Culture and customs of ethnic people in Sapa

6 Interesting things that you should not ignore when traveling to Sapa

Back to Sapa, discover the uniqueness of Sapa culture

Go to Sapa, discover the unique in Sapa culture – Photo: Weerapong Chaipuck


Sapa is a famous resort, belonging to Sapa district, Lao Cai province. The name Sapa originated from Mandarin Chinese, previously pronounced by locals as SaPa or SaPá meaning “sand beach”. This name was formed because the old town of Sapa was only a sandy beach where people often went to the market. Later on, when the French conducted a measurement and construction of the Northern Mountain map, when the weather was fresh and the beautiful landscape of Sapa got lost in the eyes, they decided to turn this place into a resort and resort area. the name Sapa – in the unspeakable way of pronouncing Westerners exists to this day.

Sapa was originally just a vacant land with market participants

Sapa was originally just a vacant land marketed by people – Photo: Tawan Chaisom

Do not know when to start, Sapa has been a long-term residence of the northern minorities. Coming to Sapa, you will encounter a community of residents of ethnic groups: H’Mong, Red Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho. Each ethnic group has a unique cultural characteristic, passed down from the ancient ancestors and the combination of these cultures creates a unique identity for this high land, a strange wind for tourists. calendar and make many people overcome the long journey to find out.

Until later, the potential of tourism was explored

It was not until later that the potential of tourism was explored – Photo: Nichanun Ausavapunyavat

And where people come to explore the unique cultures of the northwestern highlands

And where people come to discover the unique cultures of the northwestern highland – Photo: Konstantin Gribov


Those who come to Sapa also bring a love affair, following in the footsteps of people to remote villages. There, we met the sincere, gentle indigenous people, the people all year round selling their face to the earth to sell their backs to heaven but their faces still glowing with happiness. It seems that the hard life of each day does not make people flinch, they are like the green trees of the great thousands, nourished by the life-giving resin from the mighty nature, so strong, so calmly. , no worries.

The true and gentle Sapa people

The sincere and gentle Sapa people – Photo: Phu Loc Nguyen

So, there are times when going to Sapa on the cold days, on the craggy roads in the cliffs, we can still see the silhouette of the people walking casually. Or sometimes in the sunny days of the summer, on the wet season fields, and also those faces, rejoicing when the new season rises, the image of those workers creates a poetic highlight. for the Northwest poem painting.

But there is also the power of the great North West

But there’s the power of the great North West – Photo: Norbert Stirner

Sapa also makes people intoxicated by the silhouette of the highland girl in the colorful shirt. Brocade sets were woven from their own hands, now glittering in the morning sun. They went to the fields together, went down to the market, and worked hard together, weaving fabrics in front of the house. The strange and familiar images but I remember someone said that, once in a while, I looked at the girl’s sullen eyes when I once came to forget the way.

Make us drunk in the glare of the young woman

Make us drunk in the glare of the young woman – Photo: Manh Phi

But perhaps, on Sapa, we can never forget the image of the innocent smile of a cheap baby. Children with spotted faces but strangely innocent. They kept playing around on the sunny porch, chasing each other on the trails around the village and then happily carrying books on their shoulders to school. The children stand to wait for their parents on the field to go home when the afternoon is released and then let out a cheerful face when they look familiar and far away.

Or the innocent smile of a cheap baby

Or the innocent smile of a tall baby – Photo: Gee Hoo

The hard life of each day is not sad on their eyelids, on those faces, we keep meeting with permanent smiles, warming our hearts and filling poetic dreams. But the children are also very dear, try to get acquainted with them, they will not hesitate to take you to visit around the place, tell stories of joy and joy of youthful times.

To cheer more the desire of the youthful time

To cheer more the longing of the youthful time – Photo: Manh Phi


Sapa is the home of many different ethnic minorities, so coming to Sapa, you will have the opportunity to discover the fullest traditions of indigenous people. Each village, each ethnic group has its own characteristics, but together it creates an indispensable lifestyle for that high land.

Sapa also has its own customary customs

Sapa also has its own customary customs – Photo: andrea gekeler

If you want to visit the H’Mong villages, you can visit Cat Cat- San Sa Ho, Sa Pa, Lao Chai, Seo Mi Ty and Giang Phinh. The strange Red Dao live concentrated in Ta Phin, Nam Cang, Thanh Kim, Suoi Thau, Trung Chai, valleys or mountain ranges for corn and rice cultivation. Tay people in Ban Ho, Nam Sai, Thanh Phu, flat areas, many rivers and streams are convenient for fishing and farming. Giay people in Ta Van, Lao Chai,. The Xa people who live in Nam Sai far away, the roads are quite difficult to travel and often do not interact with other localities, they are good at raising cattle, growing cotton and weaving bamboo and rattan.

