A Phu couple is one of the classic literary works of writer To Hoai. Surely everyone knows that the story’s context takes place in the Northwest, but few people know exactly where the A Phu couple’s hometown is? Let’s take a trip to Hong Ngai Village in Son La to discover this secret.
Introduction to Hong Ngai Village in Son La
Hong Ngai is a small village in Bac Yen town, Bac Yen district, Son La province. Nestled deep in the mountains and forests of the Northwest, about 103 km from the center of the province, the village is like a shy mountain girl with wild and straightforward beauty. This village is where the Mong people live, with 71 unique walled roofs that are still original.
Hong Ngai Village is the perfect choice for those passionate about traveling and who want to find a wild, unspoiled natural place. The golden terraced fields, the vast green forests, and the clear blue sky are what you can find here.
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Road to Hong Ngai village
Hong Ngai village is about 200km from Hanoi. From the city center, go towards Trung Hoa, through Trung Hoa underpass to CT08. Continue to cross the intersection of Hoa Lac Expressway and go all the way to DT87. At the end of DT87 Street, turn left to enter DT87A street, cross Dong Quang bridge to Trung Thinh street.
Continue going straight for about 5km to the Veterans Association of Thanh Thuy District, turn right at the four intersections. Continue going straight to the intersection with Road 316, then turn left and go straight to the junction of Thanh Son bus station. Turn left along Highway 32.
Go straight on Highway 32 to the junction (with Anh Yen chicken restaurant), then turn left onto Highway 32B. Continue going directly to Highway 37 to Bac Yen Gas Station, then turn left and ask for directions to Hong Ngai village. From here, the road will be pretty tricky. You will need to hire a guide to enter the town or ask for directions continuously.
The story of Hong Ngai Village in Son La
The name Hong Ngai originates from the name of a god according to ancient legends. Accordingly, the ethnic people here worked in the fields and lived in peace and happiness in the past. Suddenly, one day, the cold wind rushed back, causing the fields to freeze. The thatched cottages can’t even resist the severe cold. Many people in the village died of hunger and cold.
The cry for help reached the sky. Giang (Heaven) immediately sent the god Hong Ngai to help and teach people to build houses made of solid red earth to fight the cold. After the difficulties passed, the god also flew back to heaven. To commemorate the outstanding merit, the people named the village after the god, Hong Ngai village.
What’s so attractive about Hong Ngai Son La?
Beautiful wild nature
Hong Ngai Village is different from other tourist attractions. This place does not have super beautiful sightseeings. There are no services to rent ethnic dresses for professional photography and no elaborately built homestays. All that Hong Ngai has is a wild and magical natural space.
To get to the village, you will have to climb through the winding hill roads. In the distance, the roof of the report of the Mong people gradually appeared in the fog-covered. This roof is a unique traditional architecture that has been handed down for generations. Over hundreds of years, although the walls have been covered with moss, these houses still stand between heaven and earth, enduring with the time.
Wandering along the trails in the village, you will admire the cornfields, ripe rice fields. The terraced fields are lined up in regular rows creating perfect curves.
In the early morning, you can also hunt clouds in the high mountains. The feeling of breathing in the cool fresh air, surrounded by white clouds, is excellent. From the top of the hill, looking out into the distance, Hong Ngai is like a picture of beautiful natural scenery.
Visit A Phu Cave
A Phu Cave is a famous tourist destination of Hong Ngai village. In 1961, filmmakers went all the way up here to set the scene for the film A Phu Couple. There is a scene where the couple hides in a ravine to avoid the eyes and ears of Thong Ly’s henchmen. The gorge with its natural and unspoiled beauty was later named “A Phu Cave” and attracted many tourists to visit and explore.
Discover the culture of ethnic groups
Hong Ngai village is home to three ethnic groups, the Mong, the Dao, and the Ha Nhi. In which the Mong people make up the majority. Thanks to this cultural diversity, there are many interesting customs and festivals here. You can spend time staying at local people’s houses and discover the unique culture in Hong Ngai.
And don’t forget to enjoy the unique cuisine that you will surely hear for the first time, such as Ta Xoi tea, Lam rice, grilled wild boar, Pa pinh top (grilled fish), cornbread. August, September is the season of apples in the Northwest, and the fragrance flies all over the mountains. You can take advantage of the small bags of apples to give as gifts, soak in syrup, soak in wine or make incredibly delicious apple cider vinegar. Northwest highland specialties are not available everywhere.