For tourists, the mountainous region of Northwest Vietnam is not only captivating by the colorful traditional costumes of the ethnic groups here, but also by the beauty of pristine nature, where mountains overlap. message. It is the rustic beauty of pristine nature that attracts tourists every time they come here. Coming to Son La, you cannot miss the tourist attractions, sightseeing and experiences in Muong La district. Let’s explore the hidden beauty of this beautiful land with Origin Vietnam!
1. Where is Muong La – Son La?
Muong La is a mountainous district of Son La province. It’s about 41 km northeast of the city center and about 290 km northwest of Hanoi capital. This land is mainly mountainous terrain, located at an average altitude of 500 – 700 meters above sea level, possessing beautiful and diverse natural landscapes, promising to bring many impressive tourist destinations for tourists. traveler.
The east and northeast of the district are high mountains, the terrain gradually lowers to the south and along the two banks of the Da River. In the area, there is Da river and 5 large streams. They are Nam Mu, Nam Chien, Nam Trai, Nam Pan, and Nam Pia, flowing through.
The East and North border Yen Bai province, and Bac Yen district of Son La province;
The West and Southwest border Quynh Nhai district and Thuan Chau district;
The South borders Mai Son district and Son La City.
2. How is Muong La – Son La unique?
The terrain here is mostly mountains, accounting for 3/4 of the natural land area with many mountain ranges over 1500m high mixed with valley plains. This is considered the cradle of Son La tourism because the Northwest climate is cool all year round. So it is very favorable for tourism development.
Taking advantage of the beautiful natural landscape and unique regional cultural identity here. The Muong La plans to focus on developing popular types of tourism. Such as cultural tourism, eco tours, community tourism, archaeological relics, experiential activities,…
3. Which is the best season to visit Muong La – Son La?
Naturally blessed with geography and climate at an altitude of about 1,600m above sea level, Muong La opens up development opportunities for a land rich in potential. This pristine land is surrounded by mountains, cool in the summer and not too cold in the winter.
3.1. Spring (March to May)
Spring in Muong La is a remarkable sight. When nature wakes up from its hibernation, the entire area is covered with colorful flowers and lush greenery. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from mild to warm, ideal for outdoor exploration. During this season, you can witness local festivals and cultural events showcasing the traditions and customs of the Thai ethnic minority, the dominant group in the area.
3.2. Summer (June to August)
Summer in Muong La brings warm temperatures and occasional showers. The landscape is vibrant and verdant, providing the perfect backdrop for your adventures. Many rivers and waterfalls bless the area, providing a great opportunity to engage in water activities such as swimming or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.
Additionally, you can immerse yourself in the daily lives of the locals, observe traditional farming practices, and even participate in harvesting activities.
3.3. Fall (September to November)
Fall is considered one of the most beautiful seasons to visit Muong La. The weather is mild and the scenery undergoes a spectacular transformation as the terraced fields turn golden. Muong La’s terraced fields are a wonder, offering a stunning visual spectacle that attracts photographers and nature enthusiasts at home and abroad.
Take a leisurely stroll through terraced fields, interact with friendly locals and witness the rice harvesting process, a unique experience in the region.
3.4. Winter (December to February)
Winter in Muong La is characterized by cool temperatures and occasional foggy mornings. Although the weather can be a bit chilly, this season has its own charm. The foggy landscape creates an ethereal atmosphere, providing a mystical and tranquil experience. This is a great time to explore the surrounding mountains, go on scenic hikes, and visit nearby hot springs to relax and rejuvenate amid the wonders of nature.
4. How to get to Muong La – Son La?
In the direction of Hanoi – Mu Cang Chai
From Hanoi, go up to Mu Cang Chai, to the foot of Khau Pha pass, on the other side you will see a sign pointing to Nam Khat. Go about 11km to Nam Khat, turn left to go to Ngoc Chien – Muong La. The road to Nam Khat is almost completely covered with concrete. At the end of the concrete road, there will be a turnoff to go to Muong La.
In the direction of Hanoi – Son La – Muong La
From Hanoi, go to Son La city along National Highway 6. Then go to Provincial Highway 106 in the direction of Muong La for about 41 km to reach the town center.
5. Experience activities when traveling to Muong La – Son La
5.1. Son La hydroelectric plant
Son La hydroelectric plant is not only a destination in Muong La. But also the most famous project in the northern mountains. This hydroelectric plant is located on Da River in It Ong commune, Muong La district. It’s about 40 km from the city center.
The project was built at the end of 2005 and completed 7 years later, quickly becoming one of the largest hydroelectric plants in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In addition to its main function of providing electricity. Son La hydroelectric power station is also a check-in point loved by many tourists.
Today, when you have the opportunity to travel to Son La, remember to explore this hydroelectric plant to admire a majestic structure and see the beautiful and powerful Da River that was once the inspiration for great writers. Nguyen Tuan. Now, all that beauty exists right before our eyes.
5.2. Ngoc Chien commune
One of the destinations in Muong La that possesses beautiful natural scenery is Ngoc Chien commune – a place famous for its beautiful medlar flower season. This highland commune is 80 km from Son La city, located in a mountainous area about 1600 – 1800 meters above sea level, with pristine natural landscapes and a cool, fresh climate all year round.
Visiting Ngoc Chien commune, visitors have the opportunity to explore beautiful villages of the HMong, Thai and La Ha people with unique and diverse indigenous culture. Tourists compare this place to a fairy-tale countryside featuring majestic mountains and forests. Houses with hundred-year-old Po Mu wood roofs on stilts and natural hot mineral springs offer visitors many fascinating experiences.
