Travel Tips to Moc Chau

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Moc Chau, a big plateau in Son La province 180km from Hanoi, has a shared border with Laos of 40.6km. Moc Chau is very popular among Vietnamese travelers because of its poetic landscapes with endless grass fields, huge gardens of plum and apricot trees as well as peaceful countryside atmosphere. The habitants of the plateau are mostly of 12 ethnic groups, namely Thai people (33%) and Muong people (18%.)

Photo: tuannguyentravel.com

1/When to travel?

If you just simply want to have a change of air, an escape from the crowded and noisy cities of the modern world, then Moc Chau will be welcoming your tired souls at any time. However, there are several occasions of the year when you can truly enjoy the unique beauty of Moc Chau, according to the seasons.

Suggested time to travel to Moc Chau

  • Before and after Lunar New Year is the season of peach blossoms and plum blossoms.
Photo: mocchautourism.com
  • Around March is the time when white orchids bloom. In addition, on March 26, there is also Hết Chá festival of the Thái people.
Photo: thegioidisan.vn
  • Early September is the Independence Day of the Mông people.
Photo: zing.vn
  • November is the time when cauliflowers paint the hills pure white.

    Photo: Google Image
  • December is the season of marigold flowers, you will meet them everywhere along Highway 6.
Photo: news.zing.vn

2/Destinations

And here comes our most awaited part: where to go? Below is some suggestions you may find interesting: 

2.1/Thung Cuông Village (Thông Cuông)

Thung Cuông (Thông Cuông) is a Hmong village located between two communes of Đông Sang of Moc Chau and Xuân Nha of Vân Hô. The pathway to Thung Cuông has its two sides decorated with vast valleys of white cauliflowers. Between the flowers are lines of plum trees waiting for spring to come, along with waves of mountains creating a magnificent scene of nature.

Photo: cungphuot.info

This is also one of the favourite wedding photography spots of young people. The local people let themselves be absorbed into the gentle arms of nature, the children cycling home when school is over creates such a happy and joyous scene. Meanwhile, the travelers become so hurry in the scare that if they are too slow such incredible scene will disappear into the old books of fairy tales.

Photo: tuannguyentravel.com
2.2/Pa Phách Village

The top of Pa Phách is a village of the Thái people. The bottom of Pa Phách includes three villages: Pa Phách 1,Pa Phách 2 and of the Mông people. The village Pa Phách 1 belongs to Đông Sang Ward.

The road to Pa Phach is quite dangerous, simultaneously passing through upright slopes that sweat you out, and on the top is the view of a blue sky of plum trees, peach trees… and a few Mông’s houses hidden in the forest. On the other side, the plateau Moc Chau extends its arms full of green grass, young corn, and some dairy cattle grazing the green grass… Especially, the climate is very cool and in the afternoon, the fog will escalate everywhere and make you feel like drowning in the ocean of fog.

Photo: thongtindulichthungnai.blogspot.com
2.3/Rừng thông bản Áng (Pine forest of Áng Village)

Located on Moc Chau Plateau, Áng Village does not just own the fresh and cool climate and the romantic scenery, but also has the preserved cultural treasures of the Thái people.

From Moc Chau Farm Town, following Highway 43 about 2km to the South is Áng village. From above, Áng Village is as beautiful as a water painting with layers of traditional stilts lay hidden under the green leafy canvas. Near the village is a natural lake with an area of ​​5 hectares surrounded by green pine forests on reddish brown hills. In the distance, the scenery of Moc Chau plateau, especially in spring, with the tea hills, green pasture, flowers, banana flowers, plum blossom whitening the forest seems to be adorning the beauty of Áng Village to be more dreamy and romantic.

Photo: didi-adventure.com

Áng Village is home to the Thái ethnic group. They live mainly on farming (tea, canola, corn, rice), traditional breeding and handicrafting (weaving brocade, rice padding,etc.). Although located in Moc Chau Town, Áng Village’s community residents still preserve peculiar traditional stilt house, costumes, traditional folk songs, folk games, and special ceremonies. You will have the opportunity to experience daily life with the villagers (in the floor, rice padding, tea picking down the hill, fishing stream,etc.); explore the scenery of the Northwest forest, especially horseback riding on the Áng forest and enjoy the local specialties, such as rượu cần (weed wine), cơm lam (bamboo rice), pa pỉnh tộp (grilled fish), smoked meat, and wild vegetables,etc.

