The rain festival

Rain ceremony of Lo Lo minority people in Meo Vac, Ha Giang

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 214 1

The rain festival of Lo Lo minority people in Meo Vac, Ha Giang

The rain festival is undisputably the most traditional festival among the Lo Lo people living in Meo Vac; Ha Giang. Once integrated in this uniquely cultural festival you will learn so much more than you ever imagined; taking with you a sense of humbling serenity like no other.

The rain festival

In the beginning stages of the ceremony the Lo Lo people gather in the middle of the village; inviting ceremonial people such as the village chief or senior citizens to help commend the practice. Everyone then proceeds to prepare the holy sacrifices for the gods.

Among these are animals; swords; wine; and four scented bamboo sticks intended to symbolism the four heavens. This is completed by lighting the incense and scattering dazzling gold paper and silver over the offerings in a final tribute before the ceremony

Lễ hội cầu mưa lô lô
lễ cầu mưa

In order for the rain ceremony to be successful, it is imperative that the procedure is commemorated using ancient prayers. Using a cup of water, incense and paprika the priest first burns the incense at the majestic alter of the ancestors, then places the cup of water down before continuing with prayer. Gold paper is then wrapped around the cup of water, and after it is poured out the rain ceremony can commence successfully. Only once the paper is burnt out is the ceremony complete.

cầu mưa lô lô (1)
le-hoi-cau-mua-lo-lo4 (1)

After the rain ceremony, all of the villagers gather for drinking and dancing around the table. At this time, the boys and girls of the Lo Lo ethnic group will perform ancient folk songs that sing of love and praise for the country, and celebrate the happiness of couples.

ho noong - hà giang (1)


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Embedded in the Tay Con Linh mountain range in northeastern Vietnam is the astonishingly beautiful Noong lake; surrounded by primitive forest and rocky mountainous landscape. 

The area both in the lake and on land are enriched with many different plant and wildlife species; contributing endless life and diversity to the surrounding area.

Lake Noong’s water reserve travels  along the Lo river from a tiny creek in a cave positioned between two mountains sitting in the cliffs of the primeval forest. Another fascinating connection to the Lo river is three underground cave systems. Therefore, whenever water rises in the rainy season herds of catfish travel upstream  the river; in pursuit of the calm water of Lake Noong.


The fish living here grow and develop naturally; and species such as the bitter fish and catfish are enjoyed by many visitors who travel here; and are famous for their delicious taste. The fish can be caught and barbecued with grilled onion; fried; or cooked with sour soups and vegetables. That is speciality of the place.   

Due to the over flow from the rocky outcrops all year round the lake never runs dry. In the rainy season; tourists have the luxury of visiting this fairy tale lake by either raft or boat. In the dry season the lake is shallow enough to walk through; as you take photos of the surrounding beauty.  Locals call this lake “The eye of the mountain” as under the light of the moon or the sun the water gleams and twinkles dazzling shades of silver.

ho noong (1)
hồ noong (1)


At present forty households reside on the side of the lake; where people live and work in a fishing aquaculture. The people who live here enjoy a strong economic advantage and can make a very fulfilling and honest living.

Come to Noong lake and be immersed in the natural beauty; feeling it all around you as you hear the buffalo far away in the terraced hills that hug the mountain; see the Local folk’s houses woven like silk into the forest as if they had been there from beginning of time. Escape reality and enter an old realm of civilization dating back hundreds of years; hearing the temple bell ringing out from the Binh Lam Pagoda. Here the colours and sounds of the countryside blend together in perfect harmony; making heaven a place on earth.    

cho quyet tien ha giang


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Quyen tien market

Nestled in the foot of the mountain  in the stunning Ha Giang district beholds the charmingly quaint market of the Quyen tien community. Here the efforts of  the Hmong people’s  long working weeks are unveiled in a shower of colourful culture for just one Saturday morning. 

chợ quyết tiến (1)

Highland markets have long been a highly desirable destination of choice for tourists on discovery paths. They feel their soul awakening as the sunlight trickles up the mountain peak in the midst of morning; and see streams of the Hmong people with their radiant and rich tapestries of dress working from dawn until dusk.

