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Other names: Tho, Ngan, Phen, Thu Lao, and Pa Di


1,477,514 people


The Tay lives along the valleys and the lower slopes of the mountains in Cao Bang, Lang Son, Bac Kan, and Quang Ninh provinces. They also live in some regions of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces.

Customs & Habits

Ancestor worship is a religious rite of the Tay. The altars for the ancestors are in a central location in the house. The altar room is such a sacred place that guests is not allowed to sit on the bed in front of the altar. In addition, after giving birth, women can’t sit on the bed in front of the altar.

Tay villages are always at the foot of a mountain and are often pick a name after a mountain, field, or river. Each village contains about 15-20 households.


The Tay language belongs to Tay-Thai Group. There is a rich traditional folklore with all kinds of poems, songs, dances, and music. Tay songs include the “Hat Luon” (a kind of duet between lovers), wedding songs, and lullabies.


Tay women wear knee-length dresses, which are split at the right side with five buttons along the armpit, and narrow sleeves.


The Tay people have developed agricultural practices quite well and are able to cultivate all kinds of plants including rice, maize, and sweet potato.