Mai Son is a place with majestic natural beauty, located in the Northwest mountains of Vietnam. Known for its charming landscape, green terraced fields and mountains along the district, Mai Son is an ideal destination that always attracts tourists when traveling to Son La. Let’s explore the beauty of this land with Origin Vietnam.
1. Where is Mai Son?
Mai Son is a mountainous district located in the center of Son La province, Vietnam. About 40 km southeast of Son La city and about 280 km west of Hanoi capital. About geographical location:
- The North borders Muong La district, Son La city.
- The East borders Yen Chau district and Bac Yen district.
- The West borders Song Ma district and Thuan Chau district.
- The South borders Song Ma district and Xieng Kho district (Hua Phan province, Lao People’s Democratic Republic).
2. How is Mai Son unique?
Mai Son’s terrain is strongly divided and complex, with high rocky mountains mixed with hills, valleys and plateaus. It stands out for its majestic and wild natural scenery, rolling mountains and hills like a giant art painting, a magical masterpiece of creation. In Mai Son, there are famous historical relics that attract tourists to explore. Such as Co Noi junction, De forest, Tien Phong lake,…
In addition, when traveling to Mai Son, visitors can also live in the wonderful space of traditional highland culture. The festivals, daily life experiences of ethnic minorities here, the colors of the mountains and forests create a space imbued with Northwest Vietnam.
3. When is the best time to travel to Mai Son?
Characterized by the tropical monsoon climate of the Northwestern mountainous region of Vietnam. The average temperature during the year is 21°C, usually hot from April to August. It’s very cold from November to March of the following year.
Mai Son also has a stream system in the Da and Ma river basins. Such as: Nam Pan, Nam Khieng, Nam Po, Ta Vat, Suoi Quet, Huoi Ham, Nam Mua, Cam,… with a total length of about 250 km and many other small streams.
Traveling to Mai Son is beautiful in any season, each season has its own unique beauty. According to the experience of those who have been to Mai Son many times, the period from September to April next year is the ideal time to travel to Mai Son.
Visitors can refer to the beauty of other times of the year as follows:
- From October to November is the time when mustard flowers bloom white on the hillsides in Mai Son. The time before and after the Lunar New Year is the season of beautiful plum and peach blossoms blooming throughout the villages and hillsides.
- In particular, if you go on the occasion of September 1, Independence Day of the H’Mong people, you will be able to participate in a special festival in this place. In December, all the routes of National Highway 6, along both sides of the road, are filled with wild sunflowers.
- If you go in winter, you will experience Thai hot spring bathing. From November to April next year, you can go cloud hunting at high mountain peaks.
Note: Mai Son – Son La is in the Northwest, the rainy season usually falls in the summer (from June to September). During this period, there are often sudden rains and floods in highlands. So if you go during this time, please research the weather and consider carefully before going.
4. How to get to Mai Son?
4.1. By public transport
From Hanoi to Mai Son is about 280 km, but due to weather conditions and small, old roads and many steep passes, it will take you about 6-8 hours to get to Mai Son.
The most common public transport is passenger cars, visitors can go to My Dinh, Yen Nghia bus stations,… (Hanoi) to catch a bus to Mai Son. You can also take a taxi if you want to take the initiative in your time to explore Mai Son.
4.2. By personal vehicles
Tourists who are passionate about exploration and adventure can choose motorbikes. This is the best means to admire the natural beauty on both sides of the road. You can travel along the above route along Highway 6. Note, you should bring all vehicle documents. In addition, you should also bring protective gear when traveling and a phone to check the map in case you get lost.
4.3. How to move to Mai Son?
From Hanoi, you go to Highway 6 west about 140 km to Tong Dau Junction. Then go to AH13 road and continue moving about 140 km to Mai Son.
5. Sightseeing & Things to do in Mai Son
5.1. Rung Vang tourist area
Rung Vang tourist area located in Noong Duc village, Mai Son district, Son La province. It’s a tourist destination that helps visitors experience the cuisine as well as the daily life of people in Noong Duc village.
Some famous sightseeing and activity areas at the Golden Forest tourist area include the bamboo forest, Thai ethnic stilt houses, traditional art programs,… Besides, you will also experience Experience Northwest specialties. Such as fish salad, curdled sour soup, grilled chicke….
5.2. Na Si Market
Na Si Market is an old market but still bustling with people buying and selling every day. The market specializes in selling vegetables, tubers, meat and especially insects, which are considered specialties here. Prices of items at the market are affordable and suitable for many local people. You can come here to enjoy the typical dishes of ethnic minorities in Mai Son.
