Lao Cai is a mountainous province in northwest Vietnam that is about eight hours away from Hanoi by train. This natural landscape is very popular with travellers who look to experience the life of the tribes in Sapa and enjoy spectacular views of waterfalls, mountainside rice terraces, and traditional villages.
The Cave of Fairies
The Cave of Fairies is related to the myth about three fairies asking their father, the king of Heaven, to let them go down to the earth for one day. Enchanted by the beauty of the earth, they turned out to forget their obligation to return to heaven. As a result, the king got furious; he told another god called Thien Loi to seek and punish them. At first, the fairies hid in a cave 200 meter high above the sea level, but they could not get away from Thien Loi. He stepped on the mountain, breaking a part of it into pieces. Knowing that they could never escape and their father would never forgive them, the three fairies jumped off the cave. The river carried their bodies to its lower course, where we find Bao Nhai district nowadays.
Inside the Cave of Fairies, the Stream of Fairy flows ethereally down from above like a strip of silk. Like a skillful sculptor, the water turned the stones inside the cave into a collection of beautiful and creative artworks: an elephant drinking water, a flying eagle, etc. About 200m away from the Stream of Fairy, there is another huge cave where stones lay on one another in layer to create a spectacular maze. Walking on for 500m, visitors can spot the sparkling stalactite towers of different sizes reflecting the lights from outside of the cave. After visiting the cave, visitors can swim in the sunshine of Floral Island, a small island on the side of the mountain.
Hoang Yen Chao Castle
Hoang Yen Chao Castle is a unique architectural construction combining Eastern style and Western style. Built in the 20th century, it belongs to Na Hoi Tho Village, Bac Ha district. Its proximity to Bac Ha Market (only 300m away) makes it increasingly popular in the recent years.
Ancient Stone Field in Sa Pa
Consisting of several stones with ancient images carved on them, this is a famous sight located in Muong Hoa valley, Lao Cai. The Ancient Stone Field reaches an area of 8 sq. km; it lies between the staircase-like rice fields.
Researches have been done there for the first time in 1925 on about 200 pieces of stone of different sizes and shapes. Nowadays, the biggest stone that you can find there is probably Hon Bo (Bo means father in Vietnamese), which has the length of 15m (45ft) and the height of 6m (18ft). Besides the unexplainable organization of these stones, the images drawn on them also become the subject of several researches. They include different images of people, flowers, stilt houses, and undecipherable letter-like symbols. On this field, there are also stones dedicated to wives and husbands, and the stones on which spells were written. According to the historians, the spells might have targeted at the huge tigers which threatened the villages. On the other hand, the Wife-Husband stones referred to the pure and unbreakable love of a couple who overcame the obstacles to live together. When they died, they turned into two stones turning to each other.
The Ancient Stone Field has been proved by scientists to have existed for many centuries; it is a heritage of the ancient Vietnamese people. Nowadays, it has become popular to not only the science community but also tourists from everywhere in the world.
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