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Sapa: an attractive destination for holidaymakers
10:12, 2014/05/06
More than 30,000 visitors from home and abroad flock to Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai during the five-day holiday.
Tourists to Sa Pa town in the northern province of Lao Cai are increasingly experiencing the traditional customs of locals, including making the unique herbal bath remedy of the Red Dao ethnic minority people in Ta Phin commune.
Taking part in the “One day as Sa Pa farmers” programme, which opened on May 3 as part of the 2014 Sa Pa Culture-Tourism Week, tourists are able to spend a day with local people, trying their hand at the typical practices of mountainous residents.
The small Ta Phin commune nestles in a stunning and untouched valley located 12 km northeast of Sa Pa.
According to experts, the bath remedy of the Red Dao people contains more kinds of medicinal plants than other Dao groups, varying from 10 to a hundred depending on the purpose of the remedy.
Following Ly Ta May, one of only a few locals in Ta Phin offering a medical bathing service, a group of visitors can travel into the forest to pick up plants. They are taught about the use of each kind.
The remedy is said to help treat many diseases, especially arthritis and skin ailments, and has become part of cultural identity of Dao people.
Returning from the forests, visitors can learn how to weave and dye fabric, and make brocade in a traditional Dao way.
Located 38km from Lao Cai city, the whole town of Sa Pa is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range which is famous for containing Fansipan, Indochina’s highest mountain, at a height of 3,142m above sea level. 
The town was discovered in 1903 and is endowed with myriad natural sites, such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall and Bamboo Forest. 
The town is home to six main ethnic minority groups with various traditional festivals, unique cultural practices and regular events such as Bac Ha market and Sa Pa love market. 
In 2009, the famous US Travel and Leisure magazine voted the Sa Pa terraces as one of the seven most beautiful and spectacular terraces in Asia and the world. 
In early November 2013, on the 110th founding anniversary of the town, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to rank Sa Pa terraced fields as a National Landscape site.
Some beautiful images of Sapa in white clouds:


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