Vietnam is one of the best destinations for trekking lovers. Here, you can enjoy the most amazing trekking routes such as Sapa, Ta Nang, etc. But there is a lesser trodden place for this activity which might surprise you with its intact beauty – Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
Things you should know about Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is located in the northwest of Thanh Hoa province, 170km southwest of Hanoi. This area is located in the districts of Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc. This place has an area of 17.662ha and a quarter of the area is a primitive forest. Here is also the place where Muong and Thai ethnic people live.
You might be amazed to know that Pu Luong is the largest area of lowland limestone forest in Northern Vietnam. There are 3 main types of forest: dense forest on lowland, forest on limestone mountains, floristic composition, which creates an impressive view for this place. Moreover, with the diversity of terrain and the Pu Luong peak of 1.700m of height, it’s one of the most favorite destinations of Vietnam trekking for both domestic and international tourists.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Source: Google)
When is the best time for Pu Luong trekking?
In general, it’s not difficult for you to find a Vietnam trek tour in Pu Luong. It’s a mountainous area with a beautiful landscape changing according to each season. So, basically, you can visit Pu Luong any time of a year. However, for the best Vietnam trekking experiences, we recommend you to choose these times:
- From May to June is the time when local people start a new rice crop. If you come to Pu Luong at this time, you can admire the greenish rice terraces, which makes you feel peaceful and fresh. You don’t need to worry about the heat of Vietnam during this time in Pu Luong. This is because this place is located in the mountains and the weather is quite cool and comfortable.
- From September to October is when the rice fields start ripening. All rice terraces will turn into a bright yellow, which makes this place look like in a fairy tale. This time is considered as the best time to visit Pu Luong.
Rice terraces in Pu Luong (Source: Google)
How to travel to Pu Luong?
If you are an adventure-lover and you enjoy riding motorbikes, there are no reasons for you to rent one and drive to Pu Luong. Firstly, you can drive to Mai Chau, then keep following Co Luong and Dong Do direction. After that, you need to turn to road 15 C which lies along the Ma river. Keep running till you reach the Pu Luong Nature Reverse. If you can’t recognize the name of these marks, you can rely on Google Map.
For your safety, please maintain an average speed of 20-30km/ hour. This is because there are lots of unexpected and dangerous bends on the road. And, you also should check the bike carefully before setting off.
However, riding a motorbike is not a good idea when you don’t have a good physical condition. Moreover, you should take rest before going for a Vietnam trekking tour in Pu Luong. Therefore, the best transportation is by car. To book a private car or limousine, you can contact any travel agencies in the Old Quarter. They will inform you of the pick-up time and location. You only need to pay for two-way tickets. In case you book a room in a hotel in Pu Luong, you can ask the hotel for transportation service.
Some common trekking routes in Pu Luong
There are a lot of interesting trekking routes in Pu Luong that you can try. In general, these routes are not too difficult so everyone with good health can finish. If you are too lazy to look for one route, you can take a look at some suggestions below:
- The first route for Pu Luong trekking is the way leading to the Pu Luong Mount Peak. If you like a little challenge and adventure, trekking from lowland to the height of 1.700m of this mount is a perfect idea. The way to the top is gently sloping, but it still requires lots of effort to finish. And, when you reach the top of this mount you won’t regret. From here, you can have a panoramic view of mountains, forests, rice terraces, valleys and even some tiny houses, which is one of the most unforgettable moments in your life.
View from Pu Luong mount peak (Source: Google)
- The second route is exploring Son – Ba – Muoi area. This area belongs to three mountainous villages located on the top of Pha He and Pha Chien mountains. According to some tourists, this route is longer than the first one because you have to pass various villages before reaching the mountain paths. However, once you arrive, you can enjoy the peaceful and picturesque scenes.
- If you want to get to know about the ethnic culture with a Vietnam trekking tour in Pu Luong, you can plan for a route in Kho Muong village. This destination is the favorite of foreign tourists. Besides the beautiful landscape, when trekking to Kho Muong village, you also have a chance to explore the wonderful cave system here. In addition, while trekking, you can take a rest at local houses to talk to locals and understand their customs as well as daily activities.
- The last one that you can’t miss when comes to Pu Luong trekking is rice fields. You can trek through sparkling rice terraces here if you only fancy a short trekking route. This route is simple and doesn’t require a guide.
To fulfil your day in Pu Luong, you also can visit Hieu village where you can find a small waterfall. You also should visit Pho Don fair market if you have a chance. This market will give you various suggestions for great souvenirs.
Tips for comfortable trekking tour
- Hire a guide: If you want to go for difficult trekking routes, you should hire a local guide who knows the road. It helps you to make sure that you won’t be lost and the guide also can support you if any problems happen.
- Light pack: Don’t bring everything when you prepare for a Vietnam trekking tour. A heavy pack will slow you down and make you tired sooner. Therefore, you only need to bring essential things including water, some snacks, some medications, anti-insect cream, sunscreen.
- Sturdy shoes: You have to walk through different terrains, so the best accompany is a pair of sturdy shoes. These shoes will protect your feet and they can’t be broken easily.
- Lots of water: In case you go off the bitten track, it’s difficult for you to find somewhere selling bottled water. So, it’s better for you to bring as much water as possible.
- Cameras: Don’t forget your camera because you will want to record a lot of amazing moments while trekking.
For more Vietnam adventures:
- Essential information for a Son Doong Cave expedition
- Guide to Ziplining in Vietnam for Adventure Seekers
- Hoàng Liên Sơn Mountain Range – Home to the Best Vietnam Adventure Tours