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.
Dress in long trousers or skirt with T-shirt
Touching Sacred objects
Touching sacred objects or walking through sacred places is forbidden as it is offensive to ethnic minority people
Public display of affection
Public display of affection and kissing are considered immodest and offending behavior
Offer to pay
Always pay if a villager provides a meal or accommoda
Do not buy from children
Do not buy from children because this encourages begging, a small gift should only be given to elders in return for some services or a sign of appreciation for hospitality.
Inside a house
Only go inside a house when you are invited. Take off your shoes or sandals.Small gifts or fruits from local market are always welcomed.
Do not solicit or encourage prostitution in Sapa
Do not buy antique or ancient jewellery from local families. You rob their heritage and history.