Winter 17/18 From Nà Hang to Phía Tháp
The next morning was the usual gray and cold one. Not too cold but enough to wear the windproof jacket. Today I had to cross a few mountain ranges to get to the northern part of Northeast Vietnam or Đông Bắc. Looking forward to seeing a lot of limestone mountains again.
Incense production in Phía Tháp has a long tradition. The Nung An people of the village hand down the incense making craft from generation to generation. The whole family is involved.
The Phía Tháp Incense is made entirely from natural material found in the region. Bamboo trees to make the sticks. The bark of the bombax ceiba tree, sawdust, and leaves of the “bau hat” tree to make the glue to bond the materials together.
First, you cut the bamboo into pieces that are about 40 cm long. After that, you split it into fine sticks and polish them. The “bau hat” leaves and the bark of the bombax ceiba tree get ground into a fine powder. It has to be mixed very well with sawdust. The bamboo sticks get soaked in water and coated with powdered “bau hat” leaves to create the glue. Now you only have to apply the mix you made earlier. Now it is time to dry them.
When dry the bottom part gets dyed red and the whole stick is dried again. Now you only need to tied them into a bundle and you are ready to sell them!
Mr. Kim’s Homestay in Phía Tháp
There is only a hand full of places to stay up here in the far northeast of Vietnam. So I made Mr. Kim’s Homestay my base for the next few days. The whole upper floor is a big sleeping room and a family shrine. There are 3 double rooms up there as well if you want more privacy. The rest can be diverted with curtains and you will have a mattress on the wood floor.
There are a few bathrooms and hot showers at the back of the house. Downstairs is the kitchen and dining room as well as the rooms of the family.
You can book your room or room or mattress at booking.com!
Had the best dinners of the whole trip here at Mr Kim! Each day it was really good and plenty. And you will not go to bed hungry.
The owner of the place – Mr. Kim – is 61 and never saw hail before. So you can imagine. Some of the roof tiles got smashed so the whole place got flooded later. Today we cleaned a lot and fixed the roof.
I drove 224 kilometers in 7 hours, 19 minutes with gas and food stops.
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