From Lai Chau Town, going along
ighway 4D about 53km, tourists will see the 7km-long wavy road to Na Luong
Village next to the tea hills and forests. The first impression of the village is
the scenic image of stilt houses nestling under the canopy of green leaves, the
smoke bobbing in the mountain wind as well as Lao females in traditional dresses
assiduously weaving fabrics.
There are about 13000 Laos People
living in Dien Bien, Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai Provinces. Their main jobs are rice
planting, livestock breeding, weaving, etc. Similar to other Laos Villages in
the Northwest, Na Luong is now still preserving the traditional culture
activities, and one of them is Water Festival (Bun Voc Nam)
Since long ago, Laos people
still grow rice as the main crop and highly appreciate water due to the fact
that water is the source of all living things. The water festival represents
significant fertility, agricultural practices of Laos and it is organized after the
harvesting season to pray for good weather and bumper crops.
The festival consists of two parts:
the ceremony and the festival. In the first part, there is a ceremony to pray
for good weather and prosperous life. After that, village leaders and the young
people play drums and pluck palm leaves to simulate the sounds of thunder and
raindrop, and wear hat, raincoats to go to each house, bringing water to splash
to each other.
The festival is started when all the
locals go to stream to splash water. The wetter they are, the more good luck
they receive. This activity not only attracts local people but also the
tourists. They all want to immerse in water in hope to have much good luck. The
festival ends with folk games such as tug-of-war, rod pushing, ball throwing,
Staying at Na Luong, besides the
chances to explore the majestic mountain scenery or unique water festival,
tourists can also enjoy local specialties such as Lam rice, color sticky rice,
steamed fish in banana leaves, etc.
With a unique cultural identity, Na Luong
has been chosen to be developed as the community tourism destination by the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). The
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism considered Na Luong to be among the list
of tourist destinations on "Arc of Northwest". In the future, Na Luong
will become one of the ideal destinations for tourists to move away from the
noisy, bustling cities.