Forgotten village

LANG SON – Ban Lan Dat seems to be forgotten amidst the flow of urbanization, the only way to get here is through rugged mountains and forests for about two hours.

Every holiday is the same, it seems that we are too familiar with the words “fall”, “crowded”, “crowded”… There are only a few occasions in the year when families travel together, loving souls. move as we plan a new land, a place where everything is pristine, pure and beautiful like in a fairy tale.

Natural landscape at Lan De.
Natural landscape at Lan Dat.

Our group of 30 adults and more than 30 children found themselves in Lan Dat village, next to the Dong Lam steppe but separated by mountains covered with clouds all year round. In the midst of the process of urbanization, Lan Dat is one of the few villages of ethnic minorities that still owns the most “no” that the group has ever discovered such as no electricity, no phone signal, no electricity, no electricity, no electricity, no electricity. roads, no markets, no means of transport, no electronic devices…

The only way to the village is to pass a high mountain in front of you. Compared to other trekking arcs, the road to Lan Put village passes through cliffs with many sharp rocks and steep slopes, rugged mountainside with many ups and downs. It rained right before departure, so the road to the village was even more difficult. More than half of the group is under 10 years old, the youngest is less than 4 years old, so the group patiently traced each step through the slippery and dangerous road, overcoming their inherent fear. After more than two hours of crossing the forest road in unfavorable weather conditions, the group arrived in the village.

The road is dangerous and winding, but the first feeling when coming to the village is so peaceful. If you do not pay close attention to the old roofs nestled between the green trees, perhaps no one will think that this is the living place of a Dao community. The whole village is scattered with more than a dozen roofs in the middle of a large valley.

Welcoming us with enthusiasm, Mr. Tai said that since Covid-19 appeared, only guests came to visit and were also the first group to stay overnight. He and his wife set up a treat for us with chicken raised for nearly 2 years, old vegetables because we haven’t eaten all of it. Each dish seemed chewier than usual, but it was gone in a moment because of hunger and joy.

The vacant lot next to the old stilt house is our camping spot and we can hear “symphony music” from frogs, insects and the sounds of the mountains. In the middle of the night it changed wind, lightning and rain. Carefully preparing the tent and furniture, but sleeping in the tent listening to the sound of the rain and the howling wind in the steppe, each of us feels different, some people enjoy the sound of nature and sleep soundly, others can’t help themselves. panic about the way back tomorrow…

The morning was bright and sunny, the children had more time to explore the whole village. Some children fly kites, play soccer, swim in streams, go to the lake, a few others try the feeling of herding buffalo… We, adults, take the time to chat with the villagers. The people here have nothing of value, material comforts, but on their faces, there is a peacefulness and a gentleness that many people in our city have lost for a long time. Every day they have a house to live in, a field to work on, raise chickens and ducks, and a few dozen buffaloes on the grasslands to graze freely and stick with this land.

photo: Yen Ly