely to find some special dishes such as; noodles with pepper leaves, steamed chicken with pumpkin, roasted pig with honey, grilled chicken with cardamom, dried pork, and fried meat prepared with a local green leaf.
Along with other ethnic groups and unique features the produce is influenced by their national identity, the culinary culture of the Mong people such as: mèn mén (steamed minced maize), Vietnamese traditional cake, kitchen hanging meat, rice wine, and apple cider. As for the dining style, guests can eat with their host family if the group is between 5-10 people. If the group is larger, the guests can eat separately.
As for other meals, you can contact the host about meal times as there is no fixed time. It is worth noting that generally the villagers do not drink alcohol or smoke. If you wish to do so you should make sure you take your own alcohol to drink.
Information about accommodation in Sin Suoi Ho
Currently, the village has almost 20 households working as suitable Homestays and restaurants. These can host up to 300 guests per night, comfortably. Each has about 8 to 12 beds, including between 1 and 3 closed bedrooms (bungalows). The bird’s nest area has 6 private tree houses which accommodate 2 people per room. There are also 3 bungalows located in the Heart cooperative compound area which has a cosy 22 cushion dorm style bedroom with a restaurant. Below are the names of the individual homestays you will be able to stay at;
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Almost all homestays which are located in Sin Suoi Ho village have Facebook pages as well as being on Google maps; this will make it easier for people to find them. Tourists can book directly on the village’s Facebook page: Sin Suoi Ho Village. All homestays are near to the Heart waterfall, the Love waterfall, and mountain climbing, about 4km distance. A stream is about 1km away and all are near to coffee shops, sunset viewing areas and a market.
All homestays have hot and cold water heaters and Wi-Fi. The bathrooms are mainly outdoors and the bungalows are self-contained. There are no bathtubs, only showers available.
Best things to do in Sin Suoi Ho Village
The village has beautiful natural scenery which visitors can experience at any time of the year. There is plenty of trekking in the surrounding area to help you learn about the primeval forest system. You can see waterfalls, streams, terraced rice fields, orchids, cardamom forests and the natural beauty of the village. Because you will be off the beaten path in a more remote area you will be able to wonder at all of the amazing views without the worry of mass tourism or busy crowds all vying for the same photograph.
If you love to walk and are adventurous, there is Trekking to the summit of Bach Moc Luong Tu peak with an elevation of over 3,045m. Located in Den Sung village in Sin Suoi Ho commune where it’s bound to entertain the fittest members of your group. Pu Ta Leng peak with an elevation of 3,049m in Tam Duong district is waiting for you to visit. If trekking is your passion there are also 2 more peaks: Ta Lien Son, Son Bac May.
When planning your visit be sure to include enough time to explore Da So Do area, the 300-year wall, the tool area to help the Hmong survive, the orchid garden, the peach garden, the sunset viewing area, the bird's nest area, the confession area, and the silver stream hanging bridge.
If you prefer to do other activities, there are plenty of things to suit all fitness levels and ages, here are some of the best ones:
Experience beeswax drawing: an ancient technique used to make patterns on fabric and, if you have never done it before, give it a go.
Top Tips for your stay in Sin Suoi Ho Village
Why not incorporate an overnight stay on a 2 day tour of mountain climbing in the area – bring your walking shoes!
The Bach Moc Luong Tu tour: from the starting point to the top is 16km, the road has many slopes, so for the elderly and children, it is not recommended. This tour for those who have never climbed the mountain will be in the difficult category so you will need to follow a climbing porter and a local guide to assist you.
For the slower walkers it will take 2 full days, however for proficient climbers it is more likely to be achieved in one and a half days.
If you prefer to do a shorter tour without exerting yourself, how about the Motorbike tour? There will be a driver and a guide to lead your group, all of who are professional drivers so you will be in safe hands. The way is mostly on asphalt and concrete roads, so it is not difficult but the terrain is a bit steep and you will have lots of fun. The total distance is between 10 and 15km – perfect for the terrain and a half day tour.
Some suggested tours to experience in the village with the following schedule:
(1) Half day Beeswax Painting tour
8:00am: Breakfast (traditional food experience)
8:30: Depart from Homestay and walk to the beeswax painting area
9:00 - 10:30: Practice drawing patterns with traditional beeswax
10h30 - 11h: Dyeing indigo
10:15: Return to Homestay for lunch
(2) 1 day Trekking and Waterfall Discovery tour
8:30 - 10:30: walking to discover the Love waterfall and the Heart waterfall.
11:30: Lunch at Homestay
2h-4h: Explore a peach garden, an orchid garden, the Kasha Coffee area with full view of the village, the Red Book Rock area, and the terraced field viewing area.
4:30: Return to Homestay and end the tour.
(3) Mountain Climbing tour “Bach Moc Luong Tu” 2 days 1 night
8:30 a.m.: Departure for climbing after breakfast at your homestay
8:30 – 11:30: trekking and climbing
11:30: Arrive at the lunch break and have lunch.
1:30: Climb to the top of the mountain then return to the village to stay overnight.
6:30 am: Dinner
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:00am: Departure and return
11:30: Have lunch at Sin Suoi Ho Homestay and end the tour.
(4) Half day Motorbike tour
8:30am - 10:00am: Visit the Red Book rock area, beeswax painting area, terrace viewing area, Tim Cooperative area, Airport village, Border guard post and Chi Sang village viewing area.
10:30: Return to Homestay and end the tour.