Pu Luong: All you need to know


Pù Luông Nature Reserve is located in Ba Thuoc Districts of Thanh Hoa Province in Northern of Vietnam, is bordered by Mai Chau in the North to West to Cuc Phuong National Park in the South East. It is 180km from Hanoi. It takes around 4 hours by car. This place is the nest of ethnic Thai and Muong people. And It is famous by limestone landscape, culture interest. It is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery.
Nowaday, Pù Luông Nature Reserve becomes a great destination for a short trip from Hanoi. Coming to Puluong, you will have opportunity to trekking in the forest, a long rice paddy fields. Visiting many beautiful minority village, cycling through the reserve, experience bamboo river rafting and rich culture on ethnic. And joining on traditional dance which will offer you an unforgettable memorable.

When is the best time for visiting Pu luong?

Pu Luong has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Within its subtropical climate, temperatures generally range between 18 and 38 degrees Celsius (°C).
The time of ideal Pu Luong’s weather aligns with its two harvest seasons: from late May to early June and from September to October. Atop the valley, a breathtaking panorama unfolds, featuring vast rice fields cascading down terraced mountain slopes and lush forests illuminated by sunlight. You’ll witness the fields transform into a gorgeous golden color and observe the local farmers as they work.
The best time to visit Pu Luong is during the green season and the harvesting season. Immerse yourself in the pleasant weather, enjoy the serenity of fewer tourists, and be awed by the stunning landscape that awaits you.
Green Season (February to March): During this time, the rice terraces in Pu Luong are filled with water, creating a vibrant and lush greenery landscape.
*** In Spring : from February to April are spring
In Spring: the temperatures ranging between 18°C and 25°C. This season is ideal for outdoor activities and festivals, as it hosts the highland Lunar New Year.
In spring, Thai and Muong ethnic communities don vibrant attire under cherry blossoms for lively festivals, which feature prayers, traditional games, and dances. Traditional fair markets are also a highlight of spring in Pu Luong. These markets offer insights into the local life, showcasing homemade goods like brocade, wine, fresh produce, and colorful clothing.
*** In Summer: From May to August
The temperatures is around 38°C during the hottest hours. As the night approaches, cooler mountain air flows into the valley, often causing temperatures to dip.
Summer is a prime season for Pu Luong travel. This coincides with the first harvest season, offering various activities like hiking, trekking, forest camping, bamboo rafting, frolicking in Hieu Waterfall, and savoring mountain delicacies. Also, the mild weather in early summer provides an excellent backdrop for outings, inviting everyone to engage in outdoor adventures, relish stunning landscapes, and capture cherished memories on camera.
*** In Autumn: September and October
Autumn in Pu Luong spans from September to October, coinciding with the second harvest season of the year. During this period, Pu Luong Thanh Hoa weather takes on an inviting character, making it ideal for enchanting escapes.
Days are comfortably warm with temperatures ranging between 18 and 23°C. The weather is perfect for leisurely exploration, with soft breezes scented with the aroma of ripe rice. As the sun sets, temperatures gradually drop to roughly 15°C, bringing along a serene chill.
*** In Winter: From November to January
In the winter, it is the coldest time of the year. Accompanied by crisp breezes and dense fog in the morning and late at night. Temperatures range between 10°C and 18°C.
Winter is the perfect time for trekking in Pu Luong. Nature enthusiasts can explore lush forests and grand mountains, stroll through nearby villages, and enjoy the comfort of woodstove warmth while the winds outside serenade with a calming melody.

 How to get to Pu Luong from Hanoi?

It is 180km from Hanoi. It takes around 4 hours by car. If you want to go to Pu Luong from Hanoi, there are options transportation to you consider:

*** 1. Private car (Day)
Hire a private car include car/ van and a driver. The price is more expensive than take a night bus or limousine bus. But with a private car, you will have the freedom to depart at your preferred time and travel door to door. You can communicate with driver for driving speed, request restroom or meals breaks or stop along the way to visit. . Local drivers who are familiar with the loop can provide better guidance on the right places to visit, including sights, viewpoints, villages, and markets, ensuring a real experience.
*** 2. Limousine bus (Day)
There are also limousine buses available that depart from Hanoi in the morning. These limousine buses are smaller in size and often less crowded, making more comfortable seating experience. The pick-up locations in Hanoi are the Hanoi Opera House, Metropolis Hotel on Kim Ma Street, 110 Tran Duy Hung Street, and Cau Giay Street. Depending on your location in Hanoi, you can choose the most convenient pick-up point for you.
By Motobike (Not advice): You can take a car or a motorbike. It will take about 3 to 4 hours to reach Pu Luong, depending on the traffic. Make sure you have a license if you’re driving!

