Pu Luong – The Perfect Destination For Nature Lovers
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|Rice harvest season in Thanh Hoa's terraced fields|
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Pu Luong Natural Reserve locates about 130 km to the northwest of Thanh Hoa City in Thanh Hoa, a province in northern Vietnam bordered by Laos and the Gulf of Tonkin. Pu Luong is close to other popular tourist spots such as Lac village in Mai Chau district of Hoa Binh province, the God Fish Stream of Cam Luong close to Ma River in Thanh Hoa, and Cuc Phuong national park situating between the Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa. The journey to Pu Luong will take you on scenic routes through a plethora of majestic landscapes.
|The road leading to Pu Luong. Photo: Vietnam Times|
After traversing through winding mountain roads, you will immediately be impressed by Pu Luong’s tranquil, poetic beauty. The natural reserve is nothing short of a stunning picture formed by its many natural and cultural mosaics.
|The rustic and poetic beauty of Pu Luong. Photo: Vietnam Times|
It has the charm of an old valley dotted with villages of the Muong ethnic minority group that nestle between soaring limestone mountains, surrounded by endless rice fields, winding clear streams and dramatic rice terraces. From afar, Pu Luong Mountain stands tall amidst majestic untouched forest and mesmerizing waves of clouds. Everything comes together to create a natural reserve adorned by pristine landscapes and distinct cultures.
|Endless rice terraces painting a spectacular picture. Photo: Vietnam Times|
You can travel to the top of Pu Luong Mountain to have the best view of the valley. Here, flowers bloom all year round. In the afternoon, clouds cover the limestone peaks in Pu Luong in white, making the natural reserve more mysterious and magical. Looking from Pu Luong Mountain peak, the rice terraces seem to run endlessly to the horizon and, as sunlight shines down on the terraces’ surface, be covered in silver.
|Traditional houses on stilts of the Muong ethnic group on the side of Pu Luong Mountain. Photo: Vietnam Times|
At the foot of Pu Luong Mountain lies Hieu stream. Water cascades down to the stream from up above, creating thundering sounds distinctive of mountainous forest. The stream flows through rice fields where water wheels turn continuously to supply water into the fields, adding a rustic charm to the natural reserve.
|Water wheels in Pu Luong. Photo: Jason Zullo/Vietnam Travel|
You can enjoy relaxing moments in villages of the ethnic Muong. From Pon, Thanh Cong, Cao Hoong, Kit, Uoi and Quan, the names of these villages awake in tourists the urge to go on an adventure. In the Muong’s living areas, you can leisurely walk around while taking in the mesmerizing view of the rice fields or stop by a homestay to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
|A corner of Pu Luong. Photo: Vietnam Times|
The best periods to visit Pu Luong are June and October, as the ripening rice season arrives. Around this time, Pu Luong is covered in the golden color of rice fields. Looking down from mountain peaks, Pu Luong resembles a golden sea coming alive. If you walk around the village roads, you will feel as if you were hidden away in the endless rice fields. During the harvest season, villagers often build huts along the way so that tourists can take a rest between their journeys and enjoy the spectacular view.
|A full course of distinct ethnic Muong’s dishes at a resort restaurant. Photo: Pu Luong Retreat.|
In Pu Luong, you can also emerge in the distinct cultures of the ethnic Muong, who has been residing in Pu Luong for centuries. Homestay in Pu Luong offers various accommodation, food and drink services that are easily accessible and highly convenient for tourists. Coming here, you do not want to miss delicious, flavorful dishes of the Muong ethnic group such as roasted chicken, five-color sticky rice, river fish, wild bamboo shoot and can wine. Locals are very friendly and ready to take you around and introduce you to the best Pu Luong has to offer.
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