Pu Luong nature reserve area – the place with love

After one year, we return to the place where is known as “the land of warmth”, Pu Luong nature reserve area – the name has become familiar in the memories of many “backpacker” with images of peace villages, fields and notorious “off-road” route after the rain.

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the ripen rice of pu luong
the ripen rice of Pu Luong

The ripen rice season in 2011, 15C road from Co Luong through Pu Luong nature reserve zone had been opened almost finished, some sections were not paved, of course, if it rained, it would have become a formidable challenge for the drivers . The road through Dong Dieng was no longer seen pebble interfered with grass anymore, and no longer seen the small pretty trails running zigzag on grassland as in the past. The road is so large that it took less than an hour to reach the Pa Kha’s junction. It took us 5 hours to move one year ago because of the rain and damaged vehicles.

the ripen rice fields of pu luong
Backpackers are having a rest and enjoy the beautiful scene

We denied the enticement of a “backpacker” group who were climbing Pu Luong peak and continued our journey towards Kho Muong. The road was unpaved and not large immensely, it became steep, rocky, narrow made tourists many times startling, though already very concentrated.

ripen rice field and the narrow road of pu luong
A corner of the ripen rice fields and the narrow road

Kho Muong Village is located in a fairly wide valley and surrounded by mountains as bulwark. The Thai’s house-roofs which are roofed with simple palm, scattered on stream sides. Going along the stream, you will arrive Kho Muong fields where rice are turning green, and after next two weeks, they will be yellow ripe. Farmers will happily go together to harvest and bring back home.

At the end of the trail across paddy field is Hang Doi (Bat Cave) where relatively untouched to explore with many visitors. From Bat Cave, visitors can take a panoramic view over immense Kho Muong field among row on row of mountain’s green color. If you intend to explore Bat Cave, let prepare thoroughly all dedicated fixtures. Bat Cave was formed by the old limestone blocks grown from 250 million years ago, the cave has at least four species of bats have ever lived.

Kho Muong village is a hill in Pu Luong.
Kho Muong village often is selected to start exploring the Thai minority village.

With many foreign tourists, Kho Muong is an ideal starting point for Pu Luong trekking. We wandered on the field to play and breathe the pure atmosphere with fugacious fragrancy of ripe rice which would leave before the rain arrived. A thunder rain from Dong Dieng through Kho Muong chased and caught all of us on the trail of leaving the village. It was a forest rain.

The trail connects Kho Muong to Uoi Village – Pho Doan which is about 7 km long, took us nearly three hours to be hard to move because the road after the rain became slimy and slippery. The rain stopped at what time to we didn’t know. My friends only said loudly “oh oh” when they looked down from high above the field of Quan Village. The velvety soft rice carpets look floating like waves. The houses here are strangely peaceful to strangers, vague blue smoke appear on thatched roofs in the afternoon.

harvesting on pu luong nature reserve zone
The local people are harvesting in happiness.

The afternoon sun was gradually turned off. The mountain ranges became dark melancholy. Uoi Village’s rice fields were ripen golden – a yellow color of prosperous and sufficient scenery. We went like adventuring among the golden rice sea, really relieved, happy and peaceful.

The afternoon wind after the rain was cool, the house roofs loomed behind the palms while the sunset was pouring colors of bright pink, floral display purple on the sky. How I could forget those moments, when my friends stopped the car and together boiled a pot of warm coffee while waiting for twilight. The stories, the smiles, the faces … that moment, that minutes had become nice memories that I could forget.

Information for your adventure trip to Pu Luong Nature Reserve:

