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    Located in the far north of Vietnam, this border town with China is just a stopover point in your discovery of the breathtaking Tonkin, including the famous Sapa mountain resort and the mountain town of Bac Ha.

    Lao Cai is known to be the terminus of the train that takes you from Hanoi to the fabulous mountains of northern Vietnam, home to many ethnic minorities.

    History of Lao Cai

    Once the province of Lao Cai was a dangerous territory where the Black Flags, hordes of bloodthirsty pirates, were rampant. It was the French who at the end of the 19th century pacified this mountainous region with the creation of the Indochina and Yunnan railways. This 860 kilometre long railway line, called the Trans-Indochina Railway, was used to link the port of Haiphong in Vietnam to the city of Kunming in Yunnan. Many Chinese and Vietnamese workers died on the job, suffering from inhumane working conditions. Inaugurated on April 1sof 1910, the line was then under Chinese control after the Second World War and is still active today. The history of Lao Cai is intimately linked to that of this railway line and to the development of Sapa, the high altitude climatic station that came into being at the end of the 19th century.

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