Wandering along Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam

The atmosphere of Tú Lệ in early morning is so fresh. The people went to work even earlier, the surrounding scenery, however, seemed not want to wake up yet.


Because it is a town, schools in Tú Lệ are more spacious.


On Saturday, students still come to their classes.


On the Khau Phạ Pass, rice is starting to ripen, and streams drawlingly flows days and nights. In Tú Lệ town, you can still hear the sounds of stream while sleeping at night.

Flowing streams deeply eroded into both sides of the bank. The roots of water rice are exposed next to stone falls.


And we come to Mù Cang Chải territory…


Turn to Lìm Mông village, the landscape are breathtaking.


Mountains still hidden after clouds, and the sight peacefully appears. Children, who were off from school today, gather together to play soccer or to play jianzi (đácầu) on vacant ground.


Nearby stilt houses, there are cottages that were built.



Lìm Mông villagers mostly grow sticky rice. They are harvested when the rice are still green to make Cốm (green rice). It might be the origin of Tú Lệ Cốm.



Cotton trees (bombaxceiba) are immeasurably high. Snare traps are put on the top of those trees, and the locals use a high bamboo as a ladder to catch unfortunate trapped birds.


A couple go to work very soon. The husband returns at 9.00 with a full corf of fishes.


The wife is slowly walking behind with two baskets (one is grass, and another is water-fern). They were for feeding their castle. They go down the mountain, then tie up on motorbike before the sun rises higher.


On the main way, young female villagers come and go freely. They are natural and cheerful just as child. Nevertheless, one of them is carrying a baby.


Despite the smeared and sunburnt appearances, children are so pretty and lovely.



An inclined palafitte separately locates among paddy fields, three women are gossiping in font of the house. The scenery makes us feel life is less complicated.

On the half-way of a sloping road, there is a mountain shelter. Below the shelter, villagers pen up castle, and below the roof, they are hanging bundles of corn. Right up above the piggery, Children of villagers are chattering and gathering around… Saw strangers, they gave us inquisitive looks. Even we give them candy, they don’t eat them before strangers like us.

However, they are so cute and are not influenced from panhandling job that we can find in Sapa or other well-known destinations.



A baby with a chubby face is so lovely dressing in a colorful ethnic dress.


This boy glibly gives us a lovely smile. And when we passed the shelter, he climbed on the top of one of two pillars (to create a gate) and followed us with a smile (again !!!).


Not far away from there, there are two boys. They’ve just finished their job of grass cutting. The pack is too heavy as two boys dropped it over and over again. Finally, the older (and bigger) boy had to drag it alone.


The weather is too hot at that time and they sweated profusely. Got home, those two boys immediately reached to the water that is being hold in a tank. Then, they drank until their thirsts are quenched and went out with their friends.


The children here, even big or small, can work themselves, except babies who are still lying on their mom backs.


A 4-year-old girl with one hand lead her sister and another carry her sister (too!) pick-a-back astride.


Go up to the stream source, there is a small village called “Tý” (as the villagers told us). The villagers do not totally understand me and neither do I .


A suspended bridge crosses over the stream. I put one foot on but this experience terrified me when the bridge is shifty!!! (Yes! It’s shifty!!!).


Right next to the bridge, an ethnic woman is sowing on the stream bank. I asked her” What the seeds are?”. She only replied “Sowing… Don’t know…” And I got the same answers when I asked for more information . It makes me feel like I’m foreigner because I and villagers cannot understand the other .

Rice huller is available in that village but many households still take advantage of water power to pound rice. The water is strongly flowing make this work faster.


This is a shed above the rice huller to avoid bad weather. It was made of woods that are quite available here (using for house proof, wall, firewood…).


Thanks to the natural advantages, corn fields and paddy fields are always verdant.


The tobacco luxuriantly blossom here.


As the sun is down, the villagers successively go home with harvested agricultural products.



A young father is carrying his child pick-a-back astride to the road to wait for the child’s mother.


Goodbye Lìm Thái, Lìm Mông. Goodbye picturesque and peaceful scenery.


Goodbye curious… but attractive looks. Hope to see you again.



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