Ngoc Chien Commune
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Duyen's keen on travelling and exploring new places. By travelling, she get better at comfortable. It opens up the knowledge door for her as well.

Ngoc Chien Commune

Ngoc Chien commune is famous in the tourism community for its picturesque scenery. The village is located in majestic high mountains. In addition to being blessed by nature with wonderful landscapes. Ngoc Chien tourism also attracts tourists by using completely natural hot water mines in Luoi, Dot and Khau Vai villages.

1. Where is Ngoc Chien commune?

Ngoc Chien is a commune of Muong La district, Son La, Vietnam. Located at an altitude of over 1,600m above sea level. It’s about 40 km from Son La hydroelectric plant and nearly 80 km from Son La city along road TL106.

2. How is Ngoc Chien Commune unique?

Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district is home to three ethnic groups: Thai, Mong, and La Ha; This place still preserves many unique cultural features, which are precious heritage crystallized over many generations. Anyone who comes to Ngoc Chien is surprised by the architectural culture of Thai houses made entirely of Fokienia wood with delicate architectural styles such as the head, beams, and columns.

Each village here has about 70 to 100 households, each with open spaces. And checkerboard paths, different from Thai villages elsewhere. Along with the stilt house architecture, traditional crafts. Such as: Spinning silk, weaving, and knitting (the bamboo and rattan handicraft of the Thai people here is very famous). Embroidery and brocade weaving of the Mong people, like the hair washing festival of the Thai people. Gau Tao festival of the Mong people, flower and bamboo shoot offering festival of the La Ha people with costumes, folk songs and folk dances typical of the ethnic groups, especially the method of healing with herbs. Traditional medicine has created a unique cultural identity for Ngoc Chien.

With the rich natural and cultural tourism potential of Ngoc Chien currently being preserved and preserved, this place is a community ecotourism destination combined with an ideal resort for tourists. Certainly, with proper and methodical investment, Ngoc Chien can completely become an attractive destination for Son La in particular and the Northwest region in general.

3. What is the best season to visit Ngoc Chien commune?

You can go to Ngoc Chien at any time of the year, except for the rainy season in the North, when it is a bit difficult to get to Ngoc Chien if coming from Mu Cang Chai (due to slippery and muddy roads).

  • The ripening rice season in Ngoc Chien is also around September-October, almost coinciding with the ripening time of rice in Mu Cang Chai. From Mu Cang Chai to Ngoc Chien is also quite convenient, so you can combine these two places in the same trip.
  • With the advantage of hot springs, you can come to Ngoc Chien at the end of the year when the weather is cold to experience a very refreshing feeling after bathing.

4. How to get to Ngoc Chien commune?

4.1. Traveling by public transport

You can catch buses to Muong La or Son La at My Dinh, Yen Nghia and Giap Bat bus stations. Then continue to rent a motorbike here to move to locations in Ngoc Chien. Some passenger cars for your reference are below:

  • Bac Son passenger bus. Route: My Dinh – Son La, Yen Nghia – Son La.
  • Hainan passenger bus. Route: My Dinh – Son La.
  • Hung Thanh passenger bus. Route: My Dinh – Son La – Muong La.

There are also many other buses such as Ngoc Thuan, Luyen Quang, Thanh Thang, Minh Hai… all depart from My Dinh wharf.

4.2. Traveling by personal vehicles

In the direction of 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. Continue going until you see a curve like below, turn in the direction of the arrow to go to Ngoc Chien.

The road to Nam Khat and then to Ngoc Chien has changed quite a lot now, the road has been upgraded and paved, and cars run smoothly. These images may no longer be accurate. If you go from the foot of Khau Pha pass, just follow Google Maps or ask local people to find the easiest way to Ngoc Chien.

In the direction of Hanoi – Son La – Muong La

From Hanoi, go to Son La and then go in the direction of Muong La. From Muong La, run along Road 106 until you see the sea turning to Ngoc Chien (about 25 km)

5. Sightseeing, Experience activities when coming to Ngoc Chien commune

5.1. Hot spring bath

Coming to Ngoc Chien, you can’t miss this event. The hot spring source in Ngoc Chien has been serving villagers every day for many generations to bathe. With moderate temperatures and available natural mineral sources, after bathing, the body becomes refreshed and light, all the fatigue of the long journey to Ngoc Chien suddenly disappears.

5.2. Son La Hydropower Plant

Son La Hydropower Plant is a hydroelectric plant located in It Ong commune, Muong La district, Son La province. The plant started construction on December 2, 2005. After 7 years of construction. Son La Hydropower Plant was inaugurated on December 23, 2012, 3 years ahead of schedule, becoming the largest hydroelectric plant in Vietnam and the whole Southeast Asia region.

5.3 Co Noong Cave

This is an archaeological site in It Ong town. To get to this cave, from the Son La Hydroelectric police station. Then go straight up the mountain and you will reach a point about 250m from the west cave entrance. Entering the cave, you will be amazed by the magical scenery of creation, the world of countless stalactites with magical shapes. Among these is a stalactite shaped like a man and a woman entwined together, associated with the legend of the faithful love between a poor man and a rich mandarin’s daughter.

The cave has an arc shape, in some places it is more than 50m wide. Also in some places the cave’s dome is up to 20m high. The dark corners of the cave’s ceiling are home to flocks of bats. The stalactites on the cave ceiling come in all shapes and sizes, the stalactites hang down, shimmer like five-colored clouds. And some resemble bas-reliefs depending on the viewer’s imagination.

The main cave entrance faces East, about 15m wide, more than 7m high. Keep going to the middle there is a large stone hugged by an old tree as a pillar supporting the cave entrance, dividing the cave into 2 niches. Standing at the cave entrance and looking down. You will be able to observe the Son La hydroelectric project. It’s Ong town, Phieng Tin rubber forest, Muong La hard bridge and the entire downstream area of Da river… a magnificent and poetic scene.

5.4. Cat Linh village

Less than 20 km from the district center, Cat Linh is a village of the H’Mong people. It’s located on the slopes of Pu Tha Kenh peak (Mua Khen Mountain) 2,500m above sea level. This ripe rice season, from afar, this place looks like a colorful picture, with layers and layers stretching from one mountainside to another, down to the deep valley. Cat Linh – is a place name transliterated into Mandarin, but people here still call this land Co Linh (meaning forest full of monkeys). Also because this land is still quite wild, home to many monkeys, animals.

There are still many primeval forests, abundant water streams all year round. H’Mong ethnic people from Chieng An and Ngoc Chien regions have come here to exploit, establish villages. And stayed here since the 70s of the last century. To Cat Linh, there is only one inter-village road that is bumpy and rocky, connecting the center of Chieng Muon commune with the villages of Hua Dan – Nam Kim – Cat Linh.

5.5. New rice offering ceremony

This is the first ritual in the annual New Rice Festival in Ngoc Chien commune with the intention of expressing gratitude to ancestors, heaven and earth for blessing and protecting the village, for the bountiful harvest that brings life. warm and full.

In addition to offerings such as chicken, fish, and fruits, the offering tray to the ancestors cannot lack new rice, old rice. Especially a plate of green rice, and the typical “groin crackers” of the White Thai people (rice made from Parboiled rice, dried, milled into rice and then parboiled again). The shaman performs the rituals with sincerity to express gratitude to the local gods and goddesses who bless and protect the village, ward off evil spirits, wild animals and diseases. And hope that next year the villagers will have a good harvest. At the Worship Ceremony, there will be representatives of village elders, village chiefs. Also reputable people attending the ceremony.

Previously, the New Rice Offering Ceremony was only held in families. But in recent years, the Festival has been organized on a commune and district scale to promote the potential and strengths of Muong La district. In particular, Ngoc Chien land has up to 650 hectares of double-crop rice, with tan sticky rice varieties being a specialty with a characteristic fragrant plasticity. Along with that is the wild beauty, many unique cultural features of the highland people, rich villages and mineral water mines to develop tourist destinations.

5.6 Love tree

When visiting Ngoc Chien Muong La, you will see in the middle of the field two hundred-year-old trees standing next to each other and called “love trees”. The two ancient trees are not big or tall. But their entire bodies are covered with moss. From a distance, looking at the two trees looks like the image of two people together, protecting each other.

5.7. Pomu (Fokienia) Village and the thousand-year-old Pomu (Fokienia) Tree

Ngoc Chien is also known as “Po Mu Village in the middle of the Northwest”. Because there are many stilt houses made from wood of this tree species. If you pay attention, the houses here are all made from natural Pomu wood. Most especially, you will visit the thousand-year-old Pomu Tree standing tall in the middle of the mountains and forests here.

5.8. The poetic beauty of terraced fields

Ngoc Chien is famous for its beautiful terraced fields that flow down the hillside into spectacular shapes. The terraced fields change color with the seasons, from vibrant green in summer to golden tones in autumn.

These terraces not only offer stunning photo opportunities but also offer a glimpse into the agricultural traditions and ingenuity of local ethnic communities. Take a leisurely stroll or hike through the rice terraces to soak in their beauty and serenity.

5.9. Experiencing the culture and life of ethnic minorities

Ngoc Chien is home to several ethnic minority communities, including the Thai, Mong and Muong people. Visiting these villages offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in their rich cultural heritage. Interact with the locals, learn about their traditional customs and witness their skilled craftsmanship.

The Thai are known for their weaving and bamboo craft, while the Hmong are famous for their intricate embroidery. Engage in conversations, try traditional dishes and participate in cultural activities to gain a deeper understanding of the local lifestyle.

Exploring local markets is a fun way to experience Ngoc Chien’s vibrant atmosphere and unique flavors. The markets bustle with activity, as vendors sell fresh produce, crafts, and local specialties.

5.10. Visiting and exploring Pa U Waterfall

This is a natural wonder not to be missed on your Ngoc Chien trip. Nestled among lush green trees, this cascading waterfall creates a picturesque scene that captivates the senses.

The sound of rushing water, the cool mist in the air and the surrounding unspoiled nature combine to provide a tranquil and refreshing experience. Take a dip in the crystal-clear pools below the waterfalls or simply relax on the riverbank and let the calming atmosphere wash over you.

5.11. Check-in to the beautiful scenery at Ban On Village

Exploring this beautiful village, a hidden gem in Ngoc Chien, which showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of the area. This ancient village is said to have been founded more than a thousand years ago. Walking through the village, you will be fascinated by the traditional stilt houses, stone roads and ancient banyan trees dotting the landscape.

The village is also home to a communal house, where important cultural ceremonies and gatherings take place. Immerse yourself in the historic atmosphere as you explore the village and interact with the friendly locals.

5.12. Nam Nghiep village

Nam Nghiep village is the place where the largest gardenia tree is grown. Coming here, you can admire the hawthorn flowers (cat apple) blooming white in the forest. The flowers here usually bloom at the end of February and March every year, most beautiful in the spring. around the first half of March and many ancient trees hundreds of years old.

6. Enjoying specialties when visiting to Ngoc Chien commune

Coming to Ngoc Chien, you also have the opportunity to enjoy Thai cuisine. It’s one of the oldest and most unique cuisines of the Northwest region. The feast Ngoc Chien people prepare for guests usually includes a bottle of fragrant wine, grilled chicken, grilled fish, local vegetables and products. And is especially indispensable for fragrant and sticky rice cooked from seeds. Especially rice from Ngoc Chien field.

Below are some specialties that you must definitely enjoy when traveling to Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La:

6.1. Com Lam

Lam rice, or bamboo rice, is a typical dish of the region and a must-try dish when coming to Ngoc Chien. 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. Com Lam is often served with grilled meat or fish and served with fresh vegetables and local herbs, creating a delicious and well-rounded meal.

6.2. Grilled stream fish

With an abundant river system in Ngoc Chien, it is 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. This dish is often enjoyed with rice or rolled 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 Ngoc Chien’s cuisine, and one dish that highlights their unique flavor is La 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. People often serve Five Sac vermicelli with a variety of side dishes, including grilled meat, herbs, peanuts, and a sauce made from fish sauce.

7. Accommodation when traveling to Ngoc Chien commune

As a famous community tourism destination, of course if you want to stay overnight in Ngoc Chien you can only choose the homestays of the people here. If there are few people and it’s too late, you can ask to sleep at any homestay that you feel is spacious. That’s just in case you can’t find homestays that provide services. In the commune center, there are quite a few homestays that provide you with services from homestays, hot water baths and catering.

For a rich cultural experience, consider staying at Nam Pe Homestay. This community-based tourism initiative allows visitors to live with a local family, sharing meals, stories and daily activities.

Homestays provide comfortable accommodations while offering a unique insight into the daily life and traditions of the Thai ethnic community. Explore the surrounding countryside, join your hosts in farming activities, or simply relax and enjoy the warm hospitality of your host family.

Many beautiful and well-developed homestays and community services are currently available in Ngoc Chien. If you find yourself with few companions and feel lost on the road, you can ask to stay at any local house that appears spacious to you.

Some beautiful Homestays for your reference:

  • Ngoc Chien Pearl Homestay; Address: Ban Phieng Khao, Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district.
  • Kiem Lai Homestay; Address: Na Tau village, Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district.
  • Hau Hoan homestay; Address: Ban Luoi, Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district.

In addition, you can refer to: Homestay Van Thuong, Duc Dien Homestay, Manh Phuong homestay, Muong La CBT…

The Tet atmosphere still lingered in the activities of the people here. Plums and peaches are still blooming. Sun-dried salted pork hanging on a trellis. The people in the village are friendly and welcoming to visitors. Ngoc Chien has formed community tourism models that offer visitors interesting experiences and promise positive changes in the lives of indigenous people.

If you are planning your tours in Vietnam to visit Ngoc Chien commune – Muong La district, Son La province. Please contact Origin Vietnam travel team – The best Vietnam tour packages organizer and operator. With a team of professional tour consultants and guides, dedicated and knowledgeable about this land. We will take you on a journey to discover Ngoc Chien commune with interesting surprises and memorable experiences.

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