Hill people keep nation fragrant

vietnamnews Update: October, 28/2017 – 08:00

Adherent: Villagers use natural adhesive to glue the powdered herbs together.
Phia Thắp is a small community of  50 homes in the northern border province of Cao Bằng. Besides agriculture, the tiny mountain hamlet is well-known for makingr incense, an ancient trade passed down for hundreds of years. Everyone in the community, from grandmothers to children, take pride in the trade.
Phia Thắp incense is a popular brand in this part of the country. The incense is hand-made from 100 per cent natural ingredients. The sticks are made from split bamboo. Locals collect special herbs in the mountains and grind them to make a powder. They later add it to pine powder and add colour. The final step is to put the wet incense out under the sun to dry.
The incense provides a subtle but distinctively pleasant aroma, which retains the fragance smell of agarwood.

With the development of community-based tourism in the region in recent years, the tiny village of Phia Thắp has been a popular destination among many domestic and international tourists.
Visitors are not only welcome to spend the time with local families and admire the pristine natural mountain landscape they may also take part in making incense.  — VNS
Taking part: A foreign visitor learns how to make incense with a local woman.
Powdered fragrance: Incense is entirely handmade with all natural ingredients.
Out to dry: A woman puts incense under the sun to dry.
Ancient art: A woman makes sticks out of bamboo in her front yard. — VNA/VNS Photos Đoàn Tùng