The Chay River runs through many mountainous provinces in the North. It not only provides alluvium soil to the fields, but also creates diversified cultural colours.
The river originates on the western slope of Tay Con Linh Mountain (2,419m) and the eastern slope of Kieu Lien Ti Mountain (2,402m) in the northwest of Ha Giang Province.
It runs through the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai and joins the Lo River in Phu Tho Province. However, the section of the river in Lao Cai Province is the most beautiful.
The river has two seasons; dry and flooded. During each season, it has a unique beauty.
It looks immense in the flooded season while it becomes mild and gentle in the dry season.
Along the banks of the river are hamlets of the Mong, Dao and Day ethnic people.
In the distance, winding roads on the mountain slopes look like white silk ribbons with the early dew.
To develop the tourism potential of the Chay River – the home of many ethnic communities with beautiful and wild scenery, the Lao Cai Province Authority provides tourists with a new product – touring the river by boat.
Participating in the tour, visitors have a chance to discover the beauty of Tien Cave with thousands of sparkling stalactites, wonderful Ta Lam Waterfall and green Nghien (Burretiodendron hsienmu) forest.
Furthermore, they also can visit hamlets where they are warmly welcomed by ethnic people and the enjoy songs, dances and specialities of the locality.
Among these, Si Ma Cai Town where 80% of the Mong people live is the most attractive destination thanks to unique festivals like Gau Tao Festival, Long Tong Festival and the rite of worshipping the forest.
On the trip, tourists can go to Bac Ha and Coc Ly markets that have for a long time created the cultural characteristics of the ethnic people in Lao Cai Province.
Here, local products like brocade, dried chillies, vegetables, chickens, rice from terraced fields, thang co (a traditional soup of the Mong people) and wine made from corn are sold.
The tour on the Chay River promises to bring tourists to new wonders in the north-western province of Lao Cai.