Pu Luong

How to travel to Pu Luong for your best experience
Pu Luong Travel Guide – What to do, when to visit, and more…
Wondering how to travel to Pu Luong for your best experience? Let’s read our article for some great tips of the best things you can do while traveling Pu Luong.

Don Village

Don Village

Don village is located in Thanh Son commune , Ba Thuoc district , Thanh Hoa province, Don village has...

Duom Village

Duom Village

Duom Village is a place of en-route trekking tour in Pu Luong. We roamed on the fields and enjoyed the...

Eo Ken Village

Eo Ken Village

Eo Ken village (Bản Eo Kén) is located in Thanh Son commune , Ba Thuoc district , Thanh Hoa province,...

Hang village

Hang village

Ban Hang is located in on of the deepest valleys in Pu Luong. The best reach this village is via road...

Hieu Village

Hieu Village

Hieu Waterfall stands out in the green jungle deep inside Pu Luong Natural Reserve, about 25km from...

Kho Muong village

Kho Muong village

  Located in the bufferzone of Pu Luong natural reserve in Thanh Hoa province, Kho Muong is one of 24...

Frequently asked questions


As one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Northwest Vietnam, Pu Luong is a large nature reserve area of pristine rainforest stretching over 17,600ha by two rows of gray limestone mountains running parallel, whereas in the middle are alluring terraced rice valleys worked by locals for thousands of years.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve attracts tasteful tourists thanks to its outstanding beauty of imposing mountains, intact waterfalls, immense terraced fields, as well as rich biodiversity along with Thai and Muong ethnic’s cultural values. An interesting combination of natural and man-made influence makes this breathtaking scenery become an ideal destination for nature lovers, who wish to escape the bustle of city life and enjoy the untouched charming land of minority groups of North Vietnam.

I. Experience outdoor activities

1. Go trekking


Most tourists come to Pu Luong to trek. Trekking is the best way to soak up the natural splendor of Pu Luong as the mountains are covered with tropical rainforest, while the valley is a series of cultivated rice terraces. You may like to take a walk along the valley floor with the area’s flora and fauna, or to hike to the summit of Pu Luong Mountain, but you don’t need to wait long to hold your breath before the dramatic scene of rice terraces, hidden hamlets, shallow waterfalls, and plenty of those famous water wheels. Listening to the waterwheels and forest sounds, waving at farmers and grazing water buffalo, and snapping pictures of greenery and wildlife… By going trekking, you’re in for an exhilarating experience.

2. Go cycling

A really enjoyable and authentic way to explore the different regions of Pu Luong is by bicycle touring. With many biking trails, Pu Luong enables travelers to discover the town in its most authentic way.

Idyllic valleys, unique terraced rice fields, and romantic mountains are the rewards for eager cyclists. The energetic ones can travel the remote tracks and steep valleys that follow a very scenic route. Similar to the hiking routes, there are also several for cycling with a difficulty range from moderate to advanced.

3. Go kayaking & rafting


Pu Luong’s river is a great place for kayaking enthusiasts, especially when the rainy season arrives. By kayaking, you can appreciate wonderful landscapes in a slow rhythm and understand local farming life along the river’s banks.

A trip along the river gives the stunning scenery with the green farmland, eye-catching water wheels, simple stilted houses, and all-round beautiful riverscape. In addition to kayaking, there is also the option to go rafting on the simple bamboo rafts on the Cham River, where you may also experience fishing like the locals.

II. Visit attractions and understand local culture

1. Kho Muong Village (and Kho Muong Cave)

Kho Muong is a valley located deep in the core zone of Pu Luong nature reserve. It’s less affected by human impact, so it retains its inherent wild and poetic features. This is home to 60 Thai households, with 230 people. Kho Muong village is separated from other villages in the region, about 2km from Thanh Son Commune People’s Committee. But the road to the village is not easy. The bumpy road is a challenge for many people who like to explore here.

