The opening ceremony of the Bac Ha Plateau Festival held in Bac Ha town, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, on June 1. (Photo: VNA)

Lao Cai (VNA)
– An opening ceremony of the Bac Ha Plateau Festival was held in Bac Ha town, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, on June 1.

The highlight of the festival is a horse race, slated for June 7-8 at Bac Ha town’s stadium, featuring the competition of jockeys from Lao Cai and the neighbouring provinces of Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, and Lai Chau.

Following the opening ceremony, a street festival was held, gathering more than 500 artists from communes in Bac Ha district, along with a parade of 20 outstanding jockeys of the northwest region and the participation of a group of old cars from the Volkswagen car club.

Later the same day, a rose and wine fest took place at Hoang A Tuong Palace. Visitors to the fest were treated with more than 50 traditional dishes and a traditional and modern art programme performed by Vietnamese and foreign artists.

The festival, which takes place from May 31 to June 9, aims to promote the unique cultural value and tourism potential of Bac Ha district to visitors from both at home and abroad, thus lifting Bac Ha as an attractive tourism destination in Vietnam’s northern region.

Bac Ha town is famous for its rural market every Sunday, which is not only a trading place, but also a venue for cultural exchange among local people. The horse market is held as part of the Sunday market; the Bac Ha horse is praised as one of the most beautiful types of horse in Vietnam.

The horse race is a unique traditional cultural practice of ethnic groups living on the "White Plateau". Organised annually since 2007, the race has been established as a most-expected sporting event of the locals and visitors to the town. - VNA