Travel to Muong Lay – It’s surrounded by majestic mountains, below is the flowing Da River. Nestled next to the river and houses on stilts with stone tiled roofs… The scenery and people of Muong Lay can captivate visitors the first time they come here.
1. Where is Muong Lay?
Muong Lay is a town located in the north of Dien Bien province. For those who visited Muong Lay before 2005, it is also known by another name – Lai Chau town. About 100 km north of Dien Bien Phu city and about 550 km northwest of Hanoi capital. With geographical location:
- To the north, it borders Nam Nhun district and Sin Ho district, Lai Chau province across Da river.
- The remaining sides border Muong Cha district.
2. How is Muong Lay unique?
Muong Lay is also considered the “white Thai capital” in Dien Bien with the White Thai ethnic group making up the majority of the population.
With a special location right in the heart of Son La hydroelectric lake. It’s the intersection of Da river, Nam Na river and Nam Lay stream. Visitors to Muong Lay will be able to travel on the majestic and unyielding Da River, which has now turned into a gentle. And gentle river, the source of life for thousands of Northwest people on both sides.
The beauty of Muong Lay is difficult to describe with any pen, from the majestic landscape of the Northwest clouds. Also sky to the rich fields on both sides or the stilt houses looming in the valley… All of which make any tourist and visitor who has ever set foot here must be surprised to see the “treasure” forgotten.
In particular, Muong Lay is also famous for its bridges – Hang Tom Bridge is compared to the “First Bridge of Indochina”. To have a complete tour, you should choose to book a boat in advance, with each passenger boat having a capacity of 20 – 30 people/boat.
It’s worth a visit Muong Lay
Coming to Muong Lay, you also have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Northwest ethnic groups in traditional lifestyles from stilt houses. Thai dance art, Kin Pang Then festival to traditional dishes such as Lam rice, grilled river fish, boiled bamboo shoots… rustic.
Muong Lay not only attracts tourists with its poetic natural landscape but also attracts people’s hearts with its diverse and unique culture. The most typical is the culture of the White Thai people. This place is considered the capital of the White Thai people in Dien Bien, one of the cradles of hat dance, bottle dance, and graceful fan dance that have entered the human subconscious and poetry.
More specifically, visitors can also immerse themselves in the Xoe Thai dance and attend the Kin Pang Then Ceremony – two national intangible cultural heritages. Every year, the town also organizes the Swallow Tail Boat Racing Festival in the spring. This is one of the typical cultural festivals that attracts a large number of people and tourists from all over to participate, experience and explore the unique cultural features of a river region.
3. When is the best time to visit Muong Lay?
Muong Lay is most beautiful during the flood season, from September to April next year! This is the most ideal time for tourists to come to the land at the confluence of rivers.
Visitors can go on a boat trip on the lake, immersing themselves in the vast nature of rivers, mountains and forests. On the way to sightsee the lake, visitors can visit and learn about Deo Van Long mansion, Pu Vap Resort, Lai Chau Prison Relics, and visit the cage fish farming model of indigenous people.. .
In particular, this place is always attractive to tourists who love to explore and adventure with activities such as fishing on the Da River, climbing mountains to explore Ban Bac Cave or hiking through the forest to visit remote villages. nestled on the side of a cliff.
4. How to get to Muong Lay?
Muong Lay town is the end point of National Highway 6 connecting Hanoi – Hoa Binh – Moc Chau – Son La – Tuan Giao so moving here is not too difficult. You can choose to travel by personal vehicle or bus. However, currently there are quite a few bus companies running the Hanoi – Muong Lay route.
You can refer to Hien Ly bus company specializing in the route My Dinh – Muong Lay – Son La hydroelectric power plant, sleeper bus, departing My Dinh wharf at 6:30 p.m. and departing Muong lay wharf at 6:30 p.m. or Hai Van bus company specializing in the route Hanoi – Muong Lay.
Or you can choose to take a bus from My Dinh – Dien Bien then catch an intra-province bus from Dien Bien city to Muong Lay.
5. Sightseeing & things to do in Muong Lay – Dien Bien
5.1. Ban Xa Bridge
Ban Xa Bridge is a bridge connecting National Highway 12 with the resettlement area. The bridge is 670m long, 9m wide and accommodates two lanes of traffic on the bridge. The clear blue water below the bridge creates a very beautiful scene. When standing on the bridge, you will enjoy the extremely beautiful natural landscape of this place.
