The Hmong were thought to be the original inhabitants of Sapa, and now make up around half the current population. A highlight for any visitor to this charming town is watching the colourful, traditionally dressed Black Hmong villagers wander into town to converge on the markets and ply their trade. Living in the valleys and villages around Sapa, their house are usually constructed from mud, wattle, bamboo and thatch. Their homes are surrounded by vats of indigo which is used to dye their clothing. Black Hmong people are of Chinese origin, and are thought to have immigrated to Vietnam at the end of the 18th century.