Every trip has a starting and ending point, starting with an eager mood and then ending in nostalgia. So did the field trip of the K49 Environmental Science and Management students of the Advanced Education Program. The field trip to the Northwest is not long, but it is enough to leave many unforgettable memories and experiences for the students, mostly with the ethnic minorities in remote mountainous areas. This is also the preparation step for the final project of the students in their subject Environmental Analysis using GIS. Along with that, they have obtained useful data from Bac Ha Hydropower Plant Company to serve the main purpose of the trip which is to perform a simulation for another hydropower plant 10km from the original plant.
1010 Reasons to go.
During the days of social isolation due to the COVID 19 pandemic, students were not allowed to freely move and exchange cultures, alongside with the pressure of studying. The students felt that it was an extremely stressful time, wherein most of the people in the world also felt. So, a temporary trip away from the noisy cities, and immersing ourselves in the majestic natural scenery of the Northwestern mountains will be full of exciting experiences for these early autumn days.
Another purpose of this field trip is to find out the impact and influence of the Bac Ha Hydropower Dam on people living around it. Nonetheless, we were amazed that the Bac Ha White Plateau not only attracted us by its beautiful scenery, but also by the unique culture of upland cultural markets such as Can Cau market, the villages in the Dao, and Mong ethnic groups, and Bac Ha’s famous cuisine.
Coming to Bac Ha City, Lao Cai, you will be surprised when in the center of the town there exists an extremely superficial villa, painted in bright yellow, and has an “Indochine style” of architecture. More so, it is the residence of Hoang A Tuong, also known as the mansion of "King Cat of Bac Ha" which is considered the most powerful house in the white highlands. We have seen first-hand the famous landlord's mansion, which was built in 1914 and completed in 1921. The work is about 1000m2 wide, surrounded by solid walls.
Hoang Yen Chao is a hereditary chief (a mandarin in the ancient minority community) of the Tay but governs an area with up to 70% of the Mong ethnic group (formerly known as the Meo people), so it is also known as the king cat, Hoang Yen Chao. Hoang A Tuong is the name of one of his children.
Bac Ha, Lao Cai district may not be as famous as luxurious resorts, it still has its peculiar charm. For instance, being in this town will let us break away from reality, with its natural sights, rocky mountains, reminding us of the wild, mysterious myths about the landscapes, the people, bringing us back in history during the "white plateau" period. This land is also the convergence of ethnic cultural colors and specialties of the Northwest, creating a special attraction, and has brought and added peaceful, rustic, but impressive memories to the life of the students.