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North-West Vietnam

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North -West Vietnam (Tay Bac) offers some of the country's most spectacular scenery. It includes the Hoang Lien Son Mountains, Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam, Son La and Moc Chau Highlands, as well as the pasture areas where milk cows are bred. A tea factory was also built in this region. The Pu Den Dinh and Pu Sam Sao mountain ranges, with peaks exceeding 1,800m, act as a natural border between Vietnam and Laos. Dien Bien Phu, a name known all over the world for the victory of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954, is also located in the North-West region, in Dien Bien Province. 

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There are several ways to reach this region. The most interesting itinerary is to start from Ha Noi and travel to Lao Cai (300km) by train. From Lao Cai, take a car to Sa Pa (38km) and then drive 200km further to Lai Chau and Dien Bien, It is possible to take a plane from Noi Bai Airport (Ha Noi) to Dien Bien Phu during one hour. 

The ethnic groups living in the North-West have a rich traditional culture comprised of legends, folk songs, epic poems, songs, dances, instrumental music and written literature. The Thai group had an early script; thus, many ancient treasures (novels, poems and laws) were transcribed and preserved. One such publication was a long poem, the most beautiful of the Thai ethnic group, called Xong Tru Xon Xao, meaning "Recommendations before leaving a loved one".

The poem subtly describes the deep love of a man and woman who are reunited and then marry after years of separation. As for the Muong, they possess their own 4,000 verses epic. De Dat De Nuoc, which tells the story of the universe from the chaos to the creation of earth, water, vegetation, hunting and apparition of the giants. 
The music of the North-West ethnic groups is also very typical and original. The Muong have lullabies, children's songs, dap hoa songs, etc. Their typical musical instruments are the cong and chieng. The Tay have the khap melody, the xoe dance, and the bamboo pole dance.

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