Photo: dulich.wikihoidap.com
2.4/Thác Dải Yếm (Dải Yếm Waterfall)

Dải Yếm Waterfall is also known as Nàng Waterfall or Bản Vặt Waterfall. It is located in Mường Sang Commune, Moc Chau District, Sơn La Province. According to the legend, the waterfall is bib of the girl who saves the boy out of the flood.

The Bim Waterfall consists of two parts: the upper waterfall (70m wide) and the lower waterfall (150-200m away from the upper one.)In the dry season, the lower falls only have a flow from the height of 50m to the rocks below. The two cascades fall down together with a total height of 100m; one side is divided into 9 floors while the other is divided into 5 floors. Between the two waterfalls is a flat land. On its top is flourished rich vegetation.

Photo: vietnamtoursinformation.com
2.5/Ngũ Động Bản Ôn (The five caves of Ôn Village)

The five caves consist of four main caves lying on a hill and an independent cave on the other side of the hill. The five caves are compared with the theory of the Five Elements: Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, and Metal. The stalactite shimmers with many unique shapes, crystallized over thousands of years. The third cave is the most extensive and also the only one, which is equipped with electric system by the transmitter, but it is only used during holidays, so you will need to bring a flashlight when exploring the caves.

Photo: dulichtaybac.info
2.6/Đồi chè Mộc Châu (Mộc Châu Tea Hill)

Moc Chau Plateau is famous for its green tea plants stretching across all the hills. Tea is grown everywhere here and mixed with the beautiful small houses among them. Somewhere along the spring flowers, paper flowers are blossoming in the frosty mist like the poetic scenery.

Photo: checkinmocchau.vn 

3/What to eat?

There are so many unique dishes of Moc Chau that I’m sure you will fall in love with:

3.1/Steam Fish

The fishes round of Moc Chau stream are very round. Some are little like the little finger, some are just bigger than two fingers. The fish is washed and then pan fried until crispy, when eating you can chew both the meat and the bone.

Photo: tuannguyentravel.vn
3.2/Mán Taro

Some other lands also has this potato but in terms of deliciousness, the taros of the Dao people are the best and most delicious. According to many people, the taros can only be grown by the the Moc Chau Dao people of Moc Chau. Taro is usually eaten between July and October, November. If you have the opportunity to go to Moc Chau at this time, don’t forget to buy a little as a gift for your friends and family at home.

Photo: biggreen.com.vn
3.3/Strawberry

Approximately one kilometer from the Áng Village, there is an area where attractive orchid and strawberry orchards have been planted and tested for fruit for several years. Many gardeners are expanding the area to export to the city and processing into jam and wine.

Photo: dulichcanhdieu.com.vn
3.4/Tea

At present, Moc Chau Province has about 3,000 hectares of tea of ​​different kinds. The beautiful vast hills of tea plant has turn Moc Chau into a dreamy green pearl. Tea is one of the symbols of Moc Chau plateau, which is also increasingly attached to the lives of the peoples here.

Besides, many tourists enjoy the taste of the most famous tea of Moc Chau plateau, San Tuyết (San Snow), a tea made from hundred years old tea plants here.Other brands are  OOLong tea and Kim Tuyền tea with different tastes.

3.5/Diary products

With hundreds of dairy cows on the farm, dairy products are one of the specialties you should definitely try when you come to Moc Chau. If possible, enjoy a glass of freshly cooked milk as soon as is leaved the cow (it’s Vietnamese’s favourite way of drinking milk). Other dairy products you should also try are yogurts (not the kind canned in supermarkets), butter, cream,etc. You can buy these products in any restaurant on the way to the Town.

4/Transportation

Moc Chau is about 200 km northwest from Hanoi, in the direction to Sơn La. You can travel to Moc Chau on private motorbike from Hanoi, or by bus and then rent a car to Moc Chau.

Buses (passenger cars) from Hanoi and some other Northern provinces to Sơn La

The cost for one trip is usually from 125,000 to 145,000 VND (5.50$ – 6.38$) and takes around 9 hours of travelling.