Looking down from above, Kho Muong appeared with an amazing beauty. Especially the houses on stilts are located close to the foot of the mountain in the fields of rice, corn, and cassava. Surrounding the village is a vast green color of mountains and forests.


Thanks to what nature has favored, people know how to invest in building spacious houses to welcome tourists to visit. Coming to Kho Muong, visitors can admire the natural scenery, experience, learn the culture and customs of the Thai ethnic people, immerse in the rustic life, enjoy the traditional dishes of mountains and forests, such as Com lam, banana flower mannequin, bitter soup, corn wine…


Another attraction in Kho Muong Village is Kho Muong Cave, which is one of the most stunning caves discovered in Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Formed by limestone stalactites about 250 million years ago, the cave has a connection with the underground river system with a length of about 2.5 km. The river and stream system that flows in the cave is a common feature of the Kart rocky areas, which creates a connection between the valley by the flow of the streams.

Kho Muong Cave is also home to many bats. There are four species of bats reside in this cave at different times of the year. Going deeper into the cave, visitors will be able to see and admire stone blocks and stalactites with strange shapes, such as human figures, trees, beast… full of different colors, blurry, all appear very vivid and unique. Entering a deep corner in the cave also has a very wide-open field that looks like a natural volleyball court. This is one of the most highlights of the bat cave.

2. Ba Muoi Village

Son Ba Muoi (also known as Cao Son) is three upland villages of Lung Cao commune, which is located on the top of Pha He, Pha Chien mountain ranges, running parallel to the majestic Pu Luong – Cuc Phuong mountain circuit. In fact, Son Ba Muoi is quite isolated from the outside, so far. There are many traditions of ancient Thai people, the stilt houses of which architecture is fascinating still retain the traditional mark, clearly showing the peculiarities not affected by those.

Son Ba Muoi is about 130km northwest of the city center and is called a miniature Sapa due to the year-round temperate climate, the average temperature in the year is from 18 – 22 degrees Celsius, sometimes the winter snow. Summer night temperature is also very low.

3. Hieu Village


Hieu is a Thai village located on the bank of the Hieu stream, which is originating from the Pu Luong peak, flowing tortuously across the village with hundred rooftops scattered along its both sides. Lying in the steep slopes of jagged mountains, Hieu village overviews stunning valleys with its natural waterfall running day & night; and ever-green terraced fields extending from thickly forested slopes to water edge of muddy river. Dotted in that beautiful landscape are small settlements of wooden houses on stilts where local BlackThai ethnics live from generations to generations.

This might be the one that has the most waterfalls in the area, which are five, each one is as beautiful as the other. So that the local residents didn’t mind to name them all as Hieu waterfall, and tourists couldn’t resist to visit here to witness the wonder, once they are at Pu Luong.

4. Don Village

Located in the middle of beautiful rice terraces in Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Don Village is the homeland of the Black Thai Ethnic Group, where there is peaceful and beautiful natural landscape. Coming to Don Village, tourists would be charmed by its picturesque scenery, comprised of endless terraced paddy fields and stilt houses peacefully nestling among the foothills under the cool shade of the dense forest.

Since the introduction of community-based tourism, an increasing number of tourists have come to Don Village not only to contemplate its untouched natural beauty but also to experience the local life by trying cloth weaving and tasting local specialties that are served with the sincere hospitality of the locals.

5. Doan Market

Doan has been the name of the market since the French colonial period in Lung Niep commune, Ba Thuoc district, Thanh Hoa province. This is the place to trade goods and meet the people of Kinh, Muong and Thai ethnic groups in the communes around the region with people in Tan Lac and Lac Son districts from Hoa Binh province.

What makes the attraction for tourists when visiting the market is the culture of buying and selling goods with equal value. Sometimes, they do not trade in money, for example, a chicken can exchange for two dozen eggs with a bunch of vegetables that both sides feel comfortable and happy.

