Ta Phin village is home to approximately 1000 Red Dao and 1500 Black Hmong and a handful of Kinh (all living in harmony) The village has 13 hamlets and 20 or more many small communes scattered throughout these hamlets. Stroll through the surrounding countryside and enjoy the picturesque landscape of spectacular rice fields, mountains, streams, and hill tribe houses. Travelling to and from Red Dao and Black Hmong communes you will learn the difference between the traditional tribal cultures.
Ta Phin village : A colorful ethnic minorities paradise
Some of the locals may invite you to go to their homes to show how they live, what they have and tell you about their families. On following them to their houses, you will find out how simply they live. Just remember that it would be a nice gesture to buy a piece of merchandise, that you like, from them as a tip for what they have shown you.
Colorful and proud peopleWelcoming and generous, the woman, who are much less shy than the men, will quickly grab you by the arm befriend you and compare how many children you have, where you are from, how old you are..
Authentic simple homesIn their homes, you will find the mothers and daughters cooking and sowing after long days of gossip and laughter in the rice paddies and corn fields. When not at home, far in the mountains of Sapa collecting wood...
Mountainous lifestyleThe higher land is a maze of narrow terraced rice paddies along with corn and vegetable fields. The valley floor is a spectacular rice fields which supply the community with much of its resources...
Original and fashionableThe most distinguishing feature of the red Dao is their large red headdress worn by the woman (younger girls wear a smaller version) It is when you get a little closer that you notice how phenomenal their ethnic dress truly is..
Take a Herbal Bath
The Red Dao people are very well known for it's traditional “herbal baths”, in fact, it's a Taphin specialty and a strongly suggested activity.
Help prepare a meal
Join the local people with their daily chores. You could be maintaining the fire, cut the vegetables, etc... and even learn things in the process.
Work in the nature
Trek up in the mountain with villagers to gather wood for the fires and learn about the selection of fresh herbs for your next Herbal bath :)
Practice rice culture
Help to put out the next batch of rice to dry on a warm sunny day, turning occasionally, while you spend your time relaxing with us.
Take an embroidery lesson
Embroidery is the daily work of the Dao Women, they use natural plant extract, indigo, to provide the base colour for their wonderful garments.
Make and drink rice wine
Join us in making a batch of our delicious rice wine, we always need help to keep that fire going :) And you'll have plenty of stories to share.
Teach basic english
Everyone in the village is always eager to learn a little more English, children and adults alike. You could be surprised with the fun it provide.
Help clean the village
Choose a location and clean up one hamlet. If this is of any interest to you, picking up a box of latex gloves for the children and they may follow you.
H as in HomestayAny homestay in Taphin is a perfect base for exploring the village and enjoying the nature without disrespect of the natural environment and local village life. You can even stay for a few days to learn and participate in village life and truly feel and warmth and hospitality of the Red Dao people. Some people stay with the same family while others are changing house every day. There is pleasure guarantee for everybody.
H as in Herbal bathAn herbal spa is especially helpful for physical and mental fatigue, as it relaxes your body and renews your energy by enhancing overall circulation, soothing your daily tensions. It also remove dead skin and impurities, leaving the skin soft, clean, and silky smooth, it relieves some chronic illnesses including rheumatism and joint pain and plenty of other things. There is benefits for everybody.
H as in HandicraftTa Phin is a “Brocade Village”, where you can find the distinctively hand-made brocades of the Red Dao people. The brocades are eye-catching with numerous bright patterns and colors. With products such as : bags of all sizes to finely crafted Dao tunics, scarves, purses, cushion covers, wall hangings, tablecloths, and traditional Dao clothing for men, women and children : There is a little something for everybody.
THE LOCAL COMPANY OFFER : The best experience there is, period.
Our guides live in Taphin village : How to expect more ? No other company can offer you the same quality of services we're providing you.
Some historical facts about Taphin village.
The origin of the Red Dao in Vietnam
The Red Dao people originated from China and migrated to Vietnam starting around the 12th or 13th century and continuing until the early 20th century. The majority migrated into Vietnam during the Minh dynasty, due to drought, failed crops and the pressures of Feudalism in China. The Dao consider themselves to be the descendants of Ban Vuong (or Ban Ho) a legendary character of the ethnic minority Dao people. (*Read more on Wikipedia)
The ethnic minorities not alone anymore
:"In 1901, The Sa Pa plateau was identified during the first topographic plotting of the area. A military post was built in 1903. In 1906 the first westerner to settle in Cha Pa, worked with the department of agriculture. Originally, Cha Pa was created for medical purposes because of it's unique climate. The military sanatorium, completed in 1913, was built on the hill on which the municipal cistern and its pumping station stands today.
