|Located in Ta Phin village, about 12 kilometers away from Sa Pa town, Ta Phin monastery is easily recognised thanks to its ancient French architecture (Photo: vietfuntravel.com.vn) |
Lao Cai - Travelling to Sa Pa town in Lao Cai province is always a journey of interesting experiences and Ta Phin monastery is becoming a popular spot near the town.
The monastery is located in Ta Phin village, about 12 kilometres from Sa Pa and is easily recognised thanks to its French architecture.
It was constructed in October 1942, but in 1945 the nuns left for Hanoi and the monastery was unused and fell into disrepair.
Nowadays, Ta Phin monastery is a ruined, desolate building hidden in the fog. It is surrounded by dense trees, reminding one of fairy tales.
The beauty of the ancient monastery is old, nostalgic, vague and mysterious and reminds one of being lost in an old European film.
The part that has not been lost to the ravages of time is enough to be amazed at the old religious building with architectural features in an old European style.
The gate of the monastery is built of stellar stone with an arched gate in the French style. The outer wall is laterite layer, going deep inside, visitors will see the walls, mossy windows in layers, but they are still solid and firm. Each wall and brick is imprinted with time.
The monastery has three floors including an underground basement, a west-facing horizontal house with five chambers and a staircase. In addition, the right side of the monastery has a vertical house connected to the horizontal house. This was the place used to store food, furniture and the kitchen of the monastery.
Today, the whole building has no roof but only the old moss-covered walls remain. In front of the monastery, there is a large and long corridor but it is also not intact.
Although it has been abandoned for a long time, the features and quiet space of the monastery are a major attraction.
It seems that at any angle, any location in the monastery, visitors can create a unique scene. So, don't be surprised when you see the photos which feature old colours mixed with the wilderness of time and a little colour of nostalgia, a little slice of heaven for photography enthusiasts.
If you want your wedding photos to have a bit of a subtle, nostalgic look, this is might just be the place for you.
When finishing visiting Ta Phin monastery, we discovered Ta Phin village which also attracts visitors with the unique cultural characteristics of the Red Dao ethnicity people.
Unlike the Mong and Giay people, the Red Dao people have a very small population and are less well known. Their villages are often located in remote valleys and mountain slopes.
Many villages in Sa Pa today have been modernised and no longer retain the wild nature anymore. But Ta Phin village is different and is probably the only village in Sa Pa that still retains the regional cultural identity.
The road leading to Ta Phin village is winding with mountain scenery, magnificent clouds, and splendid colours of terraced fields. The locals here are friendly and may invite you to their homes.
Ta Phin is considered a brocade village where visitors can find handmade brocades made by ethnic minority people. The products are mainly provided for shops in Hanoi and HCM City and exported as well.
Because of living in the valley and at the foot of big mountains, the Red Dao have extensive knowledge and experience with plants. Bath remedies of the Red Dao have hundreds of plants. Among them, there are 10 main and most important medicinal plants that make up the brand of valuable medicine of the Red Dao people in Ta Phin.
Today, Red Dao herbal baths are not only a culture and unique identity of every family in the Dao ethnic community but have spread widely throughout the country and are trusted by many people. Experiencing a Red Dao herbal bath is a great reason to go to Ta Phin village - the source of the precious medicine.