There is a “shy” about-to-be forgotten village lurking behind Dong Van old town, Ha Giang province!

I have come to Dong Van Ha Giang for the second time now, this time I “left home” from lowland to go up the mountain to celebrate Tet with the ethnic people. With my curiosity, plus my crazy legs, this New Year I witnessed so many things that I have never seen in my whole life and perhaps the “shy” village lurking behind the old town of Dong. That Ha Giang province has made me fall in love!

The way to the village of Ma Pi is like moving on the pass Ma Pi Leng
On a dreamy early morning, I woke up very early, quickly changed the clothes of the Mong girl to join Uncle Than – the photographer at the old homestay Dong Van Ha Giang on the way to that old village.

Referring to Ha Giang, people often think of Happiness Street at Ma Pi Leng Pass, the road that once made many people’s hearts flutter. But do you know, if you ignore that path of Happiness, there is still another way for you to feel happiness throughout your body. I am referring to the way to the beautiful and salty Ma Pang Village or Thien Huong Village.

the road to inside village
the road to inside village

One side is the cliff and the other is an abyss, the higher the mountain, the higher the mountain. The mountains coincide with the same message, the mountains are high up in the clouds, which I think is the “heaven gate” of Dong Van. That stretch of road is so poetic and extremely beautiful, especially when looking far away, the small streets lying on the mound make people feel extremely free.

Scenes when passing Thien Huong Village

The upstream of the Nho Que River is here, I heard the natives say that the Nho Que River runs from China, then passes Lung Cu and the passage to Thien Huong Village (Ma Pang Village) is its upstream. Looking down from above abyss, I see a small river winding like a silk, beautiful and shy in the mountain. That is Nho Que river, and this is the starting place for all dreams of many people!

whole thien huong village
whole thien huong village

There is a “shy” village hidden behind the old town of Dong Van, Ha Giang

From Dong Van town, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach this beautiful village. At the beginning of the village, a few old banyan trees that are hundreds of years old but still stand majestic despite the devastation of time. This place is quite sacred, so people have built temples for convenient worship.

Children in the village play freely, just give them candies and cakes, each child’s face laughs like a festival.

Thien Huong village (Ma Pang village) is an old village, this is the residence of the Tay ethnic group. They live on farming and winemaking.

with tay woman in village
with tay woman in village

Moving into the village, you will see ancient roofs with an age beyond counting. Each house is built in the style of ancient architecture, the roof is covered with yin and yang, the house is built with earth wall, consisting of 2 compartments, the above is for furniture and the lower one is for cooking and living .
The most prominent feature inside the house of a Tay is the altar. The Tày people’s altar is arranged solemnly, the two sides are parallel lines. In front of the house, people will wear 3 amulets to fight evil and evil.

altar of Tay people
altar of Tay people

Women in the village still wear traditional black ao dai with a scarf over their heads when going to work. Men are also dressed in black clothes like a Mong man.

The whole village is an old village, very little renovation, so it still retains its ancient and traditional beauty. Walking on Old Ma Vang Village, I felt like I was lost in the entrance to Hoi An Ancient Town, a feeling of tranquility, tranquility but extremely gentle.

The people in the village are very gentle, seeing me go out on the street hurriedly invite me in to drink water. I told them I was just walking to see and take pictures, so they invited me in and poured a glass of Thien Huong wine and invited me to eat.

Thien Huong wine – a specialty of Thien Huong Village (Ma Pang Village)

If you mention Dong Van, people will immediately remember  corn wine, but if you have ever sipped Thien Huong wine, you will think this is the best wine in Dong Van District.

Thien Huong wine is a special specialty of Thien Huong village. To get 1 liter of Thien Huong wine, villagers have to spend a lot of time and effort to do.

thien huong wine – specialties in dong van

Thien Huong wine is made with a rather strict process. First, people will pick more than 30 kinds of tobacco to make yeast, then take the corn, pour it to cook. Corn has grown as big as a finger, then poured out to dry to cool. Continuing this process, people will take the yeast in and begin to lead the yeast, mix it well and pile it up. Incubate well. Until 1 week before bringing the wine.

With elaborate process, Thien Huong wine has a delicious, sweet taste in the throat, and drinks it in, feeling extremely soft and warm. Currently, alcohol is sold for 40,000 VND / liter and sold to many other provinces outside Ha Giang.

Thien Huong Village – don’t forget!

Thien Huong village (Ma Pang) is an ancient village of the Tay people, this is a cultural village possessing traditional beauty. If renovated to develop tourism, it will certainly bring many jobs for villagers.

spring in thien huong village
spring in thien huong village

However, this beautiful flower is about to wither. Although the village is old, it is not preserved and preserved by any organization. The dirt road to move into the village is really difficult, the road is muddy when it rains. The pothole is squeezed together, making the person feel extremely miserable. Maybe because of that, tourists feel very “shy” moving to this place even though it is so beautiful!

Currently, there are still many people living in poverty in the village. This village has too many beauties but has gradually been forgotten over time. Perhaps, if this continues, this village will surely be wiped out in the near future!

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Xu Kien – Living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is the author of the book Nhắm mắt đi liều and has 4 years of experience traveling around Vietnam. Currently a Travel Blogger and active in writing.


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