1.     Company name: HƯNG THÀNH

Intinery: Hà Nội – Sơn La

Departure time: 08:15 – 10:15 – 13:30 – 19:15 – 19:30

Intinery: Hà Nội – Mường La

Departure time: 09:15 – 19:00 – 20:00

Hotline: Mỹ Đình: 0974 888 555, Sơn La: 0989 764 764

2.     Company name: HẢI NAM

Intinery: Hà Nội – Sơn La

Departure time:

Sơn La: 6:30, 9:30, 12:15

Mỹ Đình: 3:30, 11:00, 13:00

Hotline: 0915 599 449 – 0987 073 999 – 0978 674 999

Full list: https://cungphuot.info/xe-khach-di-son-la-post5099.cp (this website is in Vietnamese so if you need translation, please inform us for further assistance)

Bus routes within Sơn La Province:

Bus number: 01
Route: Bản Cá, Chiềng An Ward, TP. Sơn La – Bệnh viên đa khoa tỉnh – Chợ Trung tâm – Cầu Trắng – Ngã ba Quyết Thắng – Bến xe khách TP. Sơn La – Trường Cao đẳng sư phạm Sơn La – Nhà máy xi măng Chiềng Sinh – Chiềng Mung – Nà Sản – TT Hát Lót – Bến xe buýt Cò Nòi, xã Cò Nòi, huyện Mai Sơn

(Ban Ca, Chieng An Ward, Son La – Provincial General Hospital – Central Market – White Bridge – Quyet Thang Junction – Son La – Son La Teachers College – Chieng Sinh Cement Plant – Chieng Mung – Na San – Hat Lot Town – Co Noi Commune, Co Noi Commune, Mai Son District)

Bus number: 02
Route: Tiểu khu 64 Thị trấn Nông trường Mộc Châu – Trung tâm hành chính mới huyện Mộc Châu – Ủy ban nhân dân xã Chiềng Hắc, huyện Mộc Châu

(Moc Chau 64 Farm Town District – Moc Chau District New Civic Center – Chieng Hac Commune People’s Committee, Moc Chau District)

Bus number: 03
Route: Phường Chiềng Sinh, TP. Sơn La – Bến xe khách TP. Sơn La – Ngã ba Quyết Thắng – Cầu Trắng – Đèo Sơn La – Chiềng Đen – Phiêng Tam – Ninh Thuận – Chiềng Pấc – Bệnh viện Thuận châu – Trung tâm xã Phỏng Lái, huyện Thuận Châu

(Moc Chau 64 Farm Town District – Moc Chau District New Civic Center – Chieng Hac Commune People’s Committee, Moc Chau District)

Renting motorbike/scooters in Moc Chau

 

Company name: CHỊ DUYÊN (SISTER DUYÊN)
Address: Tiểu khu 9- Thị trấn Mộc Châu (Ngã 3 bản Mòn – cạnh Sữa Chua dẻo Mộc Châu)
Hotline: 01636 828 666

Company name: NHÀ NGHỈ PHƯƠNG VY (PHƯƠNG VY MOTEL)
Address: Thị trấn Mộc Châu, Mộc Châu, Sơn La (Đối diện Khách sạn Công Đoàn)
Hotline: 022 3869813 – 0975 304595 – 0984 607327

Company name: THUÊ XE MÁY MỘC CHÂU (MỘC CHÂU MOTORBIKE RENTING)
Address: Thị trấn Mộc Châu, Mộc Châu, Sơn La
Hotline: 0163 2653052 – 0945 918050

I kept the address in Vietnamese so you can easily ask the locals for directions while travelling in Mộc Châu. Just simply show them the address and they will guide you there.

5/Some notes

  • If travel by motorbike, try to drive during the daytime, try not run late after 18:00 (especially for those who have not experienced mountain bike) because after this time the roads to Mộc Châu are often thick with fog. If travelling in winter, you will be blind (from Mai Châu to Mộc Châu).
  • If travel by passenger car, you should choose the hotel or motels just off Highway 6 and booked them in advance because these cars are often running in the evening. When you arrive at Mộc Châu, it is likely to be 1-2 o’clock in the morning.
  • Moc Chau is a hot spot for drugs dealing. When you go to the local’s villages (especially the Lóng Luông area), always stay alert and absolutely never leave your belongings or your vehicles away from you because if somebody put a little drug in the luggage, you will be in trouble.
  • Km 135 border between Mai Châu (Hoà Bình) and Moc Chau there are often inter-sectoral bolts of Traffic Police, Local Police, Drug Prevention Bureau… If they ask you to stop for some check-ups, it’s completely normal; you should be courteous, not objectionable in that case.

6/Few last words

I hope this article can help you choose your next travelling destination, or simply just give you a more fully understanding of Moc Chau, a very poetic area of Vietnam. If you have any problems or questions about travelling in Vietnam or just anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance. We would be thrilled to help you.

From Vietnam with love.

Ngoc Le


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