Existing Member?

Hay There

Bride Stealing-What you do when you really want a Bargain

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 26 August 2009 | Views [2893] | Comments [2]

August 26th, 2009

So last night I thought I found my story.
Tuong, our tour guide was giving us a history of Hang Kia, and he mentioned that they still practice bride stealing.

“How awesome would it be to find someone who is about ready to steal their bride and then film them doing it?” said Trent.

Yes, it would be awesome, but very, very difficult to pull it off during the twelve hours that we had left in the village. Eventually we settled for past tense and began asking around for people who had already stolen their brides. Tuong said that there was a woman in the high mountains who had been stolen against her will but no one else. I suggested that our hostess might have some smutty information.  Indeed she did. She was a stolen bride herself.

But sadly enough, this bride stealing thing isn’t like the Vietnam version of King Kong at all. It’s actually just a way to get around the dowry price or to elope if your parents aren’t supportive. The girls almost always want to get stolen.  I guess it makes sense.

Basically, you get a couple of your most thug-like friends and ambush your lady in the woods. Then you tie her up and take her to your house. After that, you send some of your friends to drop the news to her parents, who give the a-okay now that her female modesty has been tainted. During all of this, the girl works on a wedding dress in captivity for a couple of months. Once it’s done, then they can have the wedding.

It’s just a way to get around the parents. Some things transcend language and culture barriers.

I think I’m still going to keep my eyes open for another story. In a few minutes, we’ll be starting a seven-hour hike to Bao La, home of the White Thai People.  

You know what would make a good story-if we all recorded the amount we sweated and then compared and contrasted that amount in relation to individual body mass. The amount would be shocking, but the winner would not be. I think the winner would be *Shawn.

 *Name has been changed, but the problem is real.



Haha, fantastic writing!

  medmike347 Sep 11, 2009 12:46 AM


Your story reminded me of the stories that my parents use to us as kids. They would say that this type of age-old bride stealing tradition was very common around the time of the Hmong New year period, as this was the time when all the Hmong would gather to celebrate the new year with festivities, music, singing and ball throwing activities.

Although practices of bride-stealing do not really take place like this any more in the western world, it was an eye-opening story to know that such practices still take place in Vietnam.

  berriesnmangoes Feb 27, 2011 5:37 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About maranathahay

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Vietnam

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.