Located five kilometers from southeast Sapa Town, Ma Tra Village was recently added into Sapa area’s growing list of stunning destinations. The hamlet is home to the H’mong and Red Zao ethnic people and only boasts around 50 homes.
Travelers who prefer a less commercial track and wants to explore Vietnam’s ethnic mountainous life will appreciate the village’s spectacular landscapes and exotic lifestyle when coming to Ma Tra. Here, locals survive by weaving brocade, silk, forging farming tools, carving silver and other traditional crafts. The hamlet also has an art troupe, including folk artisans and those who have a thorough knowledge of the locality’s history, custom and tourist attractions.
The entire Sapa District is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range which boasts Vietnam’s highest mountain of Fansipan at a height of 3,142 meters above sea level. Following the main road from Sapa to Lao Cai for 4km, one can enjoy the panorama view of the whole valley, stretching for about 12 Km with some low hills in the middle to divide the valley into two parts. The closer part to the road is area of Ma Tra village and the further one is Ta Phin village.
Though faster and better routes were established over time, many still prefer to follow the trail which run on high elevation around the valley for a real life discovery. This increased the appreciation of the valley and Ma Tra village in particular.
Locals in the village generally only weave and create handicrafts for their personal consumption. Recently, as visitors to the village continue to grow, they are beginning to increase their production and sell some of their items on the town’s main streets.
When traveling to Sapa and taking the trail to witness Ma Tra village, make sure to take reliable walking shoes, raincoats, jackets, torch, insect repellent and all necessities for trekking. Some travelers also opt to spend overnight in the area by doing homestays. This is a great way to interact with the ethnic people.