Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

When seen the white cabbage flower fields’ photographs on a friend’s Facebook, I really captivated by its beauty. It’s like heaven on earth! He said it’s the cabbage flowers fields on Moc Chau. Oh, great! This paradise is not too far, it’s quite close to me. Only about 190km. So, we make atrip to Moc Chau, cannot wait any longer.

Place to visit Moc Chau

Moc Chau is a mountainous district of Son La province in the northwestern of Vietnam, just 200km from Hanoi. Currently, it’s can be reached Moc Chau by road. In Vietnam, taking go backpacking on motorcycles is a very popular trend. If you travel to Vietnam and have a lot of time, you should explore Vietnam on the motorcycle to getting full experience the Vietnam beauty. I used to take the motorcycle travel trip on the spectacular roads in Ha Giang, that’s the wonderful times. And of course, on this trip, only me and one friend with a motorbike.

After 4 hours ride on a motorbike, we are arrived Moc Chau, Son La. My friend said that all 4 seasons, Moc Chau always beautiful, each season has its own beauty.

  • Before and after the Lunar New Year (end of January to the end of February): the peach blossoms, the plum blossoms are in the blooming season.
  • March is the time of the ban flowers blooming.
  • October – December: the season of the cauliflower, the wild sunflowers.

Additional, not only the flower seasons, Moc Chau charmed people by the unspoiled features and the picturesque landscapes. My friend said that asides cabbage flowers fields, Moc Chau also has a lot of attractive and charming places where worth to explore and experience.

Thong Cuong village

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Thong Cuong is a Hmong ethnic village. On the way go to Thung Cuong village, there a lot of vast white cabbage flower valleys. This beautiful scenery is one of the favorite photographing places for young people, photographers.

Pa Phach Village

Pa Phach is a village of Mong ethnic located between a valley and is quite separate from the outside because of the steep mountain slopes. Maybe that why this place not far away from the town but it still in the unspoiled scenery. In the spring, this place getting brighten by the pure white of plum blossoms.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

The road to Pa Phach is quite difficult, passing through the consecutive steep slopes. However, when getting the top, I can admire a vast valley filled vivid color of plum blossom, peach … few of tiny houses of the Hmong ethnic hide in the forest. On the other side, the Moc Chau plateau spreading to horizons, filled with the green grass, the young corn fields, some cows are grazes…

Pine forest in Ang Village

Pine forest is also known as the old pine hill, very close to the town and is an ideal place for take camping, picnics.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Located on Moc Chau Plateau, Ang village have the fresh air, romantic scenery. This village also retains the characteristic cultural of the Thai ethnic.

We driving follow highway 43 about 2km to the south to approach Ang village. Standing on the top hill and see the whole underneath, Ang village as beautiful as a watercolor picture with tiny stilt houses on the green field. On next to the village, there’s a lake with an area of 5 hectares, surrounded by green pine forests on the reddish soils hills. In the distance, the scenery of Moc Chau plateau, especially in the spring, covered by the green color of tea hills, green pastures, the white color of ban flowers, plum blossoms.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Ban Ang is home to the Thai ethnic group. They living by farming occupation(planting of tea, cabbages, corn, rice), breeding and handicraft (weaving of brocade, making bamboo and rattan products). Although located near to Moc Chau town, Ang village people still preserve their typical cultural identity such as the traditional stilt house, brocade costumes, folk songs, folk games, characteristic festivals…
Visiting Ang village, I have the opportunity to experience daily life with the villagers (living in stilt houses, picking tea, fishing …); exploring the scenery of the Vietnam Northwest mountainous, especially riding a horse in the forest, enjoying the local specialties such as rượu cần (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes), cơm lam (bamboo-tube rice), pa pình tộp (grilled spring fish), thịt trâu gác bếp (Dried buffalo meat hung up on a wooden stove), bê chao (fried veals), salmon, xôi ngũ sắc (Glutinous Rice with Five Colors), wild vegetables …

Dai Yem Waterfall, a treasure on Moc Chau plateau

Dai Yem waterfall is one of the famous spots of Moc Chau. Dai Yem in English means the brassiere, its name derived from a legend, which of Thai people for a long time ago. In a flood, there’s a girl had used her brassiere and saved a kid from the strong stream. That act had named to honor girl’s bravery and sacrifice.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

To approaching the waterfall, you must be walking through a forest. Keep walking to the end of the small concrete road, until heard the sound of the cascade. It’s Dai Yem waterfall. Step down a few steps, there’s a large space suddenly open up in my eye, the waterfall falling down from above like as a white soft silk strip and the fresh air.

