Vietnam Travel Route: Sapa – Y Linh ho (Black Hmong Tribe) – Laochai – Tavan (Dazy Tribe) – Giang Ta Chai (Red Dazo Tribe)

“This war in Vietnam is, I believe, a war for civilization. Certainly, it is not a war of our seeking. It is a war thrust upon us, and we cannot yield to tyranny.” – Francis Cardinal Spellman

“Looking back now on the Vietnam war, I feel nothing but sorrow for my own naivete in believing that the Communists were revolutionaries worthy of support.  In fact, they betrayed the Vietnamese people and deceived progressives throughout the world.  The responsibility for the tragedies that have engulfed my compatriots is mine.  And now I can only bear witness to this truth so that all former supporters of the Vietcong may share their responsibility with me.” – Doan Van Toai

How many ethnic minority groups are in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese government recognizes 54 ethnic minority groups, each with a unique cultural identity. Some consist of a few hundred people; others are more than a million. The proximity to neighboring countries affects cultural beliefs within groups and sub-groups. The Hmong people, originally from China, are well-represented in northwest Vietnam’s mountainous regions, particularly around Sapa’s market town, where terraced rice fields melt over the mist-covered valleys and slopes surrounding Mount Fansipan. Hmong people make their clothing, often out of hemp. Tribes will distinguish themselves with multicolored headbands, tassels, and beads adorning traditional long dresses specific to the sub-groups, which include Red, White, Black, and the rainbow-colored Flower tribe.