  • Pu Luong Nature Reserve lies to the West of Thanh Hoa province, on the land of two districts of Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc. It is a tourist destination preferred by many tourists who like to explore and experience.
  • The most common way to reach this destination is moving by motorcycles and make the short trekking trip depending on the duration and schedule of travelers.
  • Specialties of this place are “rice” and “villages”. The best time to visit is in mid of June and October yearly at the time of ripen rice.
  • The trekking routes: Duom Village – Hang Village – Eo Ken – Pa Ban – Dong Dieng – Kho Muong. From Kho Muong, you can follow the route 4 of the Muong of Pon Village – Thanh Cong – Cao Hoong – Kit Villge. From Nua Village (Ba Thuoc), you can go the route of Cao Village, Trinh Village, Hin Village, Bo Village, from these villages, there is a trekking route to Son – Ba – Muoi. From Dong Dieng, you can climb high peaks over 1700 meters of Pu Luong.
  • Motels: Sleeping in ecological stilt houses of the Thai, Muong in Mai Chau (Lac village, Poong Com village), in the core area of Pu Luong, you can stay in villages such as Dong Dieng, Kho Muong, Nua Village, Cao Hoong or Kit Village. The cost is about 70.000 VND/person (~ $3/person).
  • Eating: The Thai like grilled food to ensure the quality and taste of the dish. You remember enjoying chicken, duck, roast, pork with sour young bamboo, bitter young bamboo, forest sauropus androgynous soup, bamboo-tube rice
  • Expecting time: 2.5 days (weekends). This cost above is below $70/person.

Refer our special Adventure Tours to Off the beaten track:

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7 thoughts on “Pu Luong nature reserve area – the place with love

  1. Hi i plan on taking around a 17 day trip to Vietnam from November 17th to December 4th i have been making my itinerary before i book anything for sure. One of the major reasons why i want to go to Vietnam is the scenery and wildlife so i though trekking though the Pu Luong Nature Reserve would be a good way to experience that. Ill be in Hanoi from November 22nd to December 1st. I want to do around a 2 day trek with a homestay and i was wondering where is the best way to book a homestay with a guide trying to keep it cheap as possible. Or even if i could get through the trek without a guide and just maps i wouldn’t be to against that either.

    1. We went in April with a guide called Thang to PL for 3D2N and he was great. We travelled by car to the area and stayed at a retreat so it was a bit more expensive but he does arrange homestays. If you are happy to ride pillion on a motorbike it’s even cheaper. Ask him for a quote and see what you think. As for DIY, may be? We had a viettel sim and coverage wasn’t too bad around the area so you could prob google map it. Having said that he took us through a lot of farm land and sometimes through people’s houses. If you DIY the hike you’d probably have to stick to the main roads.

  2. It’s a long way from Hanoi. If you’re only there for just over a week Pu Luong will eat up a lot of your time.

    1. Yep, quite far to do two days. We did a 3 day trip on motorbikes as passengers and it was great. Didn’t see any wildlife really but the scenery was beautiful and home stays very authentic. Price included food and travel so was very reasonable. Not sure if it’s changed but can’t think it would be that easy to do it yourself without a driver.

  3. Hi thank you for your advice, if you don’t mind I’d like to ask what are some great things to do around Hanoi to see the scenary and participate in acitivities l, I’ll be in Hanoi from the 22nd to 29th, I’ve thought about Halong Bay or Sapa but would like some advice from someone who has been there

  4. I’d spend three in Hanoi, possibly four if you like just walking around and observing local life. You can get lost very easily around Hanoi but that’s kinda cool, you discover a lot of unexpected delights just walking around. Sapa is great but will be colder and possibly wet and foggy so prepare clothing/footwear appropriately. There isn’t much to do in the town itself, most people go on treks, either 2D1N or more if you have the time. The scenery is quite spectacular but bear in mind it’s quite touristy (lots of touts). With the treks they usually overnight at a homestay which can give you a glimpse of local life. Halong Bay is pretty much on everybody’s must do list. Again in late November it’s probably going to be cold and foggy but the karst scenery is very beautiful. The other area you can consider if NInh Binh. Unfortunately by the time you go the rice fields will be brown but the inland karst scenery will still be amazing – either Tam Coc or Trang An, plus interesting places like Hoa Lu ancient capital, Bai Dinh Temple etc. The great thing about Ninh Binh is that if you like cycling it’s great because it’s pretty flat. Realistically with seven days you’d be looking at Hanoi + probably any one of the above destinations. Where are you heading to after your 7 days in Hanoi?

  5. So far what I have planned is I land is Ho Chin Minh City and only stay one night until I go to Da Nang for three days then off to Hanoi for the 7 days then I return to Ho Chin Minh City for a few days because my flight is out of there but I am considering going to Hue on my way back from Hanoi to Ho Chin Minh City

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