Some tips when visiting Dai Yem waterfall
  • Dai Yem waterfall gets most beautiful in the time from April to October. At that time, it’s got a lot of water, the whole area is 70m wide is full of white foam water overflowing. It’s a majestic and poetic scene!
  • Do not take a bath or wade in the water because of the waterfall bottom’s quite deep, it’s very dangerous for those who cannot swim.
  • You should wear shoes with high friction to avoid got slipped when moving.

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Son Moc Huong cave (Bat Cave)

According to local people, Son Moc Huong cave (Bat Cave or Hang Doi Cave) is a familiar name for visitors who traveling in Moc Chau. They said it is an artistic masterpiece, a splendid landscape of Moc Chau plateau that I should visit at least once.

From the Moc Chau town, go to in Son La city’s direction about 300m, The Bat Cave is on the right hand and far away about 150m from the national highway no 6. The cave gate is facing the South, looking down a big valley, where there are seven small mountains, like seven gems.

Legend has it that there was a dragon flying to the South. When it passed this land, due to getting cold, it could not be flying and fell down. Before dying, it coughs out seven gems, which turns to seven mountains. The head of the dragon still turns to the seven gems. Factly, the cave gate looks like a dragon mouth. The paths along two sides like the edges of the mouth. The upper dragon jaw is like a cover roof, which is high and gliding to the inside. The floor (the lower jaw) is flat and could be enough for hundreds of people.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

The sight inside the cave is very magical. The stalactites are sparkling and colorful. There are many stalactites on the ceiling could be higher than 20m like old banyan-tree roots. There are also many stalactites in the shapes of money trees, terraced field, fairies, elephant, lion, tiger, eagles and flying clouds, etc. The shape of the stalactites very unique and sophisticated, magical and lively. In the middle of the floor, there are dry ponds. In the middle of the pond, there is a giant stone tortoise. The left sight of the pond, there is a stalactite which is in the shape of a couple.

According to the legend, there was a prince, a son of the sea king. He came to this land and loved the princess, daughter of the land King. He rode the tortoise of his father to meet the princess. The king was angry and ordered to withdraw all the water to let prince no way to come back. The prince was determined to marry his lover. Then, the couple was turned into stone to prove their love. The tortoise was so touched and loyal to his boss, and it was also turned into stone to stay with them. The sea king had forgiven his son. He created the stone shapes of paddy fields, the lakes, and cattle for the new land.

How to get there ?

The way to go this cave very easy. Only a few minutes driving towards Son La City direction. The cave is located 150m away from the National Road No. 6.

Moc Chau Tea Plantation

Moc Chau Plateau has climates, terrain, and soil appropriate for planting tea. The heart-shaped tea hills attracted a lot of visitors, particularly youngsters. They can lease or purchase the colorful traditional costumes of locals to take photographs.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Mount Pha Luong is the great destination for photographers who hunt the majestic scenery, a challenging destination for the young backpackers.

Mount Pha Luong is far from Moc Chau town 30km and known as the roof of Moc Chau between Vietnam-Laos border. Trekking Mount Pha Luong is not as hard as other mountains in the North of Vietnam, however, the road to border port is really a challenge for someone who wants to conquer Mount Pha Luong.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

First, we have to head to the Loong Sap border checkpoint. Afterward, I turn to the Muong Ve walkway about 10km further to reach the base of the mountain. With high mountains and abyss on the other side, this is a dangerous path for you, should only take by walk or by motorbike. You should not take hiking Pha Luong on rainy days because the path getting very slippery, easy to get with accidents.

On the top of the mountain and enjoy the view around, The scenery so imposing. On the peaks, I have enjoyed the breathtaking landscapes and shoot a lot of beautiful photos. Catching clouds at Pha Luong peak, the tired footsteps suddenly vanished. The beautiful scene of “the island in the sky” Pha Luong brought up a lot of feelings for me.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

“The market of Love“ – where ethnic people dating.

