Son La Vietnam, travel guide
- on Mar 2, 2020       By: BN
Do you have in mind a getaway amidst endless green plantations, misty mountains and unusual encounters in the heart of an ethnic village? Not far from the capital, Son La bordering the legendary Black River invites you to discover the land of tea, coffee and beautiful flowers. Take a stroll in Moc Chau, one of the most popular plateaus of nature lovers, conquer the summits of Ta Xua, Pha Luong or even meet the Thai, one of twelve ethnic groups populating Son La are some of the moments to experience during your journey to this mountainous region of the North. In order to help you prepare for your stay at Son La, we offer you all the information and practical advice listed in the Son La travel guide.
Son La Guide
Located in the North-west of the country, Son La is the mountainous province more than 300 km from Hanoi and easily assimilated by the renovated national road 6. Covering more than 14,000 km2, three-quarters of which is occupied by mountains and plateaus, it is the 3rd largest among 64 cities and provinces in Vietnam.
With an average height of between 600 and 700 metres above sea level, Son La has two plateaus, Moc Chau high by 1,050 metres and Na San high by 800 metres. Varied reliefs create micro-climate zones favourable to agricultural and forestry production. The Moc Chau plateau with its picturesque setting nourished by great freshness, its beef dairy farms and its immense tea plantations, plays an important role in both producing and tourism.
With a population of over one million, Son La is home to twelve ethnic groups of which the Thai are the majority, followed by the Kinh, Hmong, Muong, Dao, Xinh Mun, Kho Mu, Khang, La Ha, Lao, Tay and Chinese.
Like other plateau and mountain areas, Son La enjoys a pleasant climate all year round, especially in Moc Chau with temperate weather comparable to Sapa, Tam Dao or Da Lat.
The beauty of Son La to see in every period:
+ Moc Chau will immerse you in meadows of white mustard flowers between October and November, peach and plum trees in spring, before and after the Tet festival.
+ The Independence Day is for the Hmong in Moc Chau, one of two larger traditional festivals, with Tet Nguyen Dan. This colourful opportunity lasting between August 31 and September 2 is a delight for locals and visitors with its many folklore events and traditional games.
+ In winter during the months of December and February, you will have the opportunity to enjoy relaxing moments in a natural hot spring, one of the customs of the Thai people in Son La.
+ A hike in the high mountains in Ta Xua attracts many young people and photography enthusiasts between November and April, the best time to appreciate a breath-taking cloudy ocean. It is, therefore, better to predict the risk of floods in the mountains in summer between June and September, the rainy season in the North.
Go to Moc Chau from Hanoi with a comfort limousine
You have two options to get to Son La from Hanoi, by bus or motorbike. With a distance of almost 300 kilometres, you normally need between 4.5-hour drive to get to Son La from Hanoi by bus. The journey time varies depending on the type of vehicle and the point of departure.
There are a dozen Hanoi - Son La buses and Hanoi - Moc Chau buses that depart daily from downtown Hanoi or from My Dinh and Yen Nghia bus stations. The average ticket price is 220,000 VND or 11 USD per person.
>> See more details and book a Hanoi - Moc Chau - Son La bus
>> Read more: How to get to Moc Chau from Hanoi?
The region, which is known for its picturesque nature and great hospitality, is full of surprises to reserve for you. Take advantage of our selection of 8 best places to visit in Son La.
To explore the different corners between mountains and forest, villages and valleys, a motorbike or a bicycle is a nice way and quite thinkable in Son La and especially in Moc Chau, its main attraction. It is, therefore, in Moc Chau that you can easily find a motorbike or a bicycle at your hotel and in nearby points.
+ The bike rental is 120,000VND per day or 30,000 VND per hour.
+ The motorcycle rental varies between 150,000-200,000 VND.
To get around Son La by public means, you will have three popular buses that circulate in the province namely:
Ca village, Chieng An district, Son La town - provincial hospital - central arch - Trang bridge - Quyet Thang junction - Son La bus station - Son La teacher training school - Chieng Sinh cement factory - Chieng Mung - Na San - Hat Lot town - Co Noi bus station, Mai Son district.
Sector 64 of the farm of Moc Chau - New administrative centre of Moc Chau district - People's committee of Chieng Hac ward, Moc Chau district.
Chieng Sinh district, Son La town - Son La bus station - Quyet Thang - Trang bridge - Son La pass - Den Chieng - Phieng Tam - Ninh Thuan - Chieng Pac - Thuan Chau hospital - Loi Lai ward centre, Thuan Chau district.
Stella Moc Chau Hotel
During your stay in Son La, please note that accommodation is the easiest to find in the most famous districts like Moc Chau and Ta Xua. You are free to choose between a hotel, hostel or homestay, according to your desires and your budget.
Hotel suggestions in Moc Chau
+ The November Moc Chau, Dong Sang, Moc Chau town
+ Lavallee Moc Chau, Sub-sector 32, Phieng Luong, Moc Chau
+ Stella Moc Chau, Dong Sang, Moc Chau town
+ Muong Thanh Luxury Moc Chau, crossroads of Moc Chau farm, Hoang Quoc Viet street, Phieng Luong, Moc Chau
Homestay suggestions at Moc Chau
+ Vhouse Moc Chau, Phieng Luong, Moc Chau
+ Moc Chau Town Homestay, sub-sector 5, Moc Chau town
+ Mountain View Homestay, sub-sector 12, Moc Chau town
Buffalo skin salad
It is not surprising to see a wide variety of dishes at the table when you eat in the region of 12 different ethnic groups. Do not hesitate to try some local foods whose Thai culinary traditions are the most typical.
Popular dishes at Moc Chau, Son La appreciated by travellers include, for example, grilled fish, smoked buffalo, five-colour sticky rice, traditional Thai sticky rice, local soup based on wild fruits, salad with the skin of buffalo and Nam Pia, a soup similar to the Hmong "thang co" soup.
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