Exploring Cat Cat Village in Sapa, Vietnam
Sapa is a hill station in the north of Vietnam, known for its beautiful terraced rice fields, lovely and welcoming ethnic minority tribes, and for housing the tallest peak in Indochina, Mount Fansipan. It is also the premier trekking foundation of Vietnam, developing increasingly more popular each day.
Most travelers aren't enthusiastic about the city - instead, they like checking out the small villages spread around it. A particularly popular village is known as Cat Cat, attracting visitors from around the globe because of its distinctive practices and customs which have stayed in the region, despite global influence.
A particularly famous village is called Cat Cat. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Cat Cat Village is nestled at the bottom part of Muong Hoa Valley, aproximatelly 2 miles (three kilometers) from Sapa city. This village was created within the 19th century, after different cultural H'Mong as well as Dzao households came together from other mountainous parts in northern Vietnam. They began cultivating corn and rice in the region and weaving fabric and also creating handicrafts being by.
Cat Cat Village is nestled at the bottom of Muong Hoa Valley. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Heading down to Cat Cat Village involves adhering to among the primary Sapa highways until the trail starts. In case you keep on following the Cat Cat trail, you'll begin heading towards Mount Fansipan on the toughest of the 3 popular trails. The drive is stunning and picturesque, but rather challenging. Fortunately for you, getting to the village is not as hard, as you'll mainly encounter paved steps and paths.
At some point on the highway, you are going to come across a ticket facility for Cat Cat Village, and this also will still only set you back 25,000 VND (one USD). The cash goes towards neighborhood households who've opened their homes so that you are able to check out and be familiar with the culture of theirs. At the entry, you'll in addition be handed a map of the trail.
Heading down to Cat Cat Village requires following one of the main Sapa roads. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
The trip to Cat Cat Village is picturesque and stunning. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
You will mostly come across paved paths and steps to get to the village. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
The money you pay for your ticket to get into Cat Cat Village goes towards local families. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
You are able to get a look of the residents' standard lifestyle by walking into the homes which are available for display. These're labeled event homes and are much from your conventional museum, but the aim is the same: to gather and also display resources of cultural significance.
You can get a glimpse of the residents’ traditional lifestyle by walking into any of the houses. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Some houses, called exhibition houses, are open for display. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Exhibition houses are far from your traditional museum. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
You will find materials of cultural significance in the houses. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
As you conteinue the trail, you are going to see a selection of mills on the edge of the street. These mills are run by flowing water. Throughout the trail, you are going to see how folks have utilized the streaming water to the advantage of theirs.
As you continue on the trail, you will see a number of mills on the side of the road. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Elaborate water wheels made from bamboo use water power among other things to pound rice.
There are also elaborate water wheels. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
The water wheels are used to pound rice. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Throughout the trail, you will see how people have used the flowing water to their advantage. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Cat Cat waterfall is one of the main attractions. You can dip your feet in the cool water if you are able to jump over the boulders.
Cat Cat waterfall is one of the main attractions. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
In Sapa, corn wine as well as rice wine is widely used. In order to make wine, corn is boiled in water that is hot for a very long period until the kernels break off the cob. After cooling the smashed kernels, they're then combined with the yeast of hong the trees of mine. This fermentation process is able to last as much as six days. The wine is generally poured into recycled plastic water bottles and sold in marketplaces for cheap prices. The wine is known as "happy water."
In Sapa, corn wine and rice wine is popular. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
To make wine, corn is boiled in hot water for a long time until the kernels break off the cob. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Shops dot each side of the Cat Cat trail. These shops provide a range of products, from packaged and food that is fresh, to clothes and handicrafts. You are going to see females stitching colorful bits of brocade while kids play around with animals or even livestock which are temporary pets.
Shops dot both sides of the Cat Cat trail. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
You will see women stitching colorful pieces of brocade. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Linen, cotton, and hemp are collected from the forest to utilize as material for these clothing, and also the silk from silkworms is utilized for embroidery. The styles may also be produced naturally - yellowish from turmeric, black from a neighborhood leaf, brown and red from the rind of neighborhood foliage, as well as pink from indigo leaves. Cat Cat is noted for its indigo dyeing method you are able to see as you walk about.
A number of inhabitants of Cat Cat Village can also be great at making silver and gold jewelry. You are able to find these offered everywhere in Sapa city.
Cat Cat is known for its indigo dyeing technique. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Hemp, cotton, and linen are collected from the forest to use as material for clothes. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Cat Cat Village | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
You will find many stores in Cat Cat Village. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Walking through the village offers tourists a chance to explore the day life of the neighborhood people and take part in regular activities. You're able to also buy several traditional souvenirs and handicrafts from the craftsmen.
The basic knowledge is excellent and never overly touristy. Experiment with locating yourself a tour guide who is all set to show you around Cat Cat for a good speed. This specific way, will you comprehend what is going on, and not miss something crucial.
The overall experience at Cat Cat Village is wonderful and not too touristy. | Vu Pham Van / © Culture Trip
Source: Culture Trip