It’s really great that you find my previous article (Useful advice for traveling to Sapa (part 1)) interesting and search for more useful advice in this article. So here’s the other half of my whole advice for a wonderful Sapa tour.
When visiting houses:
Do not enter the house if there is a bunch of leaves or woven greenery hanging in front of a door of the stairway. If they hang this, this is generally a signal banning travelers from entering. Especially, Black Ha Nhi’s houses have two entrances, and visitors are only allowed to pass through the first door. Thai people’s houses have separate stairways, one for women and the other one for men. Each house has an ancestor worship room with different decoration. Visitors should avoid placing any item near the altar or laying hands there.
Ha Nhi’s house
Fire is used not only to cook, but also to welcome guests and worship the Fire God. As a result, taboos associated with fire include turning your back to the fire, and resting your foot on or moving the rocks used to hold the cooking pot, since the spirit is said to reside in those rocks. The Tay, Thai, Nung, Giay, Bo, Lao and Lu people avoid placing the handle of a pan on the fire parallel with the ceiling beams; only the bodies of the dead are placed in this direction inside the house. When adding wood to the fire, always put in the larger end of the wood first – reversing this is said to cause complications when the family’s daughter gives birth.
The door and main post are also considered sacred. Avoid sitting or leaning on the doorframe or main post, and don’t hang hats or jackets there. The Thai, Tay, Khang, La Ha, and Phu La people will not bring fresh greens, tree branches or vegetables into the house through the primary door, but use the other entry instead. Whistling inside the house is not merely rude, but is considered a means of calling evil spirits and disasters.
Lay perpendicular to the ceiling beams, not parallel (the position of the dead), avoid sleeping late into the morning, and never sleep under the altar or point your legs toward it.
You may find a bit difficult to get used to these strange rules of ethnic minority people, but don’t worry, they’re now much more friendly than before, thanks tothe development of Sapa’s tourism.
Inside a house of ethnic minority people in Sapa
Sapa’s people nowadays also consider this new kind of tourism as one of their considerable incomes, besides doing agriculture and feeding cattle.
So, what are you still waiting for? Let’s take a Sapa homestay tour to really get to know about their natural magnification and their cultural diversity!
And finally, I really hope these tips above can help you a lot in your Sapa tour.
See more: 5 useful tips to visit Sapa villages