Various new activities are being organised within the framework of 2013 Sapa in the Cloud Festival held from April 26 to May 5 at the popular mountainous resort town of Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai.

The event is designed to lead visitors from one delight to another with a series of activities highlighting the rich and distinctive cultures of ethnic groups in Sa Pa district, which comprises of Sa Pa town and the three communes of Ta Phin, San Sa Ho and Ta Van.

This year’s festival features for the first time a traditional pan-pipe dance contest, flute performance, ethnic dress fashion show and a mountain climb to conquer Ham Rong peak.

Le Manh Hao, Director of Sapa district’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that these activities not only entertain visitors but also draw their direct participation. Tourists can play the roles of the bride and groom in a traditional wedding of the Mong or try their hands at making some ethnic food and traditional crafts such as weaving and dying cloth or silver carving.

Ta Phin commune offers a programme letting visitors to live one day as a local farmer, staying at a house of the Dao Do ethnic family, cooking and eating traditional ethnic food, doing the daily activities of going into the forest to pick medicinal herbs and working in the field.

In Ta Van commune, which is 15 kilometres from Sapa town, visitors can witness the “Le cap sac” ceremony of Dao Do people. The ceremony, which has been preserved through many generations, is a kind of coming-of-age ritual for 13-year-old boys, after which the boys can join in big activities of the community.

Besides, the 2013 Sapa in the Cloud Festival includes the 6th Open Fansipan tennis tournament and a tourism-trade fair.-VNA