On January 5, 2019, Sai Duan village community, in cooperation with the People's Committee of Phin Ngan Commune and CIRUM, hosted the Opening Ceremony of the Red Dao Herbal Bath Service. Representatives of Phin Ngan Commune People's Committee, the Herbal Bath Service management team, representatives of 45 households in Sai Duan hamlet, neighboring villages, the management board of local secondary school, students and representatives of organizations in Phin Ngan commune took part in the event along with CIRUM staff.
The Service’s management team proudly shared the story of how the Service was built. They took visitors around to see their traditional-style building and the traditional way of using of herbs in treating diseases.
After visiting, nearly twenty people registered to use the Bath Service immediately. All claimed to feel refreshed after trying the herbal bath. Everyone highly appreciated the way the team prepared and instructed the guests before bathing.
Mr. Chao Hung Phoi - Phin Ngan Party Secretary described the feeling of taking the herbal bath, "The bath made me sweat. After that, I felt really good. I am also a Red Dao. I was born here so I know the value of medicine of the Red Dao well. I will often come here and recommend them to my friends."
The idea for the Service started when CIRUM advised the local people to grow white ginger as a new sustainable livelihood cash crop. Then, at the end of 2017, with the support of the commune government of Phin Ngan and CIRUM, the Red Dao community raised the idea of using this plant and other native herbs for treating diseases, drawing their indigenous knowhow and setting up the Herbal Bath Service.
Now that the construction of the bath house is complete, the community has established an operations and management team. The management team will be responsible for the Service, while the operations team will handle the herbal bath preparation and guests. This is a combined effort by the community to promote the use of herbal medicines of Red Dao people in Sai Duan village.
The Red Dao Herbal Bath Service has been a very convincing and impressive effort by local people and the authorities to create new jobs associated with forest management.
Let's look at some photos taken from the bathhouse
Herbal bath preparation
Bamboo Cups - made by Red Dao women
Opening the Herbal Bath Service
Afternoon in Sai Duan