The first Sapa buildings
In the summer of 1914, the offices of all the local services were moved from Hanoi to Cha Pa. The works had started in 1912, the tourist office was created in 1917 and in 1925, there were already 80 kilometres of footpaths offering a great variety of hiking trips. The forestry service planted evergreens, some of which are still standing today. In 1922 the building of the most sumptuous hotel in the station, the Résidence du Tonkin started on the "governor’s hill".
The first Sapa hotels
:"In 1924, the "Fan Si Pan hotel" was only built while the "Cha Pa Hotel" was inaugurated in 1909 to the east of the station on the road to Lao Cai. The "Métropole", a luxury hotel with 50 rooms and ten suites sited at the foot of the Ham Rong on the bank of the lake, was inaugurated in 1932. The "Hôtel du Centre", a more modest establishment, was built in 1937.
The church was built in 1934, followed by a protestant temple sitting on the hill overlooking the road to Cat Cat. By the end of the 1930s, Cha Pa had reached its peak and over a thousand colonials went there to rest and have fun. Until the mid-40s, Cha Pa was to remain the fashionable mountain resort of the Hanoi colonial society.
The history of the Taphin monastery
On February 13th, 1942, for the token rent of one piastre per year (that's $1 in French) the Superior Resident granted a long-term lease over "the estate of the old fruit-growing station of Ta Phin (44 hectares of buildings and lands), uncultivated or fallow land.
The unfamous Vietnam war ...
In February 1947, the Viet Minh attacked Cha Pa and destroyed the military installations and part of the hotels (among which the Métropole) as well as villas. In March, the Foreign Legion occupied Cha Pa again until October 1949 when the French troops left the region for good. In March 1952, the French headquarters ordered the air force to bomb the town. The Governor’s Palace, the sanatorium complex, public buildings and most of the villas were destroyed. The Vietnamese population fled the ruined town and did not return until the early sixties.
Sapa is back on the map
Not until the early 1990s did Sa Pa start developing again and "the city in the clouds" was re-opened to tourists officially in 1993...
Taphin village connected to the world
On January 4th 2011, the domain name Taphin.com has been secured and plan to benefit to Taphin villagers for many generations to come.
The domain name Taphin.com is currently for rent, for sale and/or looking for a joint-venture partnership - If you can help the local people in acquiring it - we want to hear from you.
Please, follow these simple rules while visiting our village.Always remember you are a guest in the village. Be sensitive to villager’s wishes when taking photographs, particularly of older people who are suspicious of cameras …. Be sensitive to all different situations, while keeping an open mind. Do not show public displays of affection. Avoid touching the heads of the infants.... Dress modestly in long trousers or skirt with a t-shirt or shirt. Try to avoid wearing a white shirt or all white clothes into the village because white is often worn at funerals.... Only go inside a house when invited and remove your shoes before entering, and when entering a home, please take your back pack off your shoulders and carry it in with your hands. *a green tree branch on the door indicates that the entrance is forbidden.... Try to minimize your impact on our often fragile environment: take your litter back to Sapa .... As a mark of respect, it is always fun to learn the local terms of address, either in Dao dialect or in Vietnamese.... Your stay will be more enjoyable for the villagers and yourself.
Be sensitive to villager’s wishes when taking photographs, particularly of older people who are suspicious of cameras …. never take a photo of the infants …. ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION FIRST.
In long trousers or skirt with a t-shirt or shirt. Try to avoid wearing a white shirt or all white clothes into the village because white is often worn at funerals.
Only go inside a house when invited and remove your shoes before entering, and when entering a home, please take your back pack off your shoulders and carry it in with your hands. *a green tree branch on the door indicates that the entrance is forbidden.
Try to minimize your impact on our often fragile environment: take your litter back to Sapa and be sensitive to the use of wood, a very scarse resource.
As a mark of respect, it is always fun to learn the local terms of address, either in Dao dialect or in Vietnamese. Xin Chao (Hello) - Cam On (Thank You) - Tam Biet (Good Bye) ...Have a guide and learn the basics.
If a villager ask you to take your picture : Join the movement and be proud to be featured on the "Friends of Taphin" section by participating in our fundraising effort.
Obviously, we strongly recommend you to buy from the locals if there is something for you. There is even a market shop near the cave and there is plenty of shop in Taphin center as well. Some products may not has been made by the people themselves but the incomes will stay in the village and keep up the local economy.
Always remember you are a guest in the village. Be sensitive to all different situations, while keeping an open mind. Do not show public displays of affection. Avoid touching the heads of the infants.... Your stay will be more enjoyable for the villagers and yourself.
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