Thon Tha Village – Homestay experience & 4 best things to do

Thon Tha Village, nestled near Ha Giang City, offers a captivating glimpse into the traditional life of the Tay ethnic minority. With its charming stilt houses, lush rice fields, and warm local hospitality, the village beckons travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience in the heart of northern Vietnam.
In this guide:

Highlights of Thon Tha Village

Visiting Thon Tha, a small Tay ethnic minority village located near Ha Giang city, will bring you back into the past. The village’s predominantly traditional stilt houses, where livestock such as pigs and buffaloes are sometimes sheltered beneath, reflect an earlier era. The Tay people wear their distinctive traditional attire, further immersing you in their cultural heritage.

stilt houses of Tay minority between the rice fields in Thon Tha Village

The village’s immediate surroundings are equally captivating, featuring expansive rice fields, rolling hills, and grazing water buffaloes. The local minorities can often be observed tending to the fields using age-old tools and employing water buffaloes to plow the rice paddies. A visit to Thon Tha provides an authentic and indigenous encounter, making it a valuable addition to any Ha Giang trip.

How to get there

Thon Tha Village is located around 5 km outside the city center of Ha Giang. You first need to travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang City by either sleeper bus at night or limousine bus during the day. Some bus companies offer drop-offs directly at Thon Tha Village, but if not, you can request to be let off near a taxi. The remaining 5 km to the village can be conveniently covered by taxi.

Best things to do in Thon Tha Village

1. Stay in a homestay

One of the best way to experience the ethnic village life is staying in one of the homestays here. During the day you can explore the village and area, at night you enjoy a family dinner and talk to the ethnic host and family to learn about their culture and in the morning you wake up by the sound of farm animals.

2. Walk around the village

view from the mountain over the stilt houses of Tay ethnic people in Thon Tha Village

As you stroll through the village, you’ll come across charming ethnic houses on stilts. Some houses are accompanied by wandering farm animals, and occasionally, a buffalo might leisurely tread along the streets. Immerse yourself in the local culture as villagers go about their daily routines, often dressed in traditional clothes.

3. Explore the countryside

green terraced rice fields around Thon Tha Village in Ha Giang

Exploring the countryside is effortless, given that the village is nestled amidst lush rice fields. Certain homestays offer direct views of these picturesque fields. You don’t need to walk far, but if you desire more extensive walks, you have the option to venture uphill for a panoramic vista of the entire village. Additionally, a short distance away, you’ll encounter terraced rice fields.

4. Take a dip at the waterfall

Ha Giang waterfall between jungle

About 3.5 km from the village is waterfall number 6, named after its distance from Landmark 0. An hour’s walk or an 8-minute motorbike ride leads to this delightful spot. Although during the dry season the waterfall seems considerably less, the abundant water flow during the summer months makes it a refreshing oasis. And these warm months also make it the perfect place to take a dip in the natural pool.

Homestays in Thon Tha Village

Homestays in Thon Tha Village offer a delightful way to enhance your experience compared to staying in a conventional hotel in Ha Giang City. Not only do they provide an authentic and enjoyable stay, but they also contribute to the local ethnic community while granting you valuable insights into their distinctive culture.

Mr. Thien’s Thon Tha Homestay

Born in 1982 in Thon Tha village, Mr. Thien, a Tay ethnic minority member, invites you to experience his homestay where you can learn about the Vietnam War through his simple English and lively gestures. His family’s warmth, the surrounding rice fields, and limestone mountains ensure an unforgettable stay.

Mr. Nghiem and Mrs. Dung’s Homestay

Join Mrs. Đựng, a spirited participant of YESD’s English class, at her homestay. Though language may be a barrier, her eagerness to connect and her humorous approach make for a heartwarming stay. Utilize Google Translate’s help and immerse yourself in her welcoming world.

Mr. Cay’s Thon Tha Homestay

Cay's Homestay in Ha Giang

Mr. Cay’s homestay is your gateway to a multi-generational household comprising four happy generations. While language might be a challenge, Mr. Cay’s geniality knows no bounds. Choose between a cozy dorm or a private bungalow and indulge in a traditional herbal bath renowned for its curative properties.

Combing the Ha Giang Loop and Thon Tha Village

A stay in Thon Tha Village can be combined with the Ha Giang Loop. Consider this sample itinerary:

  • Begin by taking an early morning limousine bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang City.
  • Arrive around 1 PM, either in Ha Giang City or directly at Thon Tha Village.
  • Check in at your chosen homestay in Thon Tha Village and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
  • Spend the afternoon immersing yourself in the village atmosphere and exploring the surrounding picturesque countryside.
  • In the evening, savor a delightful family dinner and spend the night at the homestay.
  • The next morning, embark on your Ha Giang Loop adventure as you’re picked up to start the journey.

This itinerary can be added tour our Ha Giang loop tour, including transfers from Hanoi to Thon Tha Village and an overnight in a local homestay.

Tips for visiting the village

  • Respect local culture: Thon Tha Village is a traditional ethnic minority community. Be respectful of their customs, traditions, and way of life. Ask for permission before taking photos of people or their property.
  • Pack essentials: Bring essentials like insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes, and a flashlight. The village roads can be uneven, and a flashlight might be handy for nighttime walks.
  • Cash: There are not ATMs in the village, so bring enough cash for your stay and any purchases you plan to make.
  • Language barrier: English proficiency might be limited in the village. Simple Vietnamese phrases or a translation app can be helpful for communication.
  • Local cuisine: Embrace the local food offered by your homestay. You might get a chance to try traditional dishes. Be open to new flavors and experiences.
  • Support local economy: Purchase handicrafts or local products if you’re interested. Your purchases directly support the community.

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