Surrounded by two magnificent mountain ranges that create a lush valley, rice terrace fields, scenic rivers and waterfalls, Pu Luong is truly a miniature world situated in Northern Vietnam. The Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a notable location for natural flora, adds a lot more to its biological diversity. The reserve has the boundary limits touching Mai Chau, Lack Son and Tan lac, all part of the Hoa Binh Province. The name Pu Luong stands for highest peak, derived from Thai dialect.
It is a pleasant area with rich forest, limestone karsts, majestic rice terraces and spectacular scenery. The establishment of the natural reserve dating back to 1999 and spread over an area of 17,662 hectares. Out of the entire stretch, 75% percentage of the reserve is a dense tropical forest. What can make you surprising is the settlement areas of ethnic Thai and Muong community! The locals are very friendly and easy mingling with the tourists.
How to reach:
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is approximately 170 km from Hanoi. You can reach here by the famous Ho Chi Minh Highway. It takes approximately around 4-1/2 hours to get there. For the more adventurous travelers, this is the best possible way to enjoy the ride from Hanoi to Pu Luong soaking in the picturesque scenery, the rivers, valleys, villages, rice fields, etc.,and enjoying the warm hospitality of the villagers.
Activities to do:
The most authentic way to discover Pu Luong is by cycling. Dirt biking can also be a fantastic option.Pu