Blessed by nature with wonderful scenery, Ngoc Chien commune has long been invested in developing tourism. In recent years, residents of villages in the commune have begun to build homestays, providing additional hot mineral bathing, dining, and resting services for visitors to have more interesting experiences when coming here.
Especially if you come to Ngoc Chien Muong La in March every year. You will enjoy the season of white hawthorn flowers blooming all over the world. This flower is also called cat apple flower, showing off its pure white color throughout the village. Flowers bloom the most in Nam Nghep and Ngam La villages, making the scenery of these villages as beautiful as a fairy tale land.
5.3. Cat Linh village
Coming to Muong La district, you cannot miss Cat Linh village located only about 20 km from the district center. What is attractive in Cat Linh that you must visit? This village is home to the Mong ethnic people with unique indigenous cultural features.
Cat Linh stretches along the top of Pu Tha Kenh mountain, more than 2,500 meters above sea level, and is the convergence of majestic mountains and forests, and of terraced fields stretching out in layers and layers. The best season to visit Cat Linh is the autumn when the rice ripens. Visitors coming here will enjoy golden terraced fields and take photos to their heart’s content.
Compared to many other beautiful villages in the Northwest, Cat Linh village is still new to many people. However, when you come here, you will be overwhelmed by the image of mountains. Especially valleys, rice fields and houses intertwined, creating a beautiful picture stretching far and wide, endlessly.
5.4. No Coong Cave
No Coong Cave is an archaeological relic site in It Ong town. Entering the cave, you will inevitably be surprised by the magical scenery of creation. No Coong Cave is shaped with countless multi-colored metallic stalactites and magical shapes.
In particular, the view from the cave entrance is very high, looking down you will observe Son La hydroelectric project, It Ong town, Phieng Tin rubber forest, Muong La hard bridge and the entire downstream area of Da river… beauty The majestic and poetic nature of creation has created a very unique and different beauty for the land of Muong La and Son La.
5.5. Hydroelectric Lake
Muong La not only hosts the largest Son La Hydroelectric Plant in Southeast Asia but also boasts a vast hydroelectric lake, preserving its picturesque wilderness. Looking down from above, the hydroelectric lake seems to be wearing a turquoise silk sheet. The painted landscape mixed with the cold weather and the mist that still lingers from early morning makes the hydroelectric lake even more charming and poetic.
6. Enjoying specialties when traveling to Muong La – Son La
The natural scenery in Muong La is extremely beautiful, but the cuisine of this highland is also a reason to keep tourists staying. Specialties attract them because of their rich homeland flavors and special preparation methods of local people.
6.1. Com Lam
Lam rice, or bamboo rice, is a typical dish of the region and a must-try dish when coming to Muong La. This unique dish involves cooking sticky rice in bamboo tubes, creating a fragrant and flavorful rice dish. Bamboo infused rice with a subtle earthy aroma, giving rice a unique flavor. People often pair Com Lam with grilled meat or fish, alongside fresh vegetables and local herbs, crafting a delicious and well-rounded meal.
6.2. Grilled stream fish
With an abundant river system in Muong La. It’s no surprise that grilled stream fish is a delicious and famous local specialty. Fresh fish, often caught from nearby rivers, is marinated with local herbs and spices and grilled over an open fire. The result is tender, flavorful fish with crispy skin. People often enjoy this dish with rice or wrap it in rice paper with herbs and fresh vegetables, creating an interesting combination of textures and flavors.
6.3. Black Chicken
Black chicken, called Red Chicken in Vietnamese, holds a special place in the culinary culture of the H’mong people, an ethnic minority living in the northern mountains of Vietnam. This unique breed of chicken, as the name suggests, is characterized by black feathers, skin and even internal organs. The Mong people have long appreciated the special qualities of black chicken, considering it not only a source of nutrition but also a symbol of luck and prosperity.
6.4. Stir-fried bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots play an important role in Muong La’s cuisine, and one dish that highlights their unique flavor is Leaf Cap Nach. This dish has thinly sliced young bamboo shoots stir-fried with garlic, chili and other spices. Bamboo shoots retain a light crunch and absorb spices, creating a delicious, nutritious side dish or appetizer.
6.5. Five-color Vermicelli
Five Sac Vermicelli is an eye-catching and delicious dish, demonstrating Ngoc Chien’s culinary creativity. This dish consists of thin rice noodles naturally dyed with various ingredients such as butterfly pea flowers, turmeric and pandan leaves. Each color represents a different flavor, from salty to sweet. Five Sac vermicelli is often served with a variety of side dishes, including grilled meat, herbs, peanuts and a sauce made from fish sauce.
7. Accommodation in Muong La – Son La
Muong La has become a famous tourist destination in recent years, every day many tourists come to visit and want to stay. To meet the needs as well as develop tourism, in Muong La there are homestays built by local people for guests to stay overnight, and the prices are also very reasonable. In addition, if you come to Ngoc Chien alone or with few people and in case you miss the road, you can ask to stay at the people’s house here, find a spacious house to ask to stay.
Adventurous travelers seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience will discover a hidden gem in Muong La. This peaceful destination offers a harmonious blend of breathtaking scenery, vibrant ethnic culture and a rich range of cultural and historical attractions.
If you are planning your tours in Vietnam to Muong La – Son La. Please contact Origin Vietnam – a professional tour organizer and operator. With a team of experienced, dedicated tour consultants and tour guides with a deep understanding of this land. We will take you on a journey to discover Muong La with many emotions and unforgettable experiences.