Vietnam is home to 54 different ethnic groups, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most culturally complex and diverse countries

The predominant ethnic group is the Kinh (Viet) people who make up a large part of the population. The remaining 8.5 million people belong to different ethnic minority groups mainly concentrated in the border areas in the western part of the country.

Unique culture and history

Though there are some similarities between these ethnic groups, each group has its own unique culture and history. Western understanding of its origin, distribution, subdivisions and cultural characters of the minority groups is incomplete and the rules of classification vary, with for example Vietnamese, Chinese, French and British referring to the same groups by different names.

Ethnic groups are largely classified based on linguistic criteria, with subdivisions being made according to three major language families: Austroasiatic, Austronesian and Sino-Tibetan. However, the language system is extensive and complex, and many local dialects exist. Furthermore, minority groups who share the same language have distinct beliefs and customs. Attempts to classify groups cannot be based on language alone, and differences in dialect, relationships, geographical position, altitude of settlement, socio-political structure and traditional dress must also be taken into consideration.

Meet the minorities

Below you will find a list of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups and more detail about the customs and way of life of the people residing in the area around Sapa. During your stay you will have the chance to meet people from some of the different minority groups, particularly if you book a tour that includes trekking to some of the nearby villages.

Black H’mong minority of Sapa, Vietnam

Red Dao minority of Sapa, Vietnam

Tay minority of Sapa, Vietnam

Xa Pho minority of Sapa, Vietnam

Giay minority of Sapa, Vietnam

Få seneste nyt fra Vietnam by Topas

When traveling to Vietnam with Topas you get:


Topas is with you all the way, we have as the only Danish travel agency, own offices, hotels and logistics in Vietnam and it for 20 years.


Topas in Denmark and Vietnam deliver a high level of service, from thorough departure information, direct contact while you are traveling and until you are well back in Denmark.


As a traveler with Topas, your journey is covered by the Travel Guarantee Fund. Topas is also a member of the Danish Travel Agency Association