The Yao include numerous local groups, each with it's own charateristics of language, costume, and custom. The Yao have been in Vietnam since the 13th century, and live dispersed throughout most of the mountainous and midland provinces of the north. In the document Binh ho-ang khoan diep or Qua son bang, the dog-dragon Pan Hu (Ban Vuong) was identified as the Yao's founding ancestor. These documents of the migration history of the 12 origi-nal Yao lineages have been transmitted from generation to generation.

These cells were completely isolated from other cells of Hoa Lo prison to prevent death row inmates from communicating with the outside.

With a population of over 1,200,000 (2009 census), the Muong live mainly in Hoa Binh where the ancestral cen-ters of Bi, Vang, Thang, and Dong are located and also with other communities living in Thanh Hoa, Phu Tho and Son La.


Dong Ho is well-known for its hand-made woodblock prints, used especially for Tet. Woodblocks are printed on do traditional paper, covered with a layer of powdered shell.

The religion of Four Worlds is very popular, especially in northern Vietnam. The system of spirits is imagined like an imperial court ruling the four worlds: Sky, Earth, Water and Forests.

The practice of chewing betel and blackening teeth has a long tradition.

The lacquer is a resin of the lacquer tree planted mostly in the North of Vietnam. They make an incision on the trunk of the lacquer tree to have the resin like the latex of the rubber tree.

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