Beauty of the special houses of Ha Nhi ethnic minority people in the Northwest of Vietnam

Coming to Kin Chu Phin village, you will be excited with the mysterious beauty of Trinh Tuong houses.

Trinh Tuong house has just one small and low door, surrounding the house having tiny windows for getting the light, the cool of summer and for preventing from the cold in winter.

Kin Chu Phin is a village of Ha Nhi ethnic minority (one of the smallest minorities in Vietnam) which is located in a very far and high place in Nam Pung commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. It is far from the centre of the commune about 13 km, lines deep inside down the valley with a mountainous area with 1000m above the sea level. Kin Chu Phin has its self the cool climate all year round, ice and snow here in winter. To prevent from the cold, Ha Nhi community has built soil houses with thick and tight walls, or being called Trinh Tuong house (house with walls being made of soil) or having the other name Mushroom house (it looks like giant shape of mushrooms).

Method of making Trinh Tuong house is very particular. Before building a house, the men of the family will find out a good day and plot of land then prepare boiled chicken and sticky rice for worshipping. According to their custom, during process of making house, the women and strangers are not allowed to approach.

Foundation is ranged with large stones, placed right on flat soil without having to dig deep inside the soil, and then use formworks braced as pouring concrete. For having four firm walls as steel, bullet-proof, they have to choose mountainous soil with high adhesion.

Walls are usually from 40 to 45 cm thick, put with small stones deep inside. Soil is filled into formworks braced then uses wooden pestle pounding strongly till being adhesive. Normally, each house has its height of 5 or 6 level of formwork and takes them nearly one month to complete.

Rammed walls surrounding, they use some kinds of wood to make the frame inside, after that connecting wooden beams and rafters together for roofing. Trinh Tuong house has no balcony and steep roof; roof is made with straw grass. Each house has its large from 65 to 80 m2.

Recently, many families roof with tin in stead of straw grass because of usefulness. However, the traditional houses have still kept their original feature, custom and culture of northwest mountainous area.

 

“The best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is in April and May. Before that period, the weather might be cold and foggy; after that period is the rainy season. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning quickly disappear into thin air.
Sapa is most beautiful in spring. Apricot, plum and cherry flowers are splendidly beautiful. Markets are crowded and merry, and are especially attractive to visitors. Minority groups come here to exchange and trade goods and products. Market sessions are also a chance for locals to promenade and young men and women in colorful costumes to meet, date or seek sweethearts.” – ST

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