• Pu Luong Nature Reserve - Travel Guide
  • Pu Luong Nature Reserve - Travel Guide

  • on Feb 10, 2018       By: LucyH
  • The Pu Luong limestone landscape carries on it an outstanding beauty, culture interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau  in the North to West of Cuc Phuong national park in the South East. It is blessed with the lush of tropical forest, majestic panoramas of limestone mountain, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery. With all the authentic charms it brings along, Pu Luong deserves to be a great destination to organize a trekking tour in Vietnam. 

    1. The Pu Luong nature reserve and the authentic beauty
    2. What to do in Pu Luong
    3. Best times to go to Pu Luong?
    4. How to get there?
    5. Accommodations in Pu Luong
    6. Catering in Pu Luong
    7. Location

    1. A great place for a trekking tour in Vietnam 
    Suited 170km from Hanoi, Pu Luong Nature Reserve was built in 1999. Known as a nature reserve with a total area of 17,662 ha, 3/4 of the nature reserve is primary tropical forest. This is also living place of ethnic Muong and Thai people. According to Thai village, the name “Pu Luong” stands for the highest peak of the village. Recently, Pu Luong has become a great destination in Vietnam for a few day trekking tour from Hanoi. Trekking in the forest and a long rice paddy fields, cycling through the reserve and visit many beautiful small villages are among the activities travelers like. Pu Luong is among a few "off the beaten path" places near Hanoi that receives recommendations from explorers recently. 

    The peaceful scenery never stop displays it's beauty with two ranges of mountains on both sides creating a lush green valley in the middle dotted with traditional villages. The locals here are among the friendliest people in Vietnam. You can always be invited to their homes for a cup of tea on your way. The local culture is rich and authentic. Villagers are living in small villages nested in the valleys, in their traditional house on stilts. Joining on a dance after dinner is always an unforgettable experience.

    Besides, the wild scenery of the great outdoors is not limited to the mountains and greenery that abound in northwestern Vietnam. Similarly flavors and colors are also appreciated, the Pu Luong nature reserve, still little known of programmed circuits, is quite another world of adventure.


    Jungle, rice terraces, valleys, waterfalls, houses on stilts ... Pu Luong reveals itself by a varied and secret facet which will be able to seduce in particular the passionate in a trekking tour in Vietnam.

    2. What to do in Pu Luong
    ♦ Wandering along the flourishing rice fields
    Whether it is the green carpet or the golden sparkling seasons, the varied scenes of flourishing rice fields are the delight of those who venture into paradise in the heart of the centuries-old jungle Pu Luong. A getaway in nature combining freshness and tranquility. A counterpart from Sapa who feels much more peacefully and, without a doubt, off the beaten path.

    pu luong nature reserve green rice terace

    ♦ At the top of Pu Luong
    To embellish the relaxing walk along the fields, a few exciting hours are also worthwhile while facing the height of the mountains. At 1,700m above sea level, the highest point of Pu Luong lends itself to a fascinating climb. A picnic at the top for a starry night and a beautiful sunrise in the misty ocean. 

    pu luong nature reserve sunset

    ♦ May waterfalls
    Back to Hanoi, do not miss a stop at the May waterfall, indisputably the most beautiful in the region. 100m high, it flows from Mount Thach Lam and spreads over nine levels to provide you a pleasant relaxation during your holiday in Vitenam. 

    ♦ Other highlights
    Hieu village waterfall and Pho Doan ethnic market, opening on Thursday and Sunday are always mistily covered by folk. Coming here during your holiday in vietnam, besides the mystery scene, visitors can also join in the traditional "Sap" dances, "Xoe" Thai, Muong, etc. 

    3. Best times to go to Pu Luong?
    In general, the best time to visit Pu Luong is during rice harvest season, from September to November or February until May. This time, the plantation displays the beautiful lush and weather is pleasant. Pu Luong can be best accessed either from Mai Chau or Ninh Binh. Multiple day trekking through Pu Luong on the least visited trails is also a good option for trekkers. Trekking through Ban Sai, Ban Hang, Ban Kho Muong or Ban Hieu villages and staying in one of the authentic homestay is the best activity one can do here. There are options for everyone including families with small children. 

    4. How to get there?
    A trekking tour in Pu Luong is ideally done by motorbike since of the passes to be furrowed and the state of the roads.
    - Departure from Hanoi or the northern regions, the circuit will take the road 15C according to the Xuan Mai circuit - Luong Son - Hoa Binh - Mai Chau Lake village. From Mai Chau, you will have to travel 17km along Route 15A and then go to Route 15C on the left. Then inquire of the loop towards Pu Luong.
    - Departure from Thanh Hoa, central and southern regions, take the Ho Chi Minh road north, towards Cam Thuy village on the right. You will reach the village Canh Nang to take the road 15C. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is about 10 km away.

    5. Accommodations in Pu Luong
    Given its role as a protected natural reserve and immune to tourist trap, Pu Luong and its surroundings mainly offer hostels and homestays, the Homestay comfort is very limited in number.


    Some suggestions for you: homestay in the villages of Kho Muong, Nua and Kit.
    Highly recommend: Puluong Retreat, an address highly appreciated by many visitors Vietnamese as foreigners.

    6. Catering in Pu Luong
    You shall have optional selections, to enjoy at your stay or taste local food at some nearby restaurants.

    Homestay: an affordable price from $9  / person.
    Pu Luong Retreat: from $16 / person.

    Note Down: In any case, whether to stay or to eat, it is better to make the reservation as best as possible to ensure availability.   

    7. Location
    130 km northwest of Thanh Hoa City, Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc Districts.

       >>> Another Destination in Vietnam you may find interest 

       >>> Reasons to have a Trip to Vietnam 

Charli Smith
Feb 1, 2020
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iHerb CodeTW - Oct 23, 2022
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Hoang Dinh
Hoang Dinh - Feb 1, 2020
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Ira Beale
Feb 10, 2023
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