Situated in the Northwest of Vietnam. It’s about 230km from Hanoi. Inland and remote Son La province stretches along Vietnam’s south western border with Laos. It’s bisected by the Da river that flows down the state possibly emptying in a big tank at Hoa Binh province.
How Son La Province special?
Characterized by a mountainous landscape, the steep slopes of Son La’s sidewalks are layered in hundreds of rice terraces. Especially whilst the lush valley bases are home to little and very isolated farming villages. With a considerable population of minority groups. You will not need to look far to find people living a traditional lifestyle well away from the bustle and hustle of the larger, more facilities of Vietnam.
For most visitors. Son La is a series of slow prospects taken out of the minibus window when they make their long journey from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu. And whilst the same named provincial capital retains small of touristic value. It’s a classic the pleasure is in the getting there type destination. There are far less magnificent provinces to lose a day or 2 than Son La. Also, in case you are travelling under your own ways. Like, by motorcycle. Son La holds fantastic possibility tour with considerable side roads off the main road villages and slopes where you can travel to.
The sleepy provincial capital of Son La itself is set at the halfway point between Hanoi and Dien Bien Phu. It had been once the site of a French garrison throughout the French war. Nowadays, apart from the ruins of the jail. The only signs the French made it here’s the baguettes and rich strong coffee. A medium-sized city, the provincial capital is divided in two by a small estuary, the fertile banks of that can be given over to small scale farming. For a town of note, really the only point of interest here’s the ruins of the French jail. So that most visitors give Son La a night’s stay before continuing towards Dien Bien Phu or Hanoi.
How to get to Son La from Hanoi?
Buses out of Hanoi leave from from My Dinh more or less hourly between 07:00 and 21:00. Buses to Dien Bien Phu also stop in Son La.
Sample departures include:
- Dien Bien Phu: leaving at 05:00, 12:30, costing 81,000 and taking 5 hours.
- Hai Phong: leaving at 05:50, costing 170,000 VND
- Hanoi (My Dinh): leaving at06:00, 06:40, 07:40, 08:00, 09:00 and every half hour between 19:00 and 22:30 costing 125,000 to 145,000 VND and taking around 9 hours.
- Hanoi (Giap Bat): leaving 07:00, 08:40, 09:20, 11;00, costing 125,000 and taking around 9 hours.
- Lao Cai: leaving at 06:30, costing 136,000 VND
- Moc Chau: leaving at 13:30, costing 55,000 VND and taking 3 hours.
- Ninh Binh: leaving at 05:10 (extra departure at 05:50 every other day), costing 120,000 to 130,000 VND
- Thai Nguyen: leaving at 05:30, costing 150,000 VND
- Yen Chau: leaving at 13:30 (the Moc Chau bus), costing 55,000 VND and taking two hours (Note you will likely be charged the same price as the journey to Moc Chau – try to negotiate but you may not have much luck).