Bring own features of ethnic groups

Bring personal characteristics of ethnic groups – Photo: Debbie Martin

Today, besides their own language, most ethnic groups in Sapa can speak Mandarin. However, each ethnic group has its own customary practices and taboos in daily life as well as funeral and wedding activities.

But still very subtle Sapa

But still subtle Sapa very soul – Photo: Weerapong Chaipuck

A special thing to note is that you should use the correct names of ethnic groups, in order to show respect for indigenous people. In addition, traveling to Sapa, visiting villages, you need to remember some notes such as: getting permission before visiting the home of fellow citizens or want to take pictures with them, not touching the mascots , don’t go into sacred areas and remember to buy some local handicrafts as you want to understand their lives.

Remember to ask your landlord for permission if you intend to visit their house

Remember to ask the landlord if you intend to visit their house – Photo: Slava Dinh

If you come to Sapa, don’t forget to visit the fair. Sapa market is very special, it is not only a place to exchange local goods and products, it is also a place to meet and chat with couples. And at that time, we were lost in a picture full of colors, each of the beautiful costumes pulling together, the sound of the people calling each other, the sound of horse tapping on the road, echoing evenly It sounds strange, it looks funny.

Sapa also has busy markets

Sapa also has busy market sessions – Photo: Cuong Nguyen

But Sapa also has a love market, to market love to find love that cannot be sold, to date, to send love to couples. Then I caught a glimpse of young and handsome boys and girls in the colorful, traditional brocades, singing, dancing, and lively. Sapa’s love market is like a place to earn money for many couples and wives, so that every time they come to the market, people look forward to waiting.

But the most special is probably the love market to find love that cannot be sold

But the most special is probably the love market to search for love that cannot be sold – Photo: Collectibles


Traditional festivals are a way to reflect the region’s culture best, which is how indigenous people express their beliefs, spiritual life and customs that are handed down and preserved through how many system. The traditional festivals in Sapa are also very special, both with the human nature, both mysterious and unique and full of folk melodies.

Sapa is also a land of traditional festivals

Sapa is also a land of traditional festivals – Photo: Collectibles

Traveling to Sapa, you will be immersed in the festive atmosphere of the ethnic groups. It is the Roang of the Giay people, held on the lunar month of the first lunar month. It was originally a private festival of Giay people but later spread and became a common festival of ethnic groups in Muong Hoa valley. The festival is a way for indigenous people to pray for a good harvest, good weather and good weather, happy and happy life. Besides, folk games, dancing activities, and drums echo in the sky and make people remember forever.

As a way to bridge bumper crops, rain is favorable

As a way to bridge bumper crops, good rain and air – Photo: Collectibles

Dao people in Sapa have the New Year Festival which takes place on the 1st or 2nd day of the Lunar New Year as a way to express the spirit of drinking water to remember the source and wish the peaceful people year round.

Mong people have Gao Cao festival to pray for families who have no children, children or give birth to a child and pray for those who have sick people, sickness, weak children or crops, and faded pet. .

Or pray for, pray for the people in the family

Pray, pray for the people in the family – Photo: Collectibles

The Xa Pho have a village sweeping ceremony held on the day of the day of the lunar month. At that time, everyone in the village in the village contributed pigs, goats, chickens, dogs, rice, … to make offerings for ghosts. After the priest performed the ceremony, everyone painted their faces dancing to pray for a peaceful life and good harvest.

If you have the opportunity to visit Sapa, do not forget the Feast of the Bronze. It is a spring festival of Tay people on the 8th year of the New Year every year. The festival is quite unique with rituals of procession, water procession, worshiping and exciting festivals with dance songs, especially the spread of the graceful Tay girl with wide, spread spreads. all according to the sound of the trumpet and the beat of the jubilant drum. There, people also encountered folk games such as waving, pushing sticks, blindfolding and catching goats … interesting.

And make people revel in the extremely unique traditional games

And make people revel in the traditional game extremely unique – Photo: Collectibles

Sapa culture makes many people have a passion to discover, Sapa culture like to tell a long story about the land and people of cheap ethnico. And today, once on that distant Sapa, looking for peaceful villages, we find our hearts fluttering with a passionate dance, a great caustic song that one day I encountered. Just go to Sapa, because I missed my soul there.


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