What to do in Nam Cang Village?
When you stay in Nam Cang there is a range of interesting local activities to explore, all focused on the local Red Dao and Black Hmong cultures and thereby an unique opportunity to gain insights on these colorful and charming minority groups.
Take your time to wander around the small and quiet village with a local guide, most woman are sitting in their doorstep weaving on their famous handicraft. Their kids is maybe in the small school or playing around in the village. Many villagers are not used to meet foreigners and are therefore happy to explain more about their daily life and maybe invite you into their houses for a tasteful cup of local tea. At your walk you can pass by the two local silversmith, they have for generations specialized in handcrafted silver jewelry. See when they make the glittering pieces of splendid local silver jewelry as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and maybe buy a gift for your family at home.
The village also got its own miller, butcher and a lot of interesting farming families to visit. If the traditional medicine man is at home you may find it very interesting to learn more about the old and famous traditional and natural medicine used in the Red Dao and Black Hmong cultures.
Rice planting and harvesting
Rice is grown on beautiful rice terraces and is the most important staple in Nam Cang. With one crop per year only. You now have the change to participate in the real village work when joining rice paddy walks, planting and harvesting lessons. You should not be afraid of mud, laugh and local people who enjoy your company!
Please note: Rice planting season is from end of April to May and the harvest season is from end of August to September.
Try to go fishing in the local river just next to the river, the locals would love to show you how to through the round net into the cleand but cold water. Prepare for some great moments along the river and maybe a small fish for dinner?
Homemade bamboo paper
One local family still produce traditional and rare bamboo paper since many generations.
First, they cut bamboo form the nearby forest into small rectangular strips, then they cook the bamboo with lime leaves and let it all soak into a mass. When dried in the sun they carefully pound it to powder, mix it with glue and stretch it to a fabric. Finally the green or yellow mass is once again dried in the sun and after some hours it is turned into the finest bamboo paper. Previously the bamboo paper was being used at the local school but now only for traditional writing or religious ceremonies.
Now you have the chance to make your own bamboo paper and maybe get a special writing in Red Dao language too!
Archery was once a prized skill used in hunting and battle in the mountains. The old tools are still used for some fishing but today Archery is mostly used as a fun hobby by both young and old villagers. Guests in Nam Cang can learn the old and proper technique from the local people when shooting arrows at the targets.
Join s local farmer and walk into the green forest just next to the village. Here you can learn more about how to find the healthy leaves from plants used in traditional and healing medicine. How wood always has been an important energy source for the local community and how the forest have changed from thick jungle with tigers (just 40 years ago) into more light forest and bamboo forest. Also if it is season, you can see the hidden but economically important growing of local cardamom.