Dances and wine on the plateau


The winter cold is starting to ease so spring will soon be coming in the highland village of Pom Coong on Mai Chau Plateau in the northern province of Hoa Binh.

Early in the morning, when the mist is lifting, the Thai ethnic people of the village send their kids off to school and the women in colorful brocade dresses walk to the farm with wooden papooses on their backs. When the night falls, the stilt houses are warmed by the sounds of pan-pipes, drumming by the tribal boys, girls’ singing and laughter and stories around the fire.

The simple things link people together, making them love their village and make it more beautiful. Pom Coong has become a famous cultural and tourism village on the plateau.

The village has nearly 70 households with more than 300 people. Traditionally, at sunset, people sit in stilt houses, which are just a bean row apart, to talk together. Stilt houses of the Thai people are higher than other ethnic group houses. The bamboo floor is about two meters above the ground, held up by wooden pillars. The roofs are often made of leaves and windows are large for more air and for bird cages to hang.

In front of the stilt houses, Thai ladies  weave on looms to make brocade products to sell to tourists. The village is full of colorful products and colorful ladies.

Visitors to Pom Coong won’t forget the bamboo dances or Thai traditional dances by Thai boys and girls in the chill of the northern highlands. Enjoying specialties of Mai Chau Plateau and ruou can (wine drunk though a bamboo pipe from a jar) while joining in the dancing with Thai people by the fire, will be an experience that you will tell your friends about back home.

Have you made a plan for Tet holidays? If not, make a plan and pack a bag for Pom Coong.

A Thai woman and girl on their way to the paddy field – Photos: Mong Binh

 

Pom Coong Village in early morning

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