The San Chay people (Vietnamese: Người Sán Chay; also called Cao Lan) live in Tuyên Quang Province of the Northeast region of Vietnam, as well as some nearby provinces. They speak a form of Tai languages.[2] Their population was 169,410 in 2009.

Many live in remote areas, using slash-and-burn agriculture because those areas are not flat enough for patty rice production.[3]

They sing sình cồ (love songs) and celebrate the Slếch thlin mảy festival (New Rice festival).


The San Chay have many sayings:

Rice is the most precious
Grain feeds human.
Literature is the secondly most precious
It teaches human knowledge for safe purpose.


  1. ^ "The 2009 Vietnam Population and Housing Census: Completed Results". General Statistics Office of Vietnam: Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee. June 2010. p. 134. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jean Michaud (19 April 2006). Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the Southeast Asian Massif. Scarecrow Press. pp. 257–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6503-7. 
  3. ^ Jean-Christophe Castella (2002). Doi Moi in the Mountains: Land Use Changes and Farmers' Livelihood Strategies in Bac Kan Province, Viet Nam. Int. Rice Res. Inst. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-971-22-0270-4. 

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