5.3. Tien Phong Lake
Tien Phong lake possesses a quiet, mellow and gentle beauty like a girl who is shy before a boy’s confession. This will be a suitable place for recreational and stress-relieving activities such as boating and fishing. Besides, you can also organize fun picnics and meals with your friends and relatives.
5.4. Ban Nam Waterfall
Son La province owns many famous waterfalls. Such as Dai Yem waterfall, Nang Tien waterfall, Tat Nang waterfall,… however the famous waterfall in Mai Son district is Ban Nam waterfall. The waterfall is located deep in the forest, exuding a wild and rustic look amidst the majestic mountains and forests.
When you reach the top of the waterfall, you can see the ecosystem here with many animals and immense forests stretching to the horizon. You can also organize picnics with friends and relatives next to the waterfall.
5.5. TH strawberry farm
Besides familiar agricultural products such as corn, sugarcane and cassava, Mai Son district is also famous for its ripe and bright red strawberries. Thanks to nature’s bounty and professional strawberry growing techniques, visitors will be able to visit, check-in and personally enjoy the sweet, succulent strawberries at TH strawberry farm. This promises to be a place that attracts a large number of tourists in Mai Son district, Son La province.
5.6. Co Noi intersection
Co Noi intersection will be the intersection between National Highway 37 and National Highway 6 in Mai Son district, Son La province. This is the place that marks the history of the glorious victory of the Youth Volunteer Force in the Dien Bien Phu campaign. Besides, you will also experience the immense space and beautiful green nature when walking up the hill with the soldiers’ monument.
5.7. Chen Pass
Chen Pass was once a historical “proof” of the resistance war against the French. It was the main route that was heavily attacked by the French colonialists, blocking the transport of military supplies for the Dien Bien Phu campaign.
5.8 Na San Airport
Built by the French colonialists in 1950 to serve the travel needs of the French colonialists, after they regained control and rule of the Son La region from the Viet Minh. Initially, the airport had a short runway with a clay floor, which was later expanded and lengthened, with an iron-paved floor to accommodate Dakota aircraft taking off and landing. Currently, the airport is only in ruins.
6. Specialties when traveling to Mai Son
Traveling to Mai Son, visitors will not only admire the poetic and majestic natural landscape, but you will also enjoy specialties of Northwest Vietnam.
6.1. Smoked buffalo meat
This dish is often available during holidays and Tet in Thai villages. They take a little of the buffalo meat that has just been slaughtered to make buffalo meat in the kitchen to use gradually throughout the year. Buffalo meat is made from muscle meat with even fibers and few tendons. Then, cut into pieces and marinate with spices, skewer the meat onto a large stick on the stove. When the meat is dry, just wrap it up and take it out to use.
6.2 Pa Pinh Top (Grilled Folded Fish)
Grilled stream fish is fully marinated with spices: Ginger, mac khen, lemongrass, fresh chili, coriander, fresh onions… After preparing the spices, they slit the back of the fish, remove the honey, and keep the intestines intact. Then stuff them with spices. into the fish’s belly. Fold the fish in half, put it through the mouth ring and put it in a bamboo splint, then grill it in half.
In addition, we would also like to suggest to you some delicious dishes and Son La specialties such as:
- Thai Lam Rice (Thai bamboo tube rice).
- Mac Nhung porridge.
- Buffalo skin mannequin.
- Cassava sticky rice.
- Yen Chau mango eggs.
- Yen Chau banana wine.
- Phu Yen Lonely Garlic.
7. Accommodation when traveling to Mai Son
When traveling to Mai Son, you can refer to the accommodation facilities below. Most accommodation establishments are concentrated in the town area, which creates convenient conditions for tourists to move between tourist destinations.
- Hien Thu Hotel. Address: TK 5, Hat Lot Town, Mai Son, Son La.
- Hoa Mai Hotel. Address: TK5, Hat Lot Town, Mai Son, Son La.
- Northwest Guesthouse. Address: Sub-zone 14, Hat Lot Town, Mai Son, Son La.
- Long Nhan Guest House. Address: Highway 6, TT. Hat Lot, Mai Son, Son La.
- Thuy Tien Guesthouse. Address: TK 21, Hat Lot Town, Mai Son, Son La.
- Huy Toan Guesthouse. Address: TK3 – Hat Lot town – Mai Son – Son La.
- Thanh Binh Guesthouse. Address: Highway 6, Hat Lot, Mai Son, Son La.
If you are planning your tour Son La to Mai Son, immediately contact Origin Vietnam – a professional local tour operator. With a team of consultants and tour guides who are experienced, dedicated and deeply knowledgeable about this land. We will take you on a tour in Vietnam to discover Mai Son with interesting surprises and memorable experiences.