Sin Ho is a scenic village nestled in the
mountains of Lai Chau Province and worth visiting, particularly for those who
want to discover stunning scenery and cultural diversity of ethnic groups.
Surprisingly, Sin Ho attracts a small number of tourists as the tough approach
roads put off the idea of both Vietnamese and foreigners for a journey to the
village, which is described as a princess sleeping in the mountains. But, as
soon as tourists arrive in the village they will shout out joy for having
overcome so many unforgettable experiences. Traveling to Sin Ho from Dien Bien
Phu City offers a lot of rewards, which include the old bridge Hang Tom spanning
the mighty Da River and the beautiful landscapes along the road of nearly 160
kilometers from the northern city.
Especially, the 38-kilometer trip from the Chan Nua T-junction up to the
elevation of over 1,000 meters where Sin Ho is situated is not for travelers
with a weak heart. Although the distance is short, the journey can take a long
time as the road is under construction.
Adventure lovers must bob themselves on a narrow road and pass swift breath
holding curves. In return, they will be offered a panorama of picturesque scenes
featuring terraced paddy fields carved into and homes of ethnic villagers
perched on mountainside.
Travelers often stop on the way for breathtaking scenery, which are masses of
clouds hanging somewhere in the air and half-covering the mountain peaks when
the sun rises up from the blankets of mist in the morning. The road section on
the top of the mountains provides the adventurers with a superior stand to
review what they may pass, and see the road like a big brown red dragon winding
up the mountainside Cold winds wail through travelers' clothes on the way up to
Sin Ho, where ethnic tribes settled a long time ago and still retain their
traditional culture and habits. There's a chance for them to see ethnic women
shouldering bamboo baskets going to their farms and fields or back homes. There
is a colorful market on Sunday, when Red Mong, Dao and other ethnic peoples
gather there for their buying and selling.
The items on sale at the market range from life’s necessities such as clothes
and scarves to farm produce like banana, vegetables and fruits. Ethnic women
bring jewelry, including necklaces and bracelaces, to the market for sale to
tourists. But Sin Ho is not the right place for those seekers of comfortable
accommodation for an overnight stay and good food. The new municipal of Lai Chau,
about a 60-kilometer drive from Sin Ho, is one of the proposed replacements and
where there are fish caught from streams and other specialties of the northern
province of offer.
Departing Sin Ho about three kilometers comes a pretty quiet village surrounded
by a stunning backdrop of mountains and hills. There, boys sit on the back of
their buffaloes going around; children play games and women weave tho cam
(ethnic fabric) handicrafts in front of their homes besides leafless pear trees
in a winter afternoon.