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Area: 6,383.9 km²
Population: 674.5 thousand (2015).
Provincial capital: Lao Cai city.
Districts: Muong Khuong, Bat Xat, Bac Ha, Bao Thang, Sa Pa, Bao Yen, Van Ban, Si Ma Cai.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), H'Mmong, Tay, Dao, Thai ...

Natural conditions

Lao Cai is a border province in the north, Yunnan province in the north, Lai Chau province in the west, Ha Giang province in the east, Yen Bai and Son La provinces in the south.

Lao Cai is rich in diverse forms, with valley topography, low mountainous terrain, high mountainous terrain and very high peaks like Mount Fansipan - the rooftops of the country 3,143m high. Lao Cai has 107 streams running through the province, with three main river systems: the Red River (120km long through Lao Cai), Chay River (124km in length), Nam River Mu (length running through the province is 122km).

Climate Lao Cai is a tropical monsoon characterized by mountains, cold winters, low rainfall, hot summer rains. Lao Cai also has many different sub-regions. The highlight of the Lao Cai organism is biodiversity. The province has more than 2,000 species of plants, 442 kinds of birds, animals, reptiles, frogs. Of which there are 60 species found only in Lao Cai, 9 species found only in Sa Pa. Lao Cai has a treasure trove of rare and precious genetic resources (accounting for nearly 50% of rare and precious plant species in our country).

Cultural history

Lao Cai originated from the name of the ancient town "Lao Nhai" meaning "Old Town". July 12, 1907, Lao Cai province was established, the name of the ancient city became the name of Lao Cai province. During the construction of the country, Lao Cai is an important political and economic center in the upper Red River. Many historians believe that Lao Cai is the home of Thuc Phan An Duong Vuong. In the feudal period, Lao Cai was the site of Thuy Vi, Chau Van Ban and a part of Chieu Tan, Qui Hoa, Hung Hoa province. On July 12, 1907, Lao Cai was established, consisting of Thuy Vi, Bao Thang, Muong Khuong, Bat Xat, Phong Tho, Bac Ha and Sa Pa. In 1955 Phong Tho district moved to Thai Meo Autonomous Region, later to belong to Lai Chau Province. On 1/1/1976, the three provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Nghia Lo were merged into Hoang Lien Son province. On October 1, 1991, Lao Cai province was re-established.

Potential for economic development and tourism

Lao Cai ethnic groups have created and preserved hundreds of cultural and historical relics. Highlights of ancient stone carvings, with engravings on maps, scripts and human figures dating back thousands of years in Muong Hoa valley (Sa Pa). Relic of worshiping Hoang Bay a general with the protection of the post-Le dynasty is worshiped as "National Guard," temple relics Thuong - worshiping Tran Hung Dao Tran Dynasty was built from the Le Trung Hung era. Chai Hoa (1680-1705), Victory Monument of Pho Thang ... especially Lao Cai also has a system of caves miraculously become beautiful landscapes, attracting a lot of tourists visit as Thuy Tien (Bat Xat), Ta Phoi (Cam Duong), Tien - Trung Do (Bac Ha), Xuan Quang (Bao Thang).

The nature of Lao Cai also creates beautiful landscapes such as Ham Rong - a small "Thach Lam" in Sa Pa ancient stone beach with thousands of stone blocks with hundreds of pictures. Or the magnificent Phan Xi Pang - rooftop of the Fatherland is a museum of living of endemic flora and fauna ...

Lao Cai with rich mineral resources, with over 31 types of minerals distributed in 130 mines. At present, Lao Cai is regarded as a rich province with minerals, with apatite, copper and iron reserves in the region and the world.

Religious nation

Lao Cai has 27 ethnic groups living. There are 194,666 people in the Kinh group, 122,825 people in the H'Mong minority group, 82,516 people in the Tay ethnic group, 72,543 people in the Dao group, 51,061 people in the Thai ethnic group, 24,360 people in the Giay ethnic group, 23,156 people in the Nung ethnic group There are 6,763 people in the Phu La ethnic group, 3,799 people in the Hui ethnic group, 2,134 people in the Lao ethnic group, 1,691 people in the Khanh ethnic group, 1,572 people in the La Ha ethnic group, 1263 people in the Mu family, and 1.148 in the Y group. There are 770 people in the Hoa ethnic group, 446 people in the La ethnic group, and 11 ethnic minorities in the population of less than 70 people, such as the ethnic minority of San Chay, San Diu, Khmer, Lo Lo, Ca Doong, Pa Co De, Gie Trieng, Gia Rai, Cham, Ka Tu. Lao Cai has the ethnic group accounting for 50% of the total national ethnic groups, so the outstanding characteristics of Lao Cai ethnic culture is multi-ethnic culture, rich in identity. In the lowlands, the Tay, Thai, Giay, Nung, clear the valley along the river, along the stream, creating the traditional wet rice culture. In the middle, the Khang, La Ha, Phu La ... create a culture of swidden with many indigenous knowledge suitable for the hill economy. In the highlands, the H'Mong, Ha Nhi, Dao invade the mountainside into terraced fields north to sky majestic. The diversity and richness of culture is reflected in both material and non-material culture.

There are 34 types of clothing with different colors and materials. New preliminary survey Lao Cai has nearly 100 dances, there are 10 families with 11 different types of musical instruments. 

Especially, the festival treasure in Cai is very special. The rich type of festival. There is a meeting for the season, Assembly associated with the worship of the god of the sun, water, nature, forest protection. It has the meaning of education traditional history against foreign aggression, highlighting the cultural identity of the ancient Vietnamese. The scale of the festival is also diverse, with the size of the village community; They have the size of the region (Cao Dau Temple in Pha Long Muong Khuong, Roong Giay people in Sa Giay in Ta Van, Sa Pa ...), but there are associations of the whole province such as the temple in Hoang Bay temple in Bao Ha ... festival time also spread all 4 Spring, Summer, Fall, East. In particular, unlike the plain provinces, the summer in the upland villages of Lao Cai is also the festival season. This feature is very favorable for the development of cultural tourism.


Lao Cai is a gateway province in the north-western corner of the country with 203km of border with China, strategically important in terms of economy, politics, security and defense. Lao Cai is located at the "bridgehead" linking Yunnan province and the vast Southwest of China with the northern delta. Lao Cai has good transportation conditions, including waterways, roads and railways. On the territory of Lao Cai province, there are 3 national highways, 6 provincial roads and motorways that have reached communes, wards and townships. The Red River is an ancient and feudal artery.