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Từ điển Việt Anh (Vietnamese English Dictionary)
Tây Bắc

DISCOVERING Tây Bắc (North-West). There was a time, not so long ago, when Tây Bắc or the north-west region of Vietnam, was so remote an area that people were scared to go there. In retrospect, the remoteness seems to have been a blessing in disguise. The region's wilderness, its mountains and culture that are unique to it have been drawing an increasing number of domestic and foreign tourists. Tourist facilities in the region are still insufficient, but that cannot stop the back-packers from going there and taking in the splendid scenic vistas on offer. The ethnic minorities and their way of life as yet untouched by modern civilisation are another alluring factor They come here in organised tours, informal groups, or even individually on motorbikes. The sharp bends and curves in the mountainous area are thrilling to negotiate and offer marvellous views of the Thái and Tày tribal villages from the heights, and of the H'Mông houses rising out of the rocks and clouds atop the mountains. Visitors can also meet ethnic people in colourful attire on their way to the market or the fields. The population here lives on rice and handloom cloth which are woven with colourful ethnic motifs. The cloth is sold in every housẹIn Tây Bắc, weekly markets held every Sunday has presented the same scenes for decades a couple going to the market with the husband on a horse and the wife walking behind; youngsters dressed in their best, chatting, drinking and playing the traditional flute. Friendly as they are, the H'Mông and Dao boys do not shy away having a drink with a foreigner and sharing a piece of (maize cake). Sapa is already a popular tourist destination in the Tây Bắc region. Here also, the visitor can get glimpses of the ethnic minority way of life. These communities cultivate, maize, rice and other grains and vegetables on terraced fields that are major attraction. The age-old practice of the market being the rendez-vous for young people to court still continues, though there have been concerns about it being disturbed by domestic and foreign tourists. In the Tây Bắc region, however, there remains plenty for the visitor to discover and savour

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