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Cupid’s arrow hasn’t left Den Sang stream

If Sapa is the most famous tourist spot in Lao Cai Province, then maybe Bat Xat is the new rising star of this northern mountainous province.

And when visiting this most primitive area, the Den Sang love stream is a must if you have a romantic bone in your body.
The culture of the love market is maybe now a thing of the past but you can still take in the innocent beauty in the mountainous area of Den Sang. It is the perfect venue for ethnic or foreign couples alike.

To find the love stream in Den Sang Commune, Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province, we had to pass a treacherous road. From the center of Bat Xat District, we had to suffer a 40km pass with shaking sections and muddy sections which go through four communes including Ban Vuoc, Muong Vy, Ban Xeo, Muong Hum and Sang Ma Sao.

After the bumpy ride, we were compensated by the poetic surroundings of Den Sang with the murmurs of the stream and the melodies of birds flying tree to tree.
And once we reached our goal it was well worth it. Den Sang love stream with all its mystery and enchantment. The stream gently winding around the green valley studded with large rocks and wild banana tress. I think people call it love stream as it is the love of nature and embracing get-together of locals in four communes: Y Ty, Den Sang, Muong Hum and Nam Pung.
Tan Phu Chin, of the Tay ethnic race, said he couldn’t imagine life without the stream, where he has witnessed many love stories. But he also said it is a place for relaxation for local farmers, who often take a rest on the rocks under the shade after a hard day’s work.
The myth of the love stream is that young girls would sing songs to the opposite sex whilst hidden in the dark. If a boy found the girl and they were a good match they would disappear into the woods for three days, some coming back married.
On Thursday, though, it is more for young couples to sit at the stream where they sing and talk together. There is no trading allowed on the stream, but on Thursday and Sunday evenings, young people gather to sing and dance together and it is also an entertainment site for villagers.
Sao, a local, said: “The stream is a part of my destiny as I met my wife at the stream and we dated there.”
The stream now is not only a venue for lovers but also for middle-age people who gather to share stories about life, to exchange how to do business and bolster character building for young generations. For older people it is a place for memories.

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