In autumn, local people in Moc Chau open their “love market“. It’s a place attracted many young Hmong people, they’re dates, give each traditional gifts, confess their love and promise that they would be together forever. A few months before the love market open, ethnic girls aged 15 to 17 prepare their most beautiful costumes and boys practice playing khèn (Pan-pipe). On the day the love market opens, they will dance together. Khèn is an instrument is created from seven or eight pairs of bamboo tubes. Recently, only a less number of boys who can playing khèn.


Eating in Moc Chau

Moc Chau is also a destination where you enjoy the unique local foods. Let’s see what to eat in Moc Chau and learn more about unique foods here to plan your Vietnam backpacking tours right now!

Bê Chao (Fried Veal)

In Moc Chau plateau, all the calves at birth will be identifying the gender. Female calves being bred to get milk, males which will be disqualified. With the disqualified calf, people turned it into a nutrient-rich dish and very tasty _ Bê Chao

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Way to cook bê chao not too complicated. The veal is cut into small pieces and marinated with the unique spices of Moc Chau. Then, the chef will be careful frying the marinated pieces of veal in the cooking oil boiled at the high temperature until it is tender enough to eat. I can’t resist its flavor, very good!

Local cabbages

Local cabbages only available in the winter and spring. This type of cabbage grows naturally around gardens, locals use it for the meals of family. From the middle and late autumn, people sowing cabbages seeds around the garden, the field without taking care. In this way, the cabbage will absorb nutrients from the rocky slits, from the cold mist to grow naturally.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

In the past few years, due to the increasing demand for cabbages, ethnic people begin plants the local cabbage for business. Now, this vegetable is grown professionally. However, due to the method of cultivation is still rudimentary, so the Moc Chau cabbages retain its original flavor.

Cá Suối Nướng (Grilled Spring Fish)

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

Certainly, the grilled spring fish must be listed in what to eat in Moc Chau. It is the must-eat local food in this mountainous region. The fish very small, you should eat both its meat and bones because the bones are very tiny and sweet. Fishs are caught from the small springs and be cleaned then marinate fish with local spices and grill on the charcoal until it turns to gold. Grilled spring fish should be eaten with sour, spicy and the sweet fish sauce.

Salmon Moc Chau

For many years, salmon have been raised in various locations of Vietnam, such as Sapa; Lai Chau; Lam Dong… where there are the fresh and cold water fits for the fish. However, now I just realized that salmon have also been raised and processed in Moc Chau.

Visiting Moc Chau plateau and catching clouds on Pha Luong Peak

The salmon is cooked into many dishes such as salad; grilled, fried or smoked salmon; hotpot and porridge. The best delicious is salmon salad served with vegetables, ginger, green mango, sour leaves, and soybean. A serving including 6 dishes costs 200,000VND (about 10$). If you buy fresh fish, the price is about 350,000VND (17$)per kilogram.

Note when traveling to Moc Chau

  • Nights in Moc Chau is quite cold, we didn’t think this situation so both of us not dare to leave the hostel. If you go by motorcycle, you will need to prepare raincoat and necessary things.
  • Should checking the weather forecast before departure because if it rains, it going to dark quickly. If encountered with fog, keep the speed should moderate, do not go too fast and attention to turn on the headlights to avoid got traffic accidents.
  • If you go by motorbikes, try to drive in the daytime. Should not to run after about 18h (especially for those who do not have much experience moving on mountain roads). At that time, thick fog always appears on the road to Moc Chau.
  • Moc Chau is a hot spot where there a lot of drugs dealers, so when you go to the villages (especially Long Luong area), you always have to pay attention carefully, never to leaving luggage or vehicles and go to other places. Let one person stay and keep luggage avoid the case someone put a few drugs into your luggage, you will have a huge trouble.

Above are things I experienced after Moc Chau trip. Thank you to read this post. If you have questions or need more travel tips for backpacking to Moc Chau, can leave comments below. I’m happy to answer!

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Hi, I am Ventori, own this blog. This blog is my travel stories I experienced throughout Vietnam. This also places to share useful tips and guides for you. Enjoy your visit!

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