5.2. Resettlement villages of the White Thai people
Muong Lay is known as the center and cultural cradle of the Thai people. There are many villages where the White Thai people settled here. Coming here, don’t miss the villages of the White Thai people and come to learn about the culture of the people here.
5.3. Hang Tom Bridge
Hang Tom Bridge connects Song Da ward, Muong Lay, with Le Loi commune, Dien Bien province, Nam Nhun district, Lai Chau province. The old Hang Tom Bridge was built in 1967. This was the largest cable-stayed bridge in Indochina at that time.
5.4. Lai Chau prison relics
In 1901, the French colonialists initiated the construction of Lai Chau Prison, utilizing it until 1953. Upon the liberation of Lai Chau by Vietnamese soldiers, the prison served as headquarters for some of the province’s operations.
5.5. Deo Van Long Mansion
Deo Van Long mansion is located 102 km northwest of Lai Chau city. According to the documents left behind about the mansion. And the Deo family, although it is still very primitive. It’s believed that all the work of choosing the direction, choosing the location for the main gate, shrine, and Dam house (ancestor church) was done. All were carefully examined by the Deo family who hired a geologist.
Two architects, one French and one Chinese, were invited to design and supervise, and materials were brought from the lowland provinces. Therefore, the architecture of the mansion has Western features blending Eastern looks, and is also a characteristic of Thai construction art and feng shui.
6. Specialties when traveling to Muong Lay
Coming to Muong Lay, you will enjoy delicious rustic dishes of indigenous people. Such as ground pork steamed in banana leaves, grilled moss, upland sticky rice, grilled hill chicken, Da River fish dishes, braised duck with banana flowers… Among them , especially the Khau Xen cake.
Khau Xen cake is a specialty in Muong Lay and every spring, the White Thai people in Muong Lay bustle with the sound of pestles pounding Khau Xen cake. The cake is like shrimp crackers but firmer and chewier and the cake usually has four main colors. They are white, red, yellow, purple and are made from natural ingredients.
Many ingredients contribute to the making of Khau Xen cake, but sticky rice and cassava stand out as the most popular ones. The process of making the cake also involves complicated steps. The cake has a rich, distinct flavor and is becoming more and more popular. After many efforts, Khau Xen cake is now produced in a chain in Muong Lay and officially recognized as a clean food.
In addition, you can also choose some Muong Lay specialties as gifts:
- Dien Bien upland sticky rice is famous for its stickiness and strong aroma.
- Worm chit: compared to “cordyceps” – a precious Oriental medicine with many good effects on human health.
7. Accommodation when traveling to Muong Lay
Currently, Muong Lay tourism has developed a very developed form of resort tourism. You can choose to book rooms at hotels and motels in the Muong Lay town area. Or if you want to experience life with local people, you can choose to stay at homestays in villages.
- Hoang Long Hotel. Address: Song Da Ward, Muong Lay Town
- Truc An Guest House. Address: Group 9, Song Da Ward, Muong Lay Town.
- Guest house of Muong Lay Town People’s Committee. Address: Muong Lay Town.
- Thanh Binh Hotel. Address: Doi Cao Area, Song Da Ward, Muong Lay Town.
- Song Da Hotel. Address: Na Lay Ward, Muong Lay Town.
- Lan Anh Hotel. Song Da Ward, Muong Lay Town.
Most hotels, motels, and homestays in Muong Lay serve meals, you can choose to book a table in advance here. Or you can choose to enjoy Dien Bien cuisine with restaurants in Muong Lay town.
Coming to Muong Lay means coming back to a region with a long-standing culture, where every river, mountain, every village. Xoe melodies, and attractive melodies are associated with the stream. Visitors will certainly experience emotional satisfaction and discoveries when they set foot here.
If you are planning your tour Vietnam to Muong Lay – Dien Bien, please contact us – a professional tour organizer With a team of experienced, dedicated tour consultants and tour guides with extensive knowledge of this land, we will take you on a journey to discover Muong Lay with interesting activities and unforgettable experiences. !