With a population of about 8,000 persons, the La chi chiefly live in Xin Man district (Ha Giang province) and Muong Khuong and Bac Ha districts (Lao Cai province). Their other names are Cu Te, Tho Den and La Qua, Their language belongs to the Kadai Group.
The La chi grow wet rice in terraced fields. The families raise buffaloes, horses, goats, poultry and fish but not oxen in the old habit. La chi women have a long-standing tradition in weaving and indigo dyeing.
The La chi live a sedentary life, forming villages, in which each family owns a stilted house as the living quarter and an adjoining mud house as the kitchen. The house on stilts has three apartments and only one stairway near the kitchen. The ancestral altar is in the largest apartment.
The La chi attire is simple and elegant. Men wear five - paneled dress falling down below the knees (nowadays they are shorter), wide trousers and head turbans. The women usually wear a four-paneled dress with a waist belt and a bra, a long turban, a pair of trousers or a jupe. Ornaments are bracelets for men and bracelets and earrings for women. La chi women used to carry a pack over their forehead, no matter it is made of cloth or bamboo plaits, while men carry shoulder baskets.
Each family lineage has its own drums and gongs used in ritual ceremonies, conducted by the head of the lineage. Children take the family name of their fathers. As wedding presents, the groom's family has to offer an amount of money as the cost of the girl's upbringing.
Every year, the La chi hold periodical ceremonies in accordance with the lunar calendar, to provide rice seeds for the entire village, to open the store to invoke the soul of the rice seeds, to celebrate the completion of the cropping season, the new rice ritual and the 7th lunar month and New Year festivals of which the 7th lunar month festival is the biggest and the merriest. There are many old tales about the founder of this ethnic group-Old Hoang Din Thung and Pu Lo To who created different genres and species and taught people about natural phenomena and habits and customs. Young boys and young girls like to sing nica songs. Musical instruments include drums, gongs, the 3-stringed zithers (dan tinh) and lip-organs using tree leaves. Popular games at festivals are con throwing, top spinning, swinging and merry-go-round held in vast terrain's for crowded participants.