Cat Cat Village
"The confusing map meant we almost gave up before even reaching the village (something I think some of the earlier reviewers must have done). Definitely worth the walk for our first view of terraced paddy field and beautifully/ exotically dressed villagers.
Even the touristy trinkets were better value than many other places in Northern Vietnam."
Welcome to Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village
- is about 1 km from Sapa. It lies in the Muong Hoa valley and near the stunning Cat Cat Waterfall. This is an ancient village, where the ethnic H'Mong living, which have unique habits as in many other villages.
To reach Cat Cat Village you walk down along the market Sapa into the valley. Once you're out of Sapa, you'll be struck by the beauty of nature with its high mountain peaks over 3,000 meters and the green rice fields, which extend to almost 1000 meters below you. The sun shines over the green rice terraces and H'Mong houses scattered in the valley.
If you visit Cat Cat Village, you have the chance to admire a lively and colourful scene in the village (take photographs). That is the image of young women, sitting behind looms with colourful pieces of brocade decorated with designs from nature: flowers and birds.
When these pieces of brocade are finished, they are dyed and embroidered with beautiful designs from nature. Remarkable is that H'Mong women use an ancient tradition. When they dye these brocade fabrics they use plants and leaves.
Then they roll the fabric around a smooth piece of wood, on which is wax to rub the fabric. They make sure, that the colour is left for a long time on the fabric.
Looking down on Cat Cat Village
But there are more to admire special crafts in Cat Cat Village. Many residents in the village are good at crafting gold and silver
jewellery. The quality of their products are fairly high, especially the jewellery for women.
Visitors are particularly attracted to Cat Cat by the old habits of the Hmong. So here it is still the custom in the village to "kidnap" a girl that you want to marry. Sometimes man can ask his friends to kidnap a girl, which he loves. He can also lure here to his house and hold her there for three days. During these three days, the girl can agree to become his wife, and then there will be a big wedding.
However, the girl can go home after three days if she does not like him.
The traditional houses of Hmong people in Cat Cat Village have three rooms with three doors and covered with
(a wooden roof). In the house there are three stone columns, which stand in a circle or square. The walls are made of solid wood. The main door is always closed and is opened only when a major event is organized in the house. There is an altar inlaid floor with food, places to sleep, kitchen and a room where guests are received. These are indispensable parts of a house.
The duty of man is to care for the whole family. He takes important decisions about the safety and welfare of the family. He is also seen as the main breadwinner. His wife must be above all a good wife, taking care of the children and preparing the food. Part of the work of the women consists of making handmade traditional clothing or
jewellery. For the manufacture of clothes they use hemp and the indigo colour. The Hmong use traditional methods for colouring and decorating - batik. Hmong are very skilful in making clothes and the cultivation of hemp for making clothes.
From a travelogue:
"A short walk down hill from the town brings you to Cat Cat village. The walk down, past some breathtakingly scenery is spoiled by a hostel pumping out violently loud techno music, not remotely fitting to the ambience of the area. Cat Cat village itself contains a number of tourist shops and a few cafes, where the Hmong villagers wear their brightly coloured traditional costumes and attempt to persuade you to part with as much cash as possible.. The scenery is incredible, but that's all there is."