Ta Phin is a small, impoverished village in the mountainous northwest province of Lao Cai, Vietnam, populated mainly by ethnic minority groups. The rapid development of tourism in the village has contributed to inequality between neighbourhoods and the loss of ethnic traditions and livelihoods as villagers chase the tourist dollar. The Green Community House and Conservation Garden is situated in the poor neighbourhood of Sa Xeng, which has not yet seen many benefits from increased tourism. This architecturally-unique house will become a destination for tourists and villagers alike, providing a meeting place to make and sell traditional handicraft products and to host educational courses for the local community.
Ta Phin locates in a mountainous area within one of the poorest province of Vietnam (Laocai). Local population is mostly ethnic minority groups whose living conditions are underprivileged. With the development of tourism in recent years, the living standard of this village is increasing. However, this development only concentrates at a very central area, thus results in a significant difference between this area and other neighborhoods within the village.
Tourism also provokes a bad routine of local people: chasing tourists to persuade them to buy local products. This routine creates an unattractive image of the local people, and reduces the interest of tourists in the village.
Ta Phin is a northeast village of Sapa, a mountainous district of Lao Cai province situated in the eastern side of Hoang Lien Son range. Generally, the district could be divided into 5 ecological zones: high-mountain zone, upper wind-sheltered zone, upper wind-receiving zone, lower wind-sheltered zone, and lower wind-receiving zone. Ta Phin belongs to the upper wind-sheltered zone. With low average temperature and high precipitation, Ta Phin is suitable for growing temperate and sub-tropical crops such as apricot, plum, pear, peaches, various flower and medicinal plants. However, frost in winter and fire in dry season also damage cropping systems as well as forests, and result in loss of plant resources. Residence of ethnic groups like Dao and H’mong, furthermore, makes this village become an attractive site for tourism and research.