Travel to Phong Tho Lai Chau is famous for having many beautiful natural landscapes and extremely attractive activities for tourists. One of the destinations you should not miss when traveling to Lai Chau is Phong Tho. Let’s explore this wonderful place in the northernmost region of Vietnam with Origin Vietnam through our article below.
1. Where is Phong Tho?
Phong Tho is a border highland district in Lai Chau province, about 40 km north of Lai Chau city center and about 430 km northwest of Hanoi capital. The North borders Kim Binh district, Yunnan province (China), the East and Southeast borders Lao Cai province, the South borders Tam Duong district and Lai Chau city, the West and Southwest borders Sin Ho district. Phong Tho has a border with Yunnan province, China, about 100 km.
2. How is Phong Tho unique?
Phong Tho is not as busy and magnificent as the districts and cities in the delta, but this place is blessed by nature with wild landscapes and endless mountains. Visitors will experience community tourism, watching the sunlight gradually dispel the early morning fog. Believe that even the most demanding tourists will be conquered by the majestic beauty of the mountains and forests here.
In addition, Phong Tho is blessed with a cool and fresh climate, and the indigenous people here are extremely friendly and hospitable. Tourists coming here all share the same opinion that Phong Tho has a unique traditional culture that is not found anywhere else. In recent years, Phong Tho has been visited by tourists from all over because of many interesting destinations, urging tourists to explore and discover. Such as the national relics Nam Tun archaeological site, Nang Temple. Han, Na Cung resistance cave, Then Kin Pang festival or Sin Suoi Ho…
3. Which is the best season to visit Phong Tho?
Characterized by the climate and culture of the Northwest region of Vietnam, the appropriate time to travel to Phong Tho – Lai Chau is from September to April of the following year:
- Going around September-October, you have the opportunity to watch the ripe rice season with terraced fields with endless golden colors.
- In Phong Tho, the terrain is mainly high mountains, so trekking tourism to hunt clouds is also a great choice. You can come here around March-April, if you are lucky you will see the sea of clouds. Moreover, this season is also the season to pour water into terraced fields to prepare for a new crop. The entire mountainous area is like a giant mirror reflecting bright sunlight.
- You should avoid traveling during the rainy season in the Northwest, which usually falls from June to August every year, especially when there are storms or tropical depressions that cause rain because at this time the Northwest roads often fall. Landslides and flood waters in rivers and streams are also dangerously high.
4. How to get to Phong Tho?
4.1. Traveling by personal vehicle
From Hanoi, you have 2 options to go to Phong Tho and Lai Chau.
- The first option goes through Road 32 to Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai, Than Uyen, Lai Chau city and then to Phong Tho. Choose this option if you plan to explore Nghia Lo or watch the ripe rice season in Mu Cang Chai. If you choose this option, the distance will be longer (about 420 km) and the time will be longer.
- The second option is to use the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway, then go to Sa Pa and cross O Quy Ho pass to Phong Tho, Lai Chau. This second option will reduce the travel distance by about 40-50 km, time by about 4 hours because the Hanoi – Lao Cai route is completely on the highway.
4.2. Traveling by public transportation
Lai Chau is about 500 km from Hanoi, currently there are about 10 bus companies operating on the Hanoi – Lai Chau route, buses usually depart from My Dinh bus station, there are also some companies with buses departing from the bus station. Giap Bat. You just need to get out of the above buses and catch a bus to Lai Chau city. From the city you can rent a motorbike, take a taxi or take intra-province buses to travel to Phong Tho.
5. Discovering the beauty of Phong Tho
5.1. Dao San Plateau
Dao San Plateau is famous for its pristine nature, stretching hills and mountains with the green color of the jungle. Terraced fields and gurgling streams also add to the wonderful scenery of this place.
Besides, this plateau is also inhabited by ethnic groups such as H’Mong, Dao, Thai, Ha Nhi,… So when you come here, especially when the Dao San market is held every Sunday , you will admire and experience the extremely unique culture of the highland people.
5.2. Heart Falls
As the name suggests, the heart waterfall is a waterfall in Sin Suoi Ho commune. With the help of mother nature, the waterfall is blocked by a cliff, divided into 2 streams and then falls together to form a heart shape. right in the middle of vast forests and mountains.
That poetic scene has captured countless hearts from tourists near and far. Besides, according to indigenous people, the heart waterfall is also associated with the legend of the extremely beautiful love of a couple.
5.3. Bach Moc Luong Tu Peak
Bach Moc Luong Tu, also known as Ki Quan San, is located on the border between Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces. This is one of the highest mountains in Vietnam. The scenery on the top of the mountain is extremely poetic and magical as if it could touch the blue clouds.
With rugged terrain and steep cliffs, it is extremely suitable for those who love adventure and exploration.
5.4. Tien Son Cave
Located in Binh Lu commune, Phong Tho Lai Chau district, Tien Son Cave is one of the rare beautiful rock caves that still retains its wild features to this day. With the stalactites covered, the stalagmites “grow” from the ground, forming very unique and strange shapes. It is these interesting points that attract tourists from all over the country to come here.
Tien Son Cave has 36 different arcs running continuously across the mountainside. The deeper you go, the more the cave will expand with beautiful and magical stalactites and stalagmites.
