Pu Luong Nature Reserve, A hidden gem2
The Pu Luong limestone landscape is an area of outstanding beauty, culture interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau in the North to West to Cuc Phuong national park in the South East. It is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve was established in 1999 is roughly 170km from Hanoi. Being a nature reserve with a total area of 17,662 ha, 3/4 of the nature reserve is primary tropical forest. This is also living place of ethnic Muong and Thai people. Pu Luong means the highest peak of the village, in Thai language.
Recently, Pu Luong becomes a great destination for a few day trips from Hanoi. Trekking in the forest and a long rice paddy fields, cycling through the reserve and visit many beautiful small villages are among the activities travelers like. Pu Luong is among a few "off the beaten path" places near Hanoi that receives recommendations from explorers recently.
Mai Chau Valley
Scenery is beautiful with two ranges of mountains on both sides creating a lush green valley in the middle dotted with traditional villages. The locals here are among the most friendly people in Vietnam. You can always be invited to their homes for a cup of tea on your way. The local culture is rich and authentic. Villagers are living in small villages nested in the valleys, in their traditional house on stilts. Joining on a dance after dinner is always an unforgettable experience.
The best time to visit Pu Luong is during rice harvest season, from September to November or February until May. This time, the plantation is lush and weather is pleasant. Pu Luong can be best accessed either from Mai Chau or NinhBinh. Multiple day trekking through va to Pu Luong on the least visited trails is also a good option for trekkers. Trekking through villages including Ban Sai, Ban Hang, Ban Kho Muong or Ban Hieu and stay in one of the authentic homestay is the best activity one can do here. There are options for everyone including families with small children. Handspan Travel Indochina is currently offer tours to Pu Luong Nature reserve in combination with Mai Chau, NinhBinh and Ha Long Bay. The tours cover some interesting areas that give you a real taste of authentic Vietnam. Let's us show you the best of this un-discovered place.