Ethnic travel Sapa: The unique culture of Hmong Ethnic Minority

Black Hmong Festival
Black Hmong Festival

Ethnic Travel Sapa

Sapa is a mountainous province located in northern Vietnam. This region is home to various ethnic groups. Each of them keeping their own special and very different cultures and traditions. The Hmong people is the largest ethnic minority settled in this beatiful part of the world.  Around 2km far Sapa center is Cat Cat – San Sa Ho Village. This villages is considered the primary village of the Hmong people. This ethnic group has many special and interesting cultural features you should discover when taking your next ethnic travel Sapa exploration is a must.

The Hmong Ethnic Minority

The Hmong people first settled this part of Vietnam about 100 to 300 years ago. Apart from the name Hmong, locals call this ethnic group Meo, Mieu, etc. Depending on differences in language and culture, Hmong people can be divided into smaller groups, White Hmong, Red Hmong, Black Hmong, Flower Hmong, Green Hmong and Na Mieo.

Ethnic Travel Sapa Black Hmong
Black Hmong Sapa Vietnam

The Black H’Mong

Most Hmong people in Sapa come from the Black Hmong ethnic group, which accounts for 53% population of Sapa. People give this group the name Black Hmong since their clothing is all black. Normally, men wear black pants with short-sleeved T-shirt, long waist coat without sleeve and a black embroided hat. Also, the women wear black outfits too and wrap black head cloth along with a long waist coat. Unlike people from other ethnic minorities, Hmong women in Sapa wear long black pants, not skirts.

Gau Tao Festival

When talking about the Hmong group’s traditional culture in Sapa, you cannot ignore the Gau Tao festival. This festival takes place from the 1st to 15th day of the 1st Lunar month. Its main aim is to pray for good wishes and good luck for the coming year.

Those who do not have any children visit the Gau Tao festival to pray for a little child. The sick and infirm also visit join in Gau Tao to pray for good health. Members of each family fetch the sturdy bamboo plants, called New Year trees, and plant them with some special items and red cloth in the highest place on the hill. Here the rituals will be undertaken.

Gau Tao Festival
Gau Tao Festival

Gau Tao Festival The Special Place in the Hearts of the H’Mong

Local people believe that this time is the luckiest and the best time to ask for those special things. When all traditional ceremonies finish, they will gather at celebrate the good furtunes together. This time of year, is a spceial time. People gather from far and wide and use this time to cathc up with old friends and share stories from the past

Also, young children play traditional games keeping the culture alive from generation to generation. Activities include archery competitions, horse riding, khun dancing, gau lenh singing, and other performances.

After all of the ceremonies they remove the piece of red cloth off to receive the best luck possible.

Gau Tao Festival Sapa
Gau Tao Festival Sapa

Costumes and Traditional Clothes

The Hmong people have many varieties of costumes and traditional activities.  If you are interested in ethnic travel Sapa and wish to experience the lives of Hmong ethnic minority, coming to this majestic land is definitely a great choice.


  1. These ethnic minority people, who are rich in traditional hospitality of some new features, are preserving Vietnam’s history, heritage, year after year, era. This is an educative post for all who are looking for something new in this world.

  2. With awesome images this blog description helps us to know more about Vietnam’s history, tradition and culture. Good post…

  3. I spent some time in college with a woman who comes from this rich traditional background and it is amazing! She told me stories of the things her family has done and even still do to this day. I am so ashamed in the people who want to do away with traditions and traditional values. They are what make a culture unique and beautiful.

  4. This is truly a fascinating and extra special culture to be, you are so lucky to have the opportunity to visit and enjoy the culture of great Hmong Ethnic Minority!!! Great pictures of the unique culture of Vietnam to show this breath-taking culture surrounding the unique accommodation! Thank you for this article, it is very helpful and interesting for the culture promotion.

  5. Wow! Not sure what is more beautiful, the dresses or the place… definitely you have a great eye to blend the two. My personal favorite culture is i Black H’Mong of the Hmong Ethnic Minority. 🙂 🙂

  6. Great article! You did a great job showing the great culture of “Hmong Ethnic Minority” that cover up the beauty traditional culture of Vietnam interested to read.

    • Explore the North of Vietnam, and experience something uniquely different. There are so many experiences in this beautiful country.

  7. Great article about the culture of Vietnam! I spent a week in Vietnam back in 2016 and found it to be so full of life and culture. A world away from the horror stories I’d heard about the place!!!.