Pu Luong Natural Reserve in Thanh Hoa has recently been considered as one of the best destinations in Vietnam with the unique natural scenery. Pu Luong is located in the two districts of Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc, it is about 130 km northwest of Thanh Hoa City. Pu Luong is famous for the wild nature, hidden in the fog like the garden hanging high.
The best time to visit Pu Luong is around the period between June and October, when rice plants are all ripe on the terraced fields on the hillside, creating a peaceful and romantic beauty for Pu Luong. However, visitors can come here in any season of the year to relax with cool atmosphere covered by fog all year round in some highland villages.
Visitors can completely travel to mountainous areas in Vietnam in general and Pu Luong in particular by car, but the favorite means of transportation of the young generation now is usually a motorbike. By riding a motorbike, you can also easily trek to small and remote villages in the reserve.
In order to explore Pu Luong, visitors will have to cross the old, dark, mysterious forests and overcome the rugged, winding streets. From these boulevards, tourists can zoom out to see the high mountains, the local villages, the unique stilt houses hidden in the midst of green forests.
Along the trails, visitors will come to the Hieu Village, Don Village, Kho Muong Village, etc. There, the serene stilt houses stay close to each other, they are all surrounded by the rice paddy fields that do not stretch to the horizon as in Mu Cang Chai but has a humble and simple beauty, which makes Pu Luong deserve to be a great tourist attraction in any North Vietnam group tours.
In addition, visitors also have a great chance explore the traditional cultural activities of the Thai, Muong ethnic groups. This has definitely created the real value for Pu Luong. Besides, visitors are all highly suggested to enjoy the unique local specialties such as Co Lung duck, chickens, stream fish, wild pigs, etc.
The most popular trip when coming to Pu Luong is to walk through the core area of the reserve, camp overnight in Don Village, enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Cham stream, which flows between the Ban Cong Valley and Ba Thuoc District.
To admire the whole beauty of Pu Luong in golden rice season, you can go in the following directions:
- If you are in Hang Village, you can move to Kho Muong. Meanwhile, if you are in Hin Village, you go to the Villages of Son, Ba, Muoi. Those are places where you can watch the stretching golden rice terraced fields.
- Another journey for those who want to challenge themselves after finishing to watching Pu Luong rice paddies is to climb the Pu Luong Mountain. At the height of 1,700 m altitude, you will cross the forest so as to camp at the mountain peak. On the next day, you can get up early to watch the sunrise in the peaceful space. This will undoubtedly be one of the interesting and memorable experiences for you during your North Vietnam group tour.
While in other mountainous areas, water wheels have almost no longer appeared, here, the water wheels still rotate from day till night, bringing water from the rivers to the canals and flowing the water system to the rice paddy fields far away.
On the way back to Hanoi, you can stop by to visit the May Waterfall in Thach Lam, Thach Thanh – the special place to go in Northern Vietnam. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the central areas.
May Waterfall is on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, near Cuc Phuong National Park. This waterfall falls from the top of Mount Thach lam, at an altitude of 100 m. The waterfall has 9 steps over each other, which create a soft current of water. There are no signs on the way to reach this waterfall, so you have to use Google maps or ask the directions from the local people here.
Once you arrive, let’s spend some time diving, jumping into the waterfall. Or else you can just simply sit quietly to enjoy the fresh air or listen to the sound of water falling down before returning to Hanoi.