Located in Muong Hoa valley with an area of about 8 km2, Sapa ancient rock field spreads out on the territory of Ta Van commune, Hau Thao commune and Su Pan Commune. Situated right on the winding path along with steep mountain, the ancient rock field consists of 159 multi-shaped boulders scattered in the trees, adjacent the road or among rice paddies... Hearing the stories and legends, and witnessing these rocks, tourists will be certainly surprised at artificial wonders which existed for centuries without any satisfactory answer yet. This ancient rock field is gradually becoming an appealing attraction in Sapa thanks to its special significance.
Sapa, Lao Cai is an enchanting destination for both domestic and international tourists by moderate climate and beautiful scenery. At an elevation of 1,650 m above sea level, Sapa captivates and glamours tourists thanks to fourth seasons exchanging within one day and the rice terraces submerging in the cloud under majestic Fansipan Mountain. It also preserved the mysterious ancient cultural characteristics. Interspersing among the immense terraced rice fields of Dao and Hmong ethnic people is the ancient rock field with unique carvings. With more than 150 multi-shaped boulders scattering in the region, the ancient rock field is the remnant of prehistoric humans.
Among impressive attractions in Sapa, this ancient rock was discovered in 1925 by French archaeologist in Hoa (Flower) Streams. Prominent on the rocks are unique carved decorative motifs of human figures, rice terraces, stilt-houses or even traces of writing. According to some historical and ethnographic documents, all of the carvings are very concise and explicit on pristine era when human beings are totally dependent on the nature. The carvings on rocks are relatively simple, yet deciphering these is still a challenge for researchers. It is believed that each brushstroke stored a story about the life, living and culture of the ancient.
Regarding the indigenous people, the complex of Sapa ancient rock is "heaven library" - the biggest book of their own ancestors. These rocks concentrated in two large yards. The first one is located next to Ban Pho Village, a Hmong people's village at the end of Hoa (Flower) stream. The number of rocks here is not too many, yet they are the biggest ones in the field, with the length of up to 12m. Some large rocks retained dense and varied carvings. The rest of rock yard is situated in the bordering of Hau Thao commune and Lao Chai commune. It is the largest area with over 100 blocks of different size. In particular, there are some carvings appearing only once. This is one of the distinctive features adorning Sapa tourism.
Though Sapa is not the only region detecting these boulders, this is still a wonderful thing for Vietnam. It proves that the ancient people had firmly clung on the land, conquering the nature for survival and development. In terms of the concentrations of the rocks, the carved rocks in Ta Van deserve to be top rank. 159 boulders with their crisp carvings, handwriting in the form of early and relatively complete are considered as 159 most ancient steles in Vietnam. Looking closely at the boulders, tourists can recognize the shapes of square, rectangular, singlet lines, parallel lines and cross ones, human figures, animals, and daily activities...
Foreign tourists, especially the French, once participating in Sapa travel often take much time to contemplate and compare with the carved stone monuments in Sereda Capivara (Brazil), Boyne (Ireland), Matopo (Zimbabwe) or at some areas in the immense sandy Sahara desert. For the Vietnamese tourists, visiting Sapa ancient rock field is to look for intensive knowledge on ancient culture compared with carvings on stone, animal horns or on the metal artifacts having been discovered across the country. Sapa ancient rock field is one of the precious natural heritages, not only conveying the pristine beauty of the land but also strong attracting tourists. It deserves to be one of the bright spots and the most appealing tourist attractions in Sapa tourism.