Y Ty is upland in Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. It not only has the beauty of the land of fog and unique primeval forests but also is a charming tourist destination bearing identities of ethnic groups in West Northern Vietnam.
Leaving the Lao Cai train station, visitors take a bus to Bat Xat town and from there go along the mountain road about 70km until you meet Y Ty. It is a valley situated at an altitude of over 2,000 meter leaning back Nhu Cu San Mountain range with its peak of 2.660m and almost year-round cloud. Go by car, you can see mountain trails that run in zigzags and disappear slowly among forest leaves and houses looming in the clouds. It can be said that Y Ty is beautiful by clouds and mountains and bright with terraced rice fields. Y Ty commune has 15 villages with 4 ethnic groups consisting of Ha Nhi, Dao, Hmong and Kinh people in the town center in which Ha Nhi is the largest one.
Coming to visit Y Ty, you will feel very interesting when going to a market on. This place is home to many ethnic minorities such as Ha Nhi, Dao, Han, Giay, and Mong with colorful dresses. Mong people wear tutu, Ha Nhi people appear with three-bladed hairpins and wool wigs braided around their heads. Dao people wind peacock scarves on their heads with innocent smiles. They buy and sell local products and crafts of their family.
In Y Ty, there are special houses. They still remain original untouched traditional architectural styles of Ha Nhi people. The house is usually a rectangular structure with a main door and arch to allow the wind go through. There is no window but the house is very warm in winter but cool in summer. The walls made from the soil are thick from 30 - 40cm. Its roofs are wood. Here, visitors will encounter Ha Nhi households living these houses in the mountain near streams and trails full of leaves falling year-round.
According to local people, in spring Y Ty people often hold a festival of the forest to show their promise with the God of the forest. The offerings include a 60 kg pig, 6 chickens, 6 trays of stick rice and 6 liters of wine. Every family has to have a person at least who wears traditional consume to worship. In particular, everyone must remove shoes and go barefoot. According to the concept of Ha Nhi people, this action shows respect for the god.
Ha Nhi people in Y Ty account for 60% of the population. They reside near water sources to ensure water for living and irrigation. Ha Nhi women are very hard.
It is no doubt that Y Ty is the place to preserve outstanding features of ethnic groups and owns its climate and scenery bearing mountainous characteristics. Besides, it hides much potential to develop economy. In jungles, there are cardamon trees bringing a special value for the land. Because it has the temperature of less 20 degree Celsius, there are streams with fresh water year-round. Therefore, Y Ty is a “promised land" in the development of cold-water fish species originating from Europe such as salmon and sturgeon.
Currently, the road to Y Ty is much better than before. Cars can run straight into the place, so it is so convenient for tourists when coming to villages. If you are adventurous, certainly Y Ty will be an attractive tourist spot that you cannot ignore when visiting West Northern.
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