This market in particular in the Ha Giang province is an event of extreme social and cultural importance. Throughout the maze of stalls historic profound beauty is painted and crystallized over the indigenous Mongolian dress and jewelry.

chợ quyết tiến hà giang (1)

The women here are spoiled for choice as they gaze upon magnificently crafted clothes; shoes and silver rings. The men congregate towards the tobacco pipes and buy ancient remedies and medicines for their families. When the hum of the market softens at the end of the day; the people settle down together in satisfaction and sheer happiness; enjoying many cups of wine; laughing as they tell each other stories and jokes about the day.

cho quyet tien

For the indigenous people of the mountainside in Ha Giang this market is much more than just a means of shopping and selling It is a truly recreational time for meeting friends and having fun together. The market is essentially a living museum of timeless culture and ancient practice, that both mesmerizes and captivates all who come to experience it. 

hang-na-luong (1)


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Na Luong cave, recently announced as a national heritage site is considered to be the most beautiful cave in all of Vietnam. The entrance towers 30 meters in height but is secretly shrouded by over grown forest and vines.

na luông

People can admire the gleaming stalactites hanging right from the top of the cave entrance that stretch throughout the length and breadth of the cave. Along the bed of the cave it is known that rock formations stand out in the appearances of fish, wild boar and buffalo.

Na Luong cave is burrowed deep into mountain, with its water level thousands of meters in depth.  Adjacent to Na Luong Cave is another cave system, with 7 independent caves, all of which are close together creating a cave complex that visitors can explore.

hang-na-luong3 (1)

Being a cave deep in the mountains; the cave has long been inhabited by thousands of bats. Should the flocks be disturbed at any given moment they immediately take flight in synchrony;  blocking partial streams of lights from the cave and creating a very impressive image for its visitors.

hang nà luông

With its beautiful terrain; spacious and cool aired atmosphere; it has proceeded to become a great tourist attraction of Ha Giang. Finding Na Luong is about finding tranquility; discovering nature up close and personal; and making many of your own discoveries in the enchanting land of Ha Giang.

chợ lũng cú - hà giang


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Weekend Lung Cu market

Lung Phin market also known as Lung Cu market is located in Lung Phin town in Ha Giang province.

Lung Cu is more than just the average Vietnamese market; for it is a unique and special community of more than 16 ethnic groups living in the Ha Giang rocky plateau and this in particular is truly one of a kind for the north of Vietnam.

Lũng cú hà giang
cho lung cu - ha giang

The market comes to life in the early hours of the morning; when the sun has not even yet risen in the sky; As people from all villages in the Lung Phin district and neighboring area bring goods to sell throughout the day.

People travel to and from the market at the break of dawn with backpacks; tied to one another as they travel in unsion along the winding road to the market and some even travel by horseback; the horse pulling a cart up the meandering valley.

The items at this market include rice; fresh fruit; vegetables; meat; household items; clothing and fabrics that the ethnic people make all by themselves. Specialities include mint honey; Lung Phin tea; free range hill chicken and many other goods popular with tourists.

chợ quyết tiến hà giang (1)

Another reason this market is so beautifully unique is that it not only serves as a platform for selling goods and sustaining people’s livelihoods but also a social haven that brings people together and creates long lasting relationships- local people find their partners for life at this market; as both men and women chat drinking together having fun; browsing the beautifully coloured clothes and creating memories that last forever.

Visit Lung Cu market and see a timeless; captivating feature of Vietnam like no other. Have a drink with the locals and enjoy life in the present as it should be

phiên chợ lũng cú (1)


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Ha Giang is not only known for its mountainous, majestic scenery, ancient customs and traditional festivals, but as a place with bountiful produce as well. Many of the local dishes are made with ingredients sourced from farms and fields nearby. As a result the local cuisine is always fresh with flavor combinations only found in these highlands.
Here is a list of the best traditional dishes of Ha Giang. Let’s check it out

Banh cuon trung (rice flour rolled with egg)

Au tau porridge

Sour Pho

Bamboo sticky rice

Rainbow sticky rice


Street food in Ha Giang



Banh cuon trung (rice flour rolled with egg)

This dish is perfect if you travel in Ha Giang in the cold season. Banh cuon is served together with Vietnamese pork sausage and a special type of fish sauce. Tear off a small piece of Banh cuon – a rice flour steamed ball often mixed with vegetables and sometimes meat – dip it in the sauce and experience the unique flavor combinations of this traditional dish.

bánh cuộn trứng Hà Giang

Au tau porridge

Au Tau porridge is one of the most unusual, yet quintessentially Ha Giang, dishes you will find in this region.

