Unforgettable Cat Cat village-explore H’Mong’s rural life


Cat Cat is one of the oldest village (since 19th century) of ethnic groups located 3 km far from SaPa downtown- attracts millions of backpackers around the world  to discover its  distinctive customs and practices.

How to reach to Cat Cat ?

  • By bus: departing from a big bus station in Lao Cai-Sapa, it is set every 30 minutes and available until 18.00 Pm, takes around 30.000 VND for a bus-fare.
  • By motorbike: you can hire a motorbike in Hanoi and it takes you almost 10 hours to get here but in a result of that you can have many sight seeings on the way to reach here.
  • Railway station from Hanoi: around 150,000-450,000 VND (7-12 USD), It ends at Lao Cai’s Railway station.

What do do in Cat Cat village?

  • Hand-made shopping: let’s collect gorgeous and special H’mongs fabric, it is also a good opportunity to purchase traditional souvenirs and handicrafts from the craftsmen.
  • Trekking mountain with H’Mong black ladies: The spot is only within 20-30m minutes walking from Sapa center; and the hike through mountains will offer tourists the wonderful picture of rice paddies, water fall, or even water buffaloes grazing leisurely, visiting villages surrounds.
  • Doing home-stay in a H’Mong family: H’Mong citizens can speak English quite competent then you do not have to worry about how to associate, they can show you all of serious living story in the mountain. Ah…why don’t you ask them to cook for you :)) ? it is really a rural and wild life cooking style, no additives, no electric machine :3

What is special?

  • Have you hear about “Wife stealing”?
    Let’s come here to watch “Wife stealing” – a crazy marriage activity in the world, Although they love each other and promise to live with each other their whole lives, no girl will willingly step into her boyfriend’s house. That’s why the man has to organize “a stealing event” so she will come to live in his house.
  • Relaxing by naked-bathing: Not like On-sen in Japan where Girls and boys have to bath separately. Here boys and girls can share the bathroom but keep the distance.Travelers to stream can bathe together, splash water and exchanging talk. Even the people here are not too shy if you want to take a photo for as a souvenir.

Strange custom of H’mongs  ethnic:

  • Sa Phin Market: Going to Sa Phin market on rocky plateau, visitors will not be only shocked with a unique marketplace of people here. Market is held backwards during the week, if it is held on Sunday this week, in the next week, it will be held on Saturday, in next weeks, it will be held on Friday, on Thursday…
    On market days, around the roads leading to Sa Phin market, we will easily see Hmong women with large baskets on their backs, they come to the market to buy food for the week because there is no fair until the next week.
  • Coc Pai traditional market: For H’Mong ethnic minority people, cattle including cow, buffalo and horse is one of their most valuable property. They often purchase buffaloes at Coc Pai market after a good bargain.

Don’t forget to taste wine at Coc Pai market and have fun with wine sellers here

About Jessica Tran