GIDDY UP: A horse race in Bắc Hà District. VNS Photo Việt Thanh
LÀO CAI Music, horse racing and food will all be featured at the Bắc Hà Winter Festival from November 20-22 as Lào Cai Province attempts to attract tourists back to the district.
"We will be holding horse races in Na Hối Commune at the stadium in Bắc Hà District," said Hoàng Văn Khoa, deputy chairman of the district's People's Committee.
Na Hối is home to the famous stables that bred the winner of the annual Bắc Hà Horse Racing Festival held in May this year.
Adding to the race, a food festival will take place with cooks vying for the best "Bắc Hà Food Tray", a chance to highlight local delicacies from the mountainous district.
"I love the black rice cakes from Bắc Hà," said Phạm Diệu Trang, a tourist from Hà Nội who visited the district on a recent trip.
Playing the pipe is a must for all Mông men. Photo courtesy of Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs website
The event will also include the ethnic Mông Panpipe Festival for the first time. Bắc Hà is home to 14 ethnic groups. The Mông account for 47 per cent of the 62,000 people who live in the district, and they mainly live on the mountainsides making a living from growing maize and rice on the rocky cliff ledges.
During French colonial times, Lord Hoàng A Tưởng of the Mông in Bắc Hà built a French-styled mansion in the town. Today, it is a tourist destination.
Other activities will include a street parade, night market, flower valley and homestay tours.
The festival is part of the district's People's Committee's efforts to attract visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic, which cut off all international visitors earlier this year. VNS