Within an amazing 48 hours, visitors can discover some of the most outstanding attractions and have a wonderful trekking through dazzling scenes of terraced paddy fields, greenery forests and visit locals’ home. Let’s check out our suggested 2-day itinerary for your best experience traveling Pu Luong.

Day 1: Pu Luong arrival – Don Village

AM: Depart from Hanoi at early morning and arrive Pu Luong at noon. Have lunch and check in a local hotel.

PM: Trek to Don village. Enjoy picturesque scenes of terraced fields and forest. Visit stilt houses and meet Black Thai people. Experience local life by trying cloth weaving and tasting specialties. Back to the hotel at late evening and take a peaceful rest.

Day 2: Don Village – Kho Muong Village

AM: Have breakfast before checking out of the hotel. Follow the small roads through the terrace rice fields and cross the stream to get to the remote Kho Muong village. Watch the vast green color of mountains and forests en route. Learn the culture and customs of the Thai ethnic people at the large community house, then experience some authentic foods.

PM: Explore the mystery Kho Muong Cave. See the bats on roof and admire stone blocks and stalactites with strange shapes made by ancient humans. Leave in the afternoon then return to Hanoi.

If you are a veteran backpacker, please feel free to manage the trip your own and alter it when needed, else, we recommend you join a tour organized by a professional company, that can free you from hassles and keep you safe throughout the journey.


The Pu Luong cuisine is quite simple yet typical, bringing the distinct characteristics of Thai cuisine with grilled dishes, herbal items, and spices with many mountains flavors. They are mainly “home-grown” products and incredibly fresh and healthy. If you are a food-lover who don’t mind strange scared foods, you may bring a round belly easily.


Pu Luong is a dish that can not be missed when discovering Pu Luong cuisine. Lam rice is made from new rice, both fragrant and flexible and cooked in bamboo forest tube. Enjoying Com lam Pu Luong you not only feel the aromatic taste of fresh rice, but the sweetness of the forest water and the cool aroma of forest bamboo also; all make a very special flavor for this place.


Kha Khom/ Kham Ke (bitter soup) made from the bitter leaves picked in the forest is another must-try. When you eat, you will feel the numbness of the numbness in your throat, but it will be sweet and cool at the tip of your tongue.

Pu Luong also has hill chicken and ducks, so the meat is very strong and delicious. Chicken and duck are processed with many dishes such as: stir-fry, boiled, roasted, roasted … all very mouthwatering and attractive. Due to being able to live in a natural environment, chickens and ducks are very fragrant, every fiber is soft and sweet.


Pu Luong Nature Reserve experiences similar weather conditions to other locations from the North, with four distinct seasons. However, as a highland area surrounded by primeval forests, the climate in Pu Luong is quite pleasant even among hot summer days. The summer (June – August), it is hot and humid (mid-thirties) with more rain. In winter, expect misty conditions, low visibility and cool to cold conditions – especially at night. If you expect a perfect retreat in Pu Luong, below is your quick takeaway:

  • At the end of May and early June, it is the occasion to start a new crop of rice when terraced fields wear a layer of green, extremely beautiful.
  • September and October are the time when Pu Luong enters the season of ripe rice. That the time all the terraced fields on the hillside will turn yellowish, making Pu Luong more beautiful.
  • Mid-summer is also a good time to go to Pu Luong (although it is during the period of Northern rainy and stormy season). Because Pu Luong is in low land limestone area, with many tropical forests and few inhabitants. The weather here between summer days is still quite cool.


There isn’t a direct public bus from Hanoi, and it takes approximately five and a half hours to reach Pu Luong by car. Travelers can hire private shuttles from Hanoi (at My Dinh Bus Station), which cost around VND400k (~$20) with a stop in Mai Chau along the way, then take a taxi for the rest of the journey to Pu Luong.

Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Pu Luong for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Pu Luong, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

You may also like

Create my trip
Asia Tour Advisor
Tour added to wishlist!