Cat Cat Village

By guide | WHERE TO GO

Apr 21

Nestled on the side of the hill, Cat Cat Village is surrounded by vast rice paddy and corn terraces. From the town center, it takes 10 minutes to get there by motorbike, which is the most common transportation in Vietnam and in Sapa as well. It is easy and affordable to rent a motorbike or hire a motorbike-taxi (xe om) in the town center. With 10 USD, you can get a motorbike for yourself for a whole day, but you have to pay for the gasoline. If you are afraid of riding a motorbike yourself, you can hop on a motorbike-taxi, which costs 4 USD for a one-way ride.  Moreover, the road to Cat Cat Village from the town center is easy for trekking and cycling as well; therefore, it is suitable for a short trekking/cycling tour, especially for people who are in a good shape. Since the distance is not a big deal, I would recommend that if it is a nice and dry day, you should walk to the village and slowly enjoy the beautiful scenery around you.

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Visiting Cat Cat Village, you will have a chance to see the pristine nature consisting of the lush vegetation and the stunning waterfall called CatScat in French. The waterfall is known to be discovered by the French in the beginning of 20th century. After that, the French started turning Cat Cat Village into their resort in Sapa. The waterfall in Cat Cat Village is not as big as Thac Bac Waterfall, but its beauty is absolutely worth your visit. Aside from the majestic grandeur of nature, visitors also are intrigued by the culture of the Black H’mong people in Cat Cat Village. Although the village has become more and more touristy, the Black H’mong people there still follow many of their old and traditional customs. A custom called “steal a wife” seems to be the most famous one, which literally means that when a guy falls in love with a girl, his friends and he will “steal” this girl and keep her for three days. And they will tie a knot right after the girl agrees to be the guy’s wife. Otherwise, everything will be back to normal and the guy continues his journey to “steal the right wife”.

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Besides interesting stories about the H’mong people’s unique customs, you will be drawn by their skills in sewing as well as making silver jewelry. You can buy some souvenirs at the local shops run by H’mong families. Since Cat Cat Village is getting touristy, aside from working on their farms many H’mong people starts selling handmade products for a living. Hence, upon arrival at the entrance of the village, you would feel as if you lost in a souvenir street. It is a bit disappointed to see Cat Cat Village gradually lose its authenticity.

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Last but not least, there are some handy tips before you start exploring Cat Cat Village

  •    Since Cat Cat Village is very near to the town center, you should choose some tours that include some nearby attractions such as Ham Rong Mountain, Thac Bac Waterfall, Ancient Rock Field or Ta Van Village. You can find the information on some reputable websites such as Triipme.com, Viator.com. Based on your schedule and preference, carefully and wisely choose a suitable tour for you.
  •    If you oft for a trek to Cat Cat Village, wear sturdy shoes even though the trekking route is quite easy. It sounds silly for an advice but don’t attempt to trek there during the rainy season.
  •    Even though some visitors choose to go to Cat Cat Village without a tour guide, I would suggest you do otherwise if it is your first time in Sapa. Not only it is inexpensive to hire a local guide but also you will learn a lot about the village through the local guide.
  •    If you are caught by a tout, just be tough and firmly say “no” because if you buy one from a tout, another tout will come and start peddling.

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