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You are here: Our Ta Phin

Ta Phin village, Sapa Vietnam

"My name is Ly May Chan and I want to welcome you to our village. Our people are working together independently to create a place of cultural tourism where the visitor can learn about our cultures and people, the way we live without being troubled by money making travel agents."

"We want visitors to stay with us in our homes. We have set up comfortable but simple beds in separate rooms. Please come and eat with us and join us in our everyday life."

"Also we can lead you on tours around our village, explaining everything about how we live. If you want to stay a little longer with us you can work alongside us, teaching English, maybe work in the fields or help decorate our cultural house so we can give more information to visitors about our culture."

Ta Phin is a picturesque thirty minute drive North of Sapa. Set within a valley with a towering mountain peak at one end, this village is alive with the daily life of the Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong people.

The valley floor is layered with rice paddies and dotted with 20 small home communes. Above them are some smaller communes and a patchwork of corn and vegetable fields.

"We women are so active - not only do we grow vegetables and pigs and get wood for the fire, we also try to learn English so we can talk to tourists. Before there were tourists we were very poor. But now we can make more handicrafts and make some money and meet people."

Ly May Chan is a true leader of her community. She is working to develop a cooperative so that villagers do not rush tourists as they arrive in Ta Phin but rather let them browse in the 'Cultural House'. She also encourages villagers to send their kids to school, sometimes asking tourists to join her in this work. She encourages family planning "some people have 10 children, too many to feed!"

May Chan has worked with outside organizations to educate the villagers about the problem of visiting pedophiles. The villagers are clear about this risk. Child molesters are not tolerated. 

"Everyone else is welcome to sat in our homestays! When you come into Lao Cai railway station from Hanoi, you can catch one of the many buses to Sapa.  Go to the Sapa Tourist Information Office and make your simple application for permission to stay overnight with us.

"Don’t listen to any one who says you can't, or that its not OK. They just want to catch your business!  You can then get a driver or motor bike taxi to drop you at our village, after you pay the village government a small entry fee."

"Please be welcome to visit us.  Our village is quiet and friendly with many trees and mountains."