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Hill people keep nation fragrant

Cao Bang, October 31 (VNS/VNA) - Phia Thap is a small community of 50 homes in the northern border province of Cao Bang. Besides agriculture, the tiny mountain hamlet is well-known for making incense, an ancient trade passed down for hundreds of years. 

Everyone in the community, from grandmothers to children, take pride in the trade. 

Phia Thap incense is a popular brand in this part of the country. The incense is hand-made from 100 percent 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 fragrance smell of agarwood. 

With the development of community-based tourism in the region in recent years, the tiny village of Phia Thap 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.