We went to a remote White Hmong village, Southeast of Sapa about 30 km, called Lam Caj. (This village is at the end of the road that goes in the direction of Lao Chai and Ta Van.) It took about 1 1/2 hrs to get here fro Sapa, mainly because the road was bad in a few places. There must have recently been a land slide because a part of the road was washed out and it was being rebuilt. The countryside along this road is breathtaking. I wish I had made our van stop so I could take pictures, but I didn’t (I’m regretting it now!). Our van dropped us off once we drove through the village Nam Cang. At this point, we walked about 3-4 km (most of it uphill) to the village of Lam Caj. The van driver didn’t feel comfortable driving the last portion of road; it is a narrower road that didn’t leave much room if you came across another car.
What makes this a White Hmong village? There are different dialects of the Hmong language. The language that the people in this village speak is White Hmong. The White Hmong also do not dress like the Black Hmong or Flower Hmong that you see near Sapa and Bac Ha. The White Hmong women traditionally are identified by their white skirts, but more often the Hmong women will be wearing more casual clothes unless they need to dress up.
The village consisted of about 80 wood houses. There were no restaurants. There were a few, very small stores in the front rooms of some houses along the main road, but the options were very limited. Some stores didn’t even have water as an option, only bottled tea.
The village and main road create a U-shape. The majority of homes are on the West side of a mountain, with just a few houses across from it on another mountainside; each side is connected by a small, iron bridge over a small stream.
I don’t think many tourists visit this village. The village was very quiet. We were there during the middle of the day so many people may have been working in their fields. There were only a few people that wanted to talk with the students and tell them about Hmong life in the village. Many of the students remarked that the Hmong who live here were not as open to talk and share things as the Hmong who live closer to Sapa.
The little kids in town were quite curious about our students, and my kids! Many of the kids loved that fact that many of our students spoke Hmong. It was many of their first time to see a foreigner who spoke their language.
Here is some of the gorgeous scenery on our walk to the village from Nam Cang.