Lai Chau is a province located 450 kilometres from Hanoi in northern Vietnam, and is particularly known for its mountains and ethnic minorities. The landscape is beautiful and made up of high mountain ranges stretching from the northwest to the southeast with narrow valleys, beautiful rivers and springs completing the natural beauty of the place.
The province of Lai Chau is situated at an average altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level and called the land of ‘Ban’ and ‘Dao’ flowers. It is also home to the highest mountain of Vietnam and Indochina called ‘Fansipan’. At a height of 3,143 metres it is rightfully referred to as ‘The Roof of Indochina’. The several rivers and streams that are flowing through the landscape also create stunning waterfalls due to the sharp differences in altitude. The tallest waterfall is Tac Tinh. At 50 metres high, it consists of two levels and creates such a beautiful landscape it is definitely worth photographing the spectacle.
As all the different tribes still have their own traditions and culture it is recommended to visit a local market where they all come together to sell and trade their local specialities with one and another. There are several such markets to choose from but the biggest one is probably Tam Duong Market, but it’s still very local with few tourists. Besides its natural beauty you can also find some historical relics that are worth a visit, two recommendations are Deo Van Long’s Palace located in Sin Ho District and Le Loi’s Stele.
Best Things to Do & See in Lai Chau, Vietnam
O Quy Ho Mountain Pass
O Quy Ho Pass is one of the most dangerous passes on Tay Bac Mountain. It joins two provinces Lai Chau and Lao Cai, where located the mythical Mount of Fansipan. In addition to winding paths, this pass attracts tourists for the big difference in temperature between two sides.
Pu Sam Cap
This is a set composed of several caves located on the mountain of Pu Sam Cap. There are three big caves: Thien Mon, Thien Duong and Thuy Tinh. The unspoiled beauty of Pu Sam Cap amazes tourists. It is romantic, fascinating, mysterious and also very grandiose.
The Village of Na Luong
Thanks to the uncultivated beauty and the remaining cultural values, the village of Na Luong (Na Tam commune, Tam Duong, Lai Chau) has become a tourist attraction attracting the eyes of adventurers. 100% of the inhabitants who are of the Lao ethnic group know how to preserve striking features of the tradition. The stilt houses hidden above the green trees in the fog and the women in colorful clothes impress you right away. It is perfect to participate in the traditional spring water fight.
The Village of Vang Pheo
Vang Pheo Village (Muong So Commune, Phong Tho District) is a place which has long been home to the ethnic White Thai. The culture of the Thai White ethnic group in Vang Pheo remains intact despite development. Houses on stilts, White Thai clothes (black dress, long …) all preserved bath you in the minority culture. Traditional games during the holidays (nem con, gay day …) are worth discovering.
The Rice Field of Muong Than
Muong Than is the third of the four largest rice paddies in the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam. The seasons of rice, corn, vegetables give different colors to the landscapes.
Tac Tinh Waterfall
Tac Tinh Waterfall is known as mother nature provides fresh and plentiful fresh water for people in Tam Duong district. Every time the rainy season comes, the water from the top of Hoang Lien Son mountain makes the image of Tac Tinh Waterfall be lively with the water flowing down to the lake looked like white silk stretching to the bottom of the waterfall.
Pu Ta Leng Peak
Before conquering Mount Fansipan – the roof of Indochina, you have to overcome the peak Pu Ta Leng. In order to reach the peak of Pu Ta Leng, the visitors have to prepare psychological readiness for climbing the stream through the forest thoroughly. A secret to traveling Lai Chau safely is to go on a sunny day if you want to successfully conquer the peak of Pu Ta Leng mountain. If it rains, the road is extremely difficult and also easy to encounter natural disasters such as flash floods.
Best Time to Visit Lai Chau Province
Lai Chau is characterized by the Northwest climate and culture, so the appropriate time to travel to Lai Chau is similar to the best time to go to Northwest Vietnam. You should go around September to October to admire the terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai and Muong Than fields in Than Uyen district. You should not go to Lai Chau in the rainy season, especially when storms or tropical low-pressure cause rain because the North West roads are frequently landslide, floods in rivers and streams are also rising, which is very dangerous.
How to Get to Lai Chau Province
Lai Chau is 500km from Hanoi so it is quite easy to plan a small trip to Lai Chau beside your Hanoi tours. There are about 10 bus companies that operate the Hanoi-Lai Chau line: Hai Van, Hoang Anh, Anh Tu… You can get one at My Dinh Station.