You might be attracted to the street vendor by the mouthwatering aroma of sticky rice mixed with regular rice. (There are many different types of rice in Vietnam).

Au Tau porridge is the delightful combination of the Au Tau vegetable (a black, bitter tasting root vegetable sort of like a potato) slowly simmered with fatty pig legs and herbs. The porridge is mixed with some lean, chopped meat, sprinkled with a little more herbs and then served. As the Au Tau vegetable has a slightly bitter taste, the porridge is also known as ‘Bitter Porridge.’

Locals will often savour spoofuls of this dish on a cold winters evening sitting by the fire.

Au tau porridge

Sour Pho

Sour Pho (pronounced Fa) is a popular dish in Ha Giang in the summer months. You may have tried Pho before but this is Pho with a pleasant sour twist. Pho is a simple noodle soup made with special Pho noodles. The soup often includes roasted duck meat, sausage, peanut oil a combination of herbs and cassava. Bowls of steaming Sour Pho are available at the Ha Giang market and boast flavours that are impossible to find anywhere else in Vietnam.

phở chua Hà Giang

Bamboo sticky rice

Ha Giang is a fertile region and the delicious Bamboo sticky rice is a special dish from the “Tay” ethnic people who live here. 

The technique to make Bamboo Sticky Rice is simple. The rice is thoroughly soaked in water and then usually cooked underground wrapped in bamboo and banana leaves. 

Fresh rice is then added to the mixture along with a sprinkle of salt and mixed well. This is then added to a bamboo tube, and water is poured over the surface of rice. The mouth of the tube is covered with fresh leaves or dried banana leaves and placed in the flames or on a heap of charcoal, and rotated slowly so the heat works its way around the shell. After an hour or so (depending on the tube or rice), you will be able to smell the sweet aroma of freshly cooked sticky rice. 

Before serving, cut the green outer shell of the bamboo tube away. It will now be burnt black. The rice will stay in the shape of the tube and will be surrounded by the thin ivory colored silk rind of the bamboo tube. 

Bamboo sticky rice was eaten by pregnant and breastfeeding women as it is safer to eat rice cooked in bamboo than in copper or aluminum metal pots. 

The finished product is often enjoyed with a sprinkling of sesame salt or served along side baked fish.

cơm làm hà giang
đặc sản Hà Giang

Rainbow sticky rice

The ethnic groups who live in these northern mountains have an extremely diverse and unique culinary culture. This is best demonstrated by the Rainbow Sticky Rice. This rice represents the convergence of traditional values, including cosmic notions, philosophy of yin and yang and noble meaning. 

Rainbow Sticky Rice is made up of rice of five different colors; red, yellow, blue, violet and white. You can easily find the sticky rice at the market in Ha Giang. 

Most areas offer some variation of Rainbow Sticky Rice but, depending on the region, they can mix or use different colors to create a sticky rainbow. The ingredients include: sticky rice, fragrant rice, seeds, and leaves of trees to create the dye. These leaves can be either green leaves from ginger, green rice leaves, grapefruit peel, bitter bamboo shoots that have been burnt and soaked water with a little lime or yellow turmeric powder mixed with water.

Before dyeing the rice, the rice is cleaned and then soaked in water for 6 – 8 hours. Divide the rice into 5 different containers. One for each color. After dyeing, the last step is making the rice into a rainbow. This requires some skill and a lot of practise to get the perfect look.

ha giang xoi ngu sac


For a long time oranges have been one of the most popular products in Ha Giang after tea. This is because the warm climate and conditions in this area are ideal for creating very sweet, juicy fruit.

Street food in Ha Giang  

There are also a lot of interesting street-food in Ha Giang. You can find locations  here : This is helpful Vietnamese app to help you find your favourite food. It is in Vietnamese but you will easily find your way around it.

thịt chuột Hà Giang


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