The forgotten paradise of Sung La


In life sometimes you have visited somewhere before and think there is no need for a second visit but I took a gamble and made a return journey to Sung La, a small village in Ha Giang Province and it was to prove the right decision.

Sung La, which is on the road leading to the northern most point at the border of Vietnam and China, is located down a valley, on the national road 4C connecting two of the most famous tourist spots of the province: Dong Van town and the house of Vuong Chinh Duc, who was King of the minority people in Ha Giang. The beautiful village is home to H’Mong people, one of the most populous minority groups in the country. Villagers can speak Chinese in addition to their native language.

Like other villages of minority people, villagers plant corn and other staples. But what is different here is that there are rose fields that cover almost all of the nearby area, with harvested roses will be taken to big cities like Hanoi. The temperate weather is perfect for rose planting but the magnificent scene of millions of red roses opening up their velvet petals to receive the sunlight is just an illusion as villagers will harvest the bud to sell to big city dwellers.

Because of the location, every black, stone house in the village is usually covered by white fog in the morning and in the late afternoon. The sun struggles to shine through the whole valley and the village but even so, the scene is somewhat dreamlike.

Due to its location which is light years away from modern life in big cities, Sung La was chosen as the location for the award-winning movie Pao’s Story. Since then Sung La has become a popular destination for travelers looking for something different and of course movie buffs. By Pham Thai in Ha Giang

An old villager and her daughter-in-law do some sewing in their house

Travelers visit the house which was used during the shooting of movie Pao’s Story


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