Located 2,000m above sea level, in the highest and most remote area among eight border communes in Phong Tho district, Si So Lau is around 100km from Lai Chau city.
The commune is home to six villages, with 658 households of 3,804 people. 100% of the commune population are members of the Dao ethnic people. The commune has 26km of borderline, which is under the management of the Si Lo Lau border station.
“Si Lo Lau” means “12 mountain passes” in the Dao language. To reach the commune, people must travel through 12 mountain passes.
An open market called “Sung (Horn) market” is held in Si Lo Lau every six days, attracting scores of locals and neighboring peoples.
Former Chairman of the Si Lo Lau People’s Committee Tan Phu Quay told reporters that among the 12 oriental zodiac signs there are two animals with horns: the Goat and the Buffalo. So the market is held every six days, on the day of the goat and on the day of the buffalo. On market days, thousands of people flock to the market. They bring food, animals, clothing, herbs, and anything that might sell.
As the market closes at the end of the day, people leave, ready for the next market day. This is a unique cultural market of the Dao people in Si Lo Lau.