All you need to know to travel Ta Van Village (Sapa)
Ta Van Village Travel Guide 2019-2020: What to do, When to visit and more….
Ta Van Village is located in Ta Van commune, Lao Cai province and about 15km away from Sapa town in the direction of southeast. Located in the territory of Hoang Lien National Park, Ta Van Village lies at the foot of a mountain, with just 110 households and about 550 inhabitants of the Giay and Dao minorities groups.
Is Ta Van Village worth a visit?
Ta Van Village is where the essence of heaven and earth converges. Visiting Ta Van Village, you will be stunned by the idyll, rusticity blending with the humble but marvelous houses of the locals in the village, also be amazed by the lifestyle as well as the unique culture of local people here.
Fun fact: Why is it called Ta Van Village?
Ta Van in the local language means ‘a large arc’. The village leans against the Hoang Lien Son range, overlooking the crystal water surface of Muong Hoa Stream, hence the name Ta Van.
II. What are the best things to do at Ta Van Village if you have 24 hours?
Thanks to the majestic charms of terrace rice fields, mountains as well as waterfalls, Ta Van is an ideal place for sightseeing. Also, as convenient to the town center, you can easily spare a day from your Sapa tour to trek on foot, or to ride on motorbike to discover the best of Ta Van Village. Let’s see what are the best things to do while traveling Ta Van Village in this 1-day itinerary.
- Enjoying the trip to Ta Van Village
From Sapa town, following a small and narrow dirt road in the middle of the mountains is the trail to Ta Van Commune. On the way, you will delight in admiring the beauty of cascading terraced fields, which are adorned by the green of corn and young rice on both sides of the road. Mixed in this natural picture is the blooming golden rhododendron bushes and swaying cane-brakes in Muong Hoa Valley. Somewhere there is a small stream, and the sound of forest birds echoing through the mountains like an invitation. Looming in a thin fog is a primitive suspension bridge – the road to Ta Van village. (You may be asked for an entrance fee of $4 at the gate of the village)
Entering the village, standing on high ground, watching the whole terraced rice fields in yellow maturity, you will completely feel peace inside. And while the mist is still lingering, the kitchen smoke from the traditional cottage hurriedly flies up, making the whole scenery and the rhythm of life become a gentle and breathtaking picture.
- Exploring the daily life in Ta Van Village
Ta Van Village is actually a small community of hospitable and friendly people living together in peace. Growing rice is the major profession of the Giay and Dao. Besides, they also produce instruments and engraved silver. They live in both stilted houses and common houses with a solemn central part which is served as a place for ancestor altar and guest reception.
The first impression comes from the housing architecture, which reflects both courtesy and coziness. Houses in Ta Van Village are built along the slope of the rice terrace fields surrounding by the mighty mountains and are made out of wood entirely. The living space almost remain after decades, and usually decorated with brocade on the door, table, and floor. Some houses even still have old horns or wooden bells hanging at doors.
The locals go farming at dawn and get back home at sunset. The village can actually get really quiet during the day but becomes exceedingly crowded with all sorts of entertaining at night. The people in Ta Van Village would gather together and do their usual nightly musical show routine to celebrate a whole day of hard working. There will be traditional fan dancing, bamboo dancing, multi bamboo flute dancing… around the huge campfire.
- Joining festive events (if you are traveling at the right time)
During the year, there were many interesting and unique festivals in Ta Van Giay such as Lunar New Year; Tet in July; Cold Food Festival (in March); Ancestors Day (in April); Mid-Autumn Festival (in August); eating new rice (in September); making round sticky rice cake to end the season (in October); Winter solstice festival (in November); and especially Long Tong festival, also known as Xuong Dong festival (in January).
Particularly, the month of October (according to the Lunar calendar, which often falls in mid-November or December depending on the lunar year) rolls around would mean the wedding season for the Giay community. If you ever visit the village during this period of time, be prepared to be fascinated with the Giay traditional wedding customs which involves a lot of dancing, singing and loud instruments playing all day long.
- Experience local foods
In the daily meals of Giay people often have stir-fries and soup. If guests come to the house, they will treat you with the traditional dishes of the ethnic people like: Muong Hum broiled fish, Muong Khuong horse meat “Thang Co”, Bac Ha pork meat, Van Ban five-color sticky rice… All of these ingredients are produced and raised by the locals. The essence of the mountains brings a unique flavor to the dishes. Through such simple meals like that, you may feel more and more familiar and get a closer connection with the local people here.
Especially, in Tet holidays, Giay people often have roasted meat, barbecued, grilled chopped meat, and a special dish – “Khau Nhuc”, and usually drink wine made from rice and corn.
- Spend a night for homestay:
Homestay in the village of Ta Van will bring you an unforgettable experience. You will discover not only the authenticity of the valley but also the lifestyle of friendly host who welcome you warmly. Besides, the view from these houses is simply stunning. What could be better than waking up in the morning with such an amazing scene, enjoying the rustic beauty of the village with gurgling streams and birdsong?
III. The best time to travel Ta Van Village
As part of Sapa, Ta Van village bears the same weather condition which you may refer to while traveling here.
September-November / March-May: stable weather, dry sunny days, cold nights. Suitable for picnics and homestay.
April-May: is the time of transplanting rice on terraced fields, and also the flowering season. If you want to have great photos, travel to Ta Van village at this time.
September-October: is the rice crop season with golden scenery across the hills. With fresh and pleasant air, you can make long-distance trips.
December-February: it is very cold, ice can be found and sometimes it snows. This is also the bloom season of peach blossoms. However, traveling through the villages may be more or less difficult.
Especially, from April to September in Ta Van Village, the whole region looks like a beautiful picture colored by yellow fields stretching to the horizon. It looks like steps connecting to the sky, leading to heaven. Grain season is also the time when the village is the noisiest and coziest. Fragrant flavor of rice blends into the wind spreads in space and invites visitors to come and experience the life of the highland people.
Note: Although the weather is not a big obstacle for you, due to the characteristics of the rugged terrain and different natural conditions, you should consult with the advice of professional travel companies.
IV. How to get to Ta Van Village (from Sapa)
Visitors often go to Ta Van in two ways:
Trekking: You can take a 10-minute walk to Ta Van Village on the trail and enjoy the beauty of Muong Hoa valley, watching the terraced fields with majestic mountains.
Motorbike/ Taxi: You also can rent a taxi or motorbike for yourself, which takes five minutes of driving. In case of being on a motorbike, you have to drive carefully because the road is quite rugged.
Reference: How to get to Sapa from Hanoi
Being more than 300km far away from Hanoi, Sapa can be reached by the following vehicles:
Train: With about 8 hours of traveling, the train is the most taken way many people choose to get to Sapa because it is safe and affordable. Fares range from $ 12- $ 22, depending on the facilities you prefer. However, the downside of taking the train is that it will not go straight to Sapa town but just stop at Lao Cai Station, which is 40km away from Sapa. You will need another forward bus.
Bus: With the same travel time, at a cost of about $12, you will go straight to Sapa town without the need for intermediaries (but in the rainy season can be hindered by many folding passes. rapid from Lao Cai to Sapa).
In addition, you can rent a motorbike to drive yourself from Hanoi to Sapa. Although renting a motorbike is not a big deal, but we do not encourage you to do this, especially when you first come to Vietnam. Ensure your safety first.
Suggested Ta Van Village Tours
- Spectacular Sapa Tour 2 Days
- Sapa Unique Tours 3 Nights
- Sapa Trekking 3 Days
- Sapa Easy Trekking 3 Nights