CONSERVE ENVIRONMENTAL AND
HISTORICAL AREA OF OLD CARVING
Cai province is located in north west of Vietnam, adjacent to van nam
province, China in the north. Its total area is 8,045 km2
and total population is 600,000 with 27 ethnic minority groups. Especially
H’mong and Dao ethnic groups which have significant ethnic identities
account for the major.
Sapa is a highland district of Lao Cai province, a
famous resort of Vietnam with average heigth of 1,500m to 1,600m above
sea level. Sapa has a highest mountain (Fanxifang) in Vietnam with its
height of 3,143m. The district has plenty of traditions of 6 ethnic
groups especially H’mong and Dao ethnic groups which account for 78.2%
of district population (37,634 people).
Thanks to distinct character in geology, climate and
working tradition of local people, with natural area of 67,864 ha Sapa
is the place which has an attractive habitat, different ethnic culture
and rare plants and animals species in Vietnam and the world also exist
Therefore, in early 1920s French developed Sapa as
a resort and since 1990s Lao Cai people’s committee and Vietnamese government
has invested and called for foreign investment to build a holiday resort
in Sapa. Then more and more Vietnamese and climate, history and culture.
In recent years, the number of visitor has come to 20,000.
A long time ago, over 500 block of marble which were
sculptured with various shapes were discovered in muong hoa valley which
is 8 km far from Sapa town, along Hoa stream through Lao Chai, Hau Thao,
Ta Van And Su Pan communes.
Old carving stones were defined as a archaeological
relic which reflect various content such as food production, ethnic
war, natural landscape, forest, stair field, wild life, cattle, dancing,
musical instruments, housewares and human reproduction etc... But old
carving stone area has value of documentary and art in Vietnam and Asia.
Many Vietnamese scientists came to study it for a long time. In 1925,
a French scientist named Vgulubep conducted study tour in Sapa, then
more and more foreign scientists from France, UK, Germany, Russia, China,
us and Thailand come to
study. On 20th July 1994, Vietnamese Ministry of Culture
and Information issued the decision no 921/qd-bt recognising “Sapa old carving stone area as national
historical and culture heritage” and Vietnamese government submitted
the proposal of world heritage to unesco.
Although the old carving stone area is an ancient relic
with historical, cultural and art values at national and international
level, it does not bring into play its value to serve human interest
and it is being damaged over time.
Region: Lao Cai province
Nearest town: Sapa.
When the project starts?
3 months after receiving budget
What encouraged starting the project?
To conserve the relic with high values of history,
culture, nature and art. At present, these old carving stone stand in
open air, endure rain, storm and flood and it is in danger of being
broken by local people for exploiting construction materials. Due to
limited budget, district office of culture and information only has
fund to pay for an officer to look after the area.
To continue researching its background and old script
on these stones and understand their meaning in order to enrich local
ethnical history, culture, nature and art.
To develop tourism especially foreign tourists. In
1999, over 5,000 visitors came to visit there and it is estimated that
10,000 people will visit Sapa in this year.
To preserve nice landscape environment of the area
and strengthen cultural, historical exchange among ethnic groups in
Vietnam and between Vietnam and foreign countries.
Detail the outstanding characteristics of the project
To save an ancient cultural relic, enrich the values
of history, culture, natural environment and art for Sapa district,
Lao Cai province and six ethnic groups here such as H’mong (52.7%),
Dao (25.53%), Xa Pho (1.25%), Day (1.65%), Tay (5.27%), Kinh (13.6%)
and supplement great historical, cultural, natural environmental and
art values for Vietnam country and contribute to the world heritage.
To create favourable condition for exchange of history,
culture and art, and strengthen friendship and cooperation among ethnic
groups in Vietnam and between Vietnamese and foreign friends who come
to Sapa for study, visit and holiday.
Asian/International significance of the project
To conserve the old carving area and continue research
and enrich the historical, cultural, natural environmental and art values
and exchange culture among ethnic groups in Vietnam and between Vietnam
and international friends.
What is the long-term aim of your project?
To study and discover the historical, cultural, environmental
and art values of this relic to serve local residents and visitor who
live and come to visit, study and have holiday.
To strengthen the exchange of history, culture, natural
environment and art among 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam and between Vietnam
and countries in the world..
To develop Sapa attractive beauty spot for ecological
tourism and cultural exchange.
How much money has been spent on the project so far and where did this
money come from?
Sapa people’s committee and Lao Cai people’s committee
spent VND 14 billion (equal to US$ 10,000) to construct 8km road until
1999 and in 2000 they spent VND800 million to build more 4 km road and
hire a guardsman to look after the place.
How much more money is needed to complete the project?
VND 532,000,000 equal to US$ 38,000 (five hundred and
thirty two million dong equal to thirty eight thousand dollars).
In which part of
the project will we invest if the money is granted?
An Ethnic And International Cultural Exchange Center:
VND 80 million will be spent to building up which is component of:
An art team of 35 people (including manager) will be
formed to perform traditional show, and as a tourist guide for tourist
visitors in 3 languages: Vietnamese, Ethnic Language and English. This
team will be trained, buy musical instrument and costumes after being
To build a simple open-air stage to regularly organize
traditional cultural performance with translation into 3 languages.
To preserving remains of stones, on which ancient people
drew and sculptured: VND 355 million will be spent for activities which
are component of:
To build a road with 1000 m length and 1.2 m width
leading to the old carving stone place.
To build a protection roofs for big stones to avoid
rain and storm. They will make cement roofs for important stones and
palm with steel frame roofs for other stones.
To build cement fences, steel poles around the important
To plant and protect trees: VND 62 million will be
spent for local trees as ivory bamboo ... Along the road and in the
Other construction fee: VND 35 million will be spent
for project design, technical survey and planning design etc.
The description of the project including all objectives
The old carving stones area which has about 500 blocks
of stone is located in Muong Hoa valley, runs along mountains of Sapa
district, Lao Cai province, near poetic and spring stream. It was discovered
and has been taken care by local people for a long time.
Since Vgulubep - the first foreigner to come for study
69 years ago, in 1994 this area only has been recognised as national
relic by the government and got funding of
VND 1.5 billion to upgrade the road in order to conserve the
great value of the old carving stones area and develop ecological tourism
and study tours of archaeological scientists in Asia and the world.
We need a fund of VND 532 million to spend for upgrading and protection
of the ancient area, planting trees and building a cultural performance
team and guides for tourists. This is an initial project. In the long
term, the income of tourist resources will be important to develop the
historical carving stone area in Sapa district.
Prof. Trinh Ngoc Trinh, Director of HEDO
49 Dai Co Viet, Ha Noi, Vietnam
+84 4 8691223 / 8692502
+84 4 8692502
Organisation: Highland Education - Health - Science
Development Organisation (HEDO)
- A Vietnamese humanitarian non-governmental organisation