Top 06  places you should not miss when you visit

*** 1. Don village (Ban Don)
Don Village is located in Thanh Lam Commune, Ba Thuoc District, Thanh Hoa Province. Most people here are Thai ethnic people who live mainly on rice planting and traditional weaving. The village is nestled amidst the foothills, and you will be amazed by the long, terraced fields and charming stilt houses As you enter the village from the main road, you will be greeted by stunning terraced rice fields on both sides. Don Village is a must-visit spot for anyone seeking natural beauty and tranquility.

*** 2. Explore Hieu Village
Hieu Village is located in Co Lung Commune, Ba Thuoc District, Thanh Hoa province. It is also among the spots in Pu Luong Nature Reserve with intact beauty. Surrounded by a large primary forest, the waterfall has fresh air and a pleasant climate all year round.
When I visited Hieu Village, it was a big impression of colorful fields and friendly people. The mountains stood tall with sharp slopes, while charming bamboo houses sat on stilts. In this village, generations of Black Thai people live, and I had a chance to witness the local farmer work on the big terraced fields while children played joyfully in the courtyards. It reminded my happy childhood memories
Coming to Hieu Village, you can feel the tranquil scenery of the Thai traditional stilt houses combined with the rice fields, palm hills, and primeval forests.

*** 3. Muon Waterfall
Muon Waterfall, also known as Mo Waterfall, is located in the Dien Quang Commune, Ba Thuoc District, 500 meters above sea level. This majestic waterfall with 43 different levels is created from the stream flowing through the mountain slopes. Surrounding the waterfall, there is a beautiful cave system with three caves: Mong Cave, But Cave, and Ben Bai Cave. Inside these caves, you can find many stunning stalactites hanging down in all shapes and sizes.
Coming to the Muon Waterfall, besides admiring the scenery and immersing yourself in cool water, you will also have a chance to meet and talk with the local Muong people here. Let’s visit their traditional stilt houses, learn brocade weaving, and enjoy Can wine and Muong culinary culture!

*** 4. Water wheels
On the way you heading to different destinations in Pu Luong, it is easy to spot some waterwheels nested in the ricefields. Back in ancient times, people living in the north mountainous areas had to rely on waterwheels to bring water for their daily life and farming needs.
They placed continuous reels depending on the flow and water requirements. Some reel yards had several dozen large and small reels. The water wheel would work non-stop, day and night, creating a beautiful and poetic sight in the Northwest mountains and forests. So you can visit Chieng Lau village or Cham stream to watch the water wheels, those are the best places to bring you a closer look at the cultivation cultures of Thai people.

*** 5. Visit Pho Don local market
If you plan to visit Pu Luong, make sure to experience the Pho Don market that takes place every Thursday and Sunday. The market is not just a place for trading goods, but also a hub for cultural exchange among different ethnic groups such as Kinh, Thai, Muong, and others. Most of the items sold here are self-produced, and people can also use items of equal value to exchange for what they need. The market is situated on the way to Hieu village.

*** 6. Explore Kho Muong cave (Bat cave) at Kho Muong village
When Kho Muong village is mentioned, people often refer to the Kho Muong slope, which can be quite intimidating to passersby, especially during times of fog, rain, and wind. However, it is also known as a pristine village that boasts a mysterious cave known as Kho Muong cave (also know as Bat cave).
This cave is home to several species of bats, with at least four different species residing there at different times throughout the year. Once inside the cave, you can admire the rocks and stalactites that come in various shapes and colors, all of which appear vivid and unique.
Helpful tip: If you want to witness a truly breathtaking sight, make sure to visit Kho Muong Cave around 4pm. That’s the golden hour when the sun’s rays gracefully enter the cave, creating a mesmerizing display of natural beauty.

*** 7.Experience bamboo rafting
One of the most interesting activities when coming to Pu Luong is to enjoy the poetic beauty of the Cham stream on a bamboo raft. In Pu Luong, bamboo rafts are a familiar means of transportation for Thai ethnic people, helping them travel and fish on the river. And now you can choose bamboo rafts to be closer to nature and people in this land. For those who want to challenge themselves, you can also raft yourself for the most authentic experience.
Helpful tip: Late autumn (end of October) is the ideal time to go bamboo rafting. During this time, there is less rainfall and the water is a clear blue color.

Besides that, it’s best to avoid the months of May and June since this is the high water season and unsuitable for bamboo rafting or bathing in the stream. However, it’s the golden ripe rice season which covers the beautiful terraced fields, so visiting Pu Luong Cham stream is still the great choice.

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