Muong Lo carries in itself pure, wild and natural beauty with fresh air all year round, along with the flavor of ancient Tuyet tea in Suoi Giang, the source of natural mineral water… which create Muong Lo unique hidden charm.
The entire village in the scent of shan tea
Located about 80 km west of Yen Bai City, Muong Lo is located in the heart of Nghia Lo town and Van Chan district.
The western area of Muong Lo Basin is a residence of more than 10 ethnic groups that make up a unique cultural region. Muong Lo is the point of Hoang Lien range of 180 km, 30 km wide. It has long been said that this is the second largest field of the majestic northwestern region. Muong Lo is famous for its white rice with good flavor of rice and tea.
In the season of harvesting and processing tea, Suoi Giang is full of fragrant smell of tea resin, the smell is so enchanting that people seem to feel that going in the taste of tea, they feel like enjoying the flavor of mountains and forests.
Tea from the top of the mountain, after being picked, is carried to the village by the horse and then dried. At that time, the air in the village is covered with fragrant smell of tea. Up to now, Mong people in Suoi Giang have dried and replicated the tea with manual methods. The big and curved tea leaves look like hooks, the outside is covered with a layer of iridescent “snow” and it is fragrant itself. If you smell the tea once, you will want to inhale forever.
There are quite a lot of theories about thousands of ancient tea plants in Suoi Giang. The soil, forest and tea in Suoi Giang are majestic and exotic. Suoi Giang is a commune located at a height of 1,500 to 1,800 meters above sea level. There are trees with a life expectancy of more than 300 years, they are considered the ancient and “ancestor” tea plants in Suoi Giang. Even, many people say that drinking Suoi Giang tea can avoid many intestinal diseases, sometimes, just rubbing tea leaves of ancient trees on human skin can remove all the rash and itch.
Suoi Giang tea is also very “picky”, the tea pot and cups must be made of porcelain and baked carefully on fire, they can not carry any smell of other kinds of tea, can not be stained and must be clean and rinsed with boiling water. Tea has to be infused with water in laterite area in the midland, or water taken from Tap Lang, Giang Cao of Suoi Giang to have high- grade tea.
Exciting Xoe dance
Wandering the land with white flowers, you will encounter the Thai girls in black dress, robes, Pieu scarves and wearing Xa tich (kind of silver jewelry like chatelaine or key chain). Referring to Thai girls, people often think of Cóm shirts. This is a short-sleeved shirt that holds the body tightly and the lappet is put behind the waistband when they wear this shirt. Com shirt of white Thai people has high collar, and that of black Thai has low “V” shaped collar. The shirt is attached with the silver buttons of various shapes such as butterfly, bee, tick… With the unmarried girl, the number of buttons are odd number. For married women, the number of buttons are even numbers to tell people that the person wearing the dress has her life partner.
Today, Thai ethnic women have made more colorful shirts, but they still make sure that the shirt is tailored to the right style, while being wore, different colors radiate and make the women in this mountainous area more beautiful.
The muffler of Thai women in Muong Lo is not Pieu scarf. It’s just a black scarf dyed black with the two ends embroidered with purple, pink, blue thread… The length of the towel is between 180 and 200cm, the width is from 32 to 35 cm.
For unmarried women, the chatelaine is rounded neatly. The boys look at the way that the chatelaine is rounded to guess the personality of each girl. They conjecture that a girl who rounds short chatelaine is leisured person, the girl with chatelaine rounded to the skirt is a modest person…
Thai woman’s costume is the long lasting cultural value of this ethnic, it represents the aesthetics of culture and beliefs in the community culture that is more precious than ever through thousands of cultural life. There is still no changes.
In Muong Lo, no one can remember exactly when Xoe dance first appeared in Thai community, but through the ups and downs of life, those who are passionate about Xoe dance still consider this a precious asset and make great attempt to preserve this traditional dance. Having a chance to visit the Thai villages in the spring, in the full moon day, or when the rice is harvested and kept in baskets, when the fruit is ripe, you will be attracted by the dance containing joy and exposure.
Exploring Muong Lo field- the second largest field in the Northwest
Those who has ever been to Muong Lo (Nghia Lo town), a fertile, rich land of the North West, where has the second largest flat vast plain in the North West, where is famous for “rice White, clear water”, with specialty of Shan tea, with the fragrant aromas of Tan Tu Le sticky rice will never forget the interesting moments.
Of the four large valleys famous for their beautiful scenery and fresh weather in the North West, Muong Lo is second one only to Muong Thanh (Dien Bien province) and stands on Muong Than (Than Uyen, Lai Chau) and Muong Tac (Phu Yen, Son La). Muong Lo nowadays includes Nghia Lo town and some communes of Van Chan district. Looking down from the top, Muong Lo field looks like a large pan, surrounded by mountains all year round. In the spring, the fog becomes denser.
Muong Lo is the second largest field in the northern mountains, just to Muong Thanh (Dien Bien). Black (clothes) Thai people have long settled here. According to the epic story of Thai people, the two brothers of Tao Xuong and Tao Ngan needed to find a place to start their career. Tao Xuong stopped at a village in Muong Lo, built the ancestral land of the Black Thai people throughout the North West because of its fertile soil and plentiful water. Tao Ngan went to Muong Then (Muong Thanh today) built the village of the White (clothes) Thai people and mainly grew rice.
The small town of Nghia Lo in the west of Yen Bai lies in the heart of the vast Muong Lo field surrounded by Hoang Lien range covered with white clouds. The land of less than 3,000 hectares is home to 17 ethnic groups with a population of over 27,000 people, of which the Thai people make up 44% of the population with a lot of unique cultural features.
How to reach Yen Bai
From Ha Noi, there are two major roads to Yen Bai that are National Highway 32 and National Highway 70. To go to Van Chan, Mu Cang Chai and Nghia Lo districts, you will travel on National Highway 32.
Yen Bai is 207km away from Hanoi, you can take a train from Hanoi Railway Station to Yen Bai Station, or take bus of brands of Ten Hoa, Hung Lien, Dung Thao from My Dinh bus station to Yen Bai Bus Station. This route has the last stop at Yen Bai Bus Station. If you want to go to Nghia Lo, Van Chan, Mu Cang Chai, you should catch a bus to Lai Chau bus. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can take a plane or train to Hanoi, then take the bus or ride motorbikes to Yen Bai. From Yen Bai Railway Station and Yen Bai Bus Station, 2km from Yen Bai city center, you can take a taxi to the center.
The best time to go to Yen Bai
Yen Bai has two beautiful seasons that you can arrange to arrive. The period from September to mid-October is the season of ripe rice, and everywhere if covered with a bright yellow ripe rice color, nice weather, which is convenient to visit. From May to June is the season of water, when summer rains start pouring water down the mountains, the water is led from the mountain into the terraces.