Each people has its own culture and when one visits any culture, one needs to understand alittle bit about that culture. As a famous proverb “when in Rome, do as Romans do” is always efficient to behave in a new culture. The following can help one realize some differences from his/her culture and match one’s to minorities’culture in Sapa.

A message from your host

We feel honoured by your visit and hope that it will be an opportunity for you to better understand our way of life, habits and culture.

Hopefully, if the language barrier and lack of time are not too much of an obstacle, we will be happy to answer your questions, welcome you to our modest homes and exchange cultural information with you. You wish to get to know us, but we too have a lot to learn about your way of life and habits, that sometimes seems just as strange to us as some of ours to you.

However, the sudden influx of tourists may have negative effects on our villages because many of our foreign guests are not aware of our sometimes complex customs. Certain attitudes or behaviours considered normal by you, may be considered shocking here and create problems and misunderstandings on both sides. This is why we would like to let you know a few basic rules.

You sometimes talk about “ethic tourism”, we prefer to talk about mutual respect.

– Drug consumption is forbidden here, we want to protect our youth from this terrible habit.

– Touching sacred objects, walking through sacred places is forbidden and offends us. Please, seek information.

– Being badly dressed, dirty or partly undressed is considered aggressive and disrespectful.

– Drinking in excess, speaking in a loud voice or shouting is considered aggressive.

– Public display of affection and kissing are considered immodest and offending behaviour.

– Ask permission before taking pictures of people, we will be happy to grant it. Do not give money if money is not asked.

– Do not buy antiques or ancient jewellery from local families: you would rob them of their heritage and history.

– Do not give to children, this would encourage begging. Prefer presents to parents or elders and thank them for their hospitality.

– The best way to thank us is to buy recently made handicrafts: although cheap for you they represent a lot of money for us.

– Always offer to pay if a villager provides a meal or accommodation.

– Always announce yourself before entering a house or a property, we will be happy to let you in.

– Do not encourage prostitution.


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