5.5. Nang Han Temple
Miss Han is a heroic figure in the legends of the White Thai ethnic group in the Northwest. People built a temple and worshiped her as a god.
February 15 of every year is chosen as the Han Festival. On this day, indigenous people will offer incense, agricultural products, and food to the temple to pray for a year of peace and luck. Besides, there are also many folk games and unique national dances.
5.6. Vang Po Hot Springs
Vang Po hot spring is located in Vang Po village, Phong Tho district. To get here, you just need to go along Highway 4D, the hot spring is located in the famous tourist cluster of Muong So commune along with Ma Lu Thang border gate economic zone. It would be great if, during your vacation, you visit a hot spring to relax, forgetting all the worries, hardships, and noise of the city out there!
5.7. Ma Thu Thang border gate
Located in Ma Li Po commune – Phong Tho Lai Chau, Ma Thu Thang border gate is one of the important border gates considered a spearhead to promote the district’s economy. The border gate is a destination chosen by many tourists to explore this remote but also very poetic and lyrical land of Vien Bien!
5.8. Sung Market – Si Lo Lau
Sung Market is one of the markets of the Dao people in Si Lo Lau commune, Phong Tho. The name “Si Lo Lau” means “12 steep floors”, this place is more than 2000 meters above sea level, the market is located in the last commune of 8 border communes, only 1km from the Vietnam – China border. .
6. Enjoying specialties when traveling to Phong Tho
When traveling to Phong Tho, you will not only admire the wild and breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes but also have the opportunity to enjoy specialties only available here.
6.1. “Under-Armpit” pigs
The name “under-armpit pig” (in some places called badger pig) is a specialty pig found only in highland areas. Each animal weighs about 10-15kg, any large animal is only about 20kg. Eating “armpit” pig meat is no different from eating wild animal meat without breaking the law, because this pig species is released into the forest from birth to find its own food to survive. The meat is very firm, fragrant, very little fat, if any, it is not greasy.
6.2. Pork mixed with sour leaves
Chua leaves are available all year round in the forest. Take them home and pound them, add chili and Doi seeds. Mix well with pork, eat deliciously without getting bored. This is a delicious dish of the White Thai people in Lai Chau.
6.2. Thai grilled fish dish
Since ancient times, Thai people have often settled in valleys, along rivers and streams, so fish and other aquatic products have always been an important and indispensable food source for daily life. Because for Thai ethnic people, fish not only brings nutritional value but is also a symbol of fullness, prosperity and happiness.
6.3. Goby buried in ash
Goby fish here are often caught in rivers and streams. They are very big and are as big as an adult’s index finger. To have a delicious and beautiful goby fish dish with gio, one must go through many elaborate steps, requiring the skill and experience of the processor.
When enjoying the dish, you will notice the special aroma of perfectly mixed mountain and forest spices, the greasy but not greasy taste of the fish, and the gentle aroma of grilled dong leaves. This dish can be both a wine dish and a dish with hot rice or sticky rice.
6.4. Purple sticky rice
Purple sticky rice is made by the skillful hands of Thai and Day women… with their own secrets. From the fragrant upland sticky rice grains, the large grains are not sticky, and have a sweet fragrance, wash them clean and soak them in plain water for 6 – 8 hours. The distinctive and attractive purple color of sticky rice is dyed with a plant called Khau plug (this plant is only found in mountainous areas).
In addition to the delicious, greasy taste that is not boring, purple sticky rice is also attractive because of the color and texture of forest leaves. According to the experience of ethnic people in Lai Chau, the Khau plug plant used in sticky rice also has the effect of treating intestinal diseases and improving health very well.
6.5. Smoked pork
Smoked pork is a traditional dish of some highland ethnic groups in general and the Pu Na people in particular. You can’t make smoked pork all the time, you can make it in every season. But there is a season to make smoked meat and you have to make it in the right season. Because if you make it out of season, the meat will go rancid. The best season to make the best smoked meat is winter.
6.6. Ban flower shoot salad
If anyone has had the opportunity to visit Thai villages in Lai Chau, they will not only know a touching legend about Hoa Ban – Bitter Bamboo Shoots but also enjoy a dish containing all flavors: bitter, sour, spicy. , salty, sweet, and fleshy of Hoa Ban bamboo shoot salad.
7. Accommodation when traveling to Phong Tho
Below is a list of hotels and motels in Phong Tho that you can choose to stop at:
- Hoang Lan Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Lan Anh II Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Phuong Thanh Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Bich Loi Guesthouse. Address: Khong Lao, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
In addition, tourists also have the option of homestay accommodation. This is a form of travel for tourists who want to explore, experience. And learn about the customs and traditions of local people and tourists. You can eat, rest, and participate in activities with the host to better feel the local culture. Currently, community tourism destinations in Ban Hon, Tam Duong Sin Suoi Ho, Phong Tho and in Sin Ho Town are the destinations chosen by many tourists when wanting to explore community tourism in Lai Chau.
Are you planning your adventure tour Vietnam to Phong Tho – Lai Chau? Don’t hesitate any longer, contact Origin Vietnam – a professional tour organizer and operator. With a team of tour consultants and tour guides who are experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable about this land, we will take you on a journey to discover Phong Tho with majestic mountain landscapes and markets. colorful highlands, enjoy the unique cuisine here and keep these unforgettable memories.