Bao Ha is a remote commune in Bao Yen District, Lao Cai Province in the northwestern upland near the Vietnamese-Chinese border.

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A view of a village and terraced paddy fields in Bao Ha Commune

Lying by the Red River, the commune boasts its peaceful scenery and remains untouched by human activities. There is a surprising harmony between what nature and humans have created in Bao Ha.

From Bao Ha Bridge which connects the commune and Van Ban District, tourists can see a poetic landscape of mountains from afar and corn fields owned by ethnic people.

During a trip to explore Bao Ha, tourists would see villages, where stilt, tile-roofed and wooden houses shelter local people instead of concrete buildings.

Tourists to Bao Ha will be enchanted by chau van singing, a traditional singing style of Vietnamese people in the north, at Bao Ha Temple, where hundreds of people visit for prayer every day.

The temple was built by people in the border area to worship a man named Nguyen Hoang Bay, who had gathered strong men to take down bandit gangs in the past, making the area safe and peaceful.

In the afternoon, women from Mong, Tay and Dao ethnic minority groups wearing colorful traditional dresses gather for market sessions, creating nice views of the area. The products tourists can find at those sessions are mostly from the forest.

Those wanting to explore more of Bao Ha should get to the peak of Ma Yen Son Mountain before turning around to have a bird’s-eye view of Bao Ha.

SGT