Located in the heart of the Ba Be National Park in northern Bac Kan province, Pac Ngoi hamlet is one of a few hamlets that still keeps to the traditions, customs and habits of the Tay ethnic group, the second largest ethnic group in Vietnam.
Pac Ngoi hamlet is home to 80 households comprising 400 people, who are mainly Tay ethnic people.
When visiting the hamlet, tourists can observe ancient houses on stilts backing onto the mountain and mirrored on Ba Be lake, and enjoy original Tay songs, including “Then” singing - a religious music from the Tay people that combines music, songs, dances, movement and the “luon”, duets of lovers.
Pac Ngoi hamlet has a musical group of 12 who are fond of traditional songs and dances. The group’s leader is Trieu Van Thu, who is master of “Then” singing and playing musical instruments, including the locally-made “tinh” guitar which has two or three strings.
If able to stay longer, tourists can enjoy the fresh air and the hamlet’s peaceful lifestyle and have the chance to study the local people’s customs and habits or join in their traditional festivals that pray for bumper harvests, rain, one-month-old celebrations for babies and longevity celebrations for the elderly.
They will also have the chance to see how the local people weave and make brocade, make wine from maize and pare wooded dug-outs, and taste traditional dishes.
The number of tourists visiting Ba Be National Park and wanting to stay overnight in ethnic hamlets has been increasing over recent years, and Pac Ngoi’s people now open their houses to welcome guests.
The head of Pac Ngoi hamlet, Hua Van Canh, said Pac Ngoi is one of the province’s hamlets that will be developed into a cultural village.
According to him, besides preserving its cultural identity the hamlet has invested in upgrading its infrastructure. An asphalt road has been built through the hamlet and a cultural house worth 1 billion VND has been put into use for public events.
The State also helped the local people to keep the environment clean and develop their local crafts.
Canh said that now, no families in his hamlet go short of food and they have no drug addicts or thieves.
The best thing is that all the families in the hamlet are enjoying a better standard of living, all help each other and share their weal and woe, Canh said.
- West to East Biking Exploration: http://www.activetravelvietnam.com/tour.php?op=detail&tourId=20