To Lao Cai Province, visitors will have the opportunity to admire many famous beautiful landscapes such as: Sa Pa terraced rice fields – one of seven most magnificent terraced fields in Asia (voted by American magazine of Travel and Leisure); Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range with Fansipan Peak at an altitude of 3,143m – the roof of Indochina; Hoang Lien National Park, where contains unique and diversified ecosystems, etc. Especially, Lao Cai also owns glamorous caves and grottoes as Thuy Tien Cave in Bat Xat District, Ta Phoi Cave in Cam Duong District, Tien – Trung Do Grotto in Bac Ha District, Xuan Quang Cave in Bao Thang District, etc.
Besides, Lao Cai preserves hundreds of historical and cultural relics, typically the ancient rock field in Muong Hoa Valley of Sa Pa District, Hoang Bay Temple and Pho Rang Victory Relic in Bao Yen District, Thuong Temple in Lao Cai City, etc. These are favorable conditions for Lao Cai Province to develop cultural tourism type.
Lao Cai also maintains unique highland markets as Muong Hum, Y Ty in Bat Xat District; Coc Ly, Bac Ha, Lung Phinh in Bac Ha District; Can Cau in Si Ma Cai District; Muong Khuong, Cao Son, Pha Long, Lung Khau Nhin in Muong Khuong District. In particular, Bac Ha Market is voted by Serenbid Travel Magazine of Sri Lanka as one of ten most famous markets in Southeast Asia. The markets are the places for buying and selling goods and also for meeting, exchanging and dating of ethnic men and women.
As the residence of ethnic minority groups with specific and diversified cultural identity, Lao Cai is increasingly focusing on developing community-based tourism to create jobs, improve the living standards for local people. Currently, Lao Cai has built 13 community-based tourism sites, mainly in the districts of Sa Pa and Bac Ha. Visiting Sa Pa, visitors can choose many community-based tourism routes as Sa Pa Town – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van; Lao Chai – Ta Van – Ban Ho – Thanh Phu – Nam Sai – Sa Pa Town; Sa Pa Town – Ta Phin – Mong Sen – Tac Co – Sa Pa Town, etc. Bac Ha also focuses on building the cultural village models associated with developing community-based tourism in hamlets of Trung Do of Bao Nhai Commune, Na Lo of Ta Chai Commune, Ban Pho 2A of Ban Pho Commune, Ta Van Chu of Ta Van Chu Commune, etc. The ethnic minority villages attract visitors by stilt-houses; gentle, honest and hospitable people and specific cultural tradition. If experiencing homestay service, visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy popular local dishes, traditional dances and folk songs.
Lao Cai – an interesting and unforgettable destination in the North-West exploring journey.
Thu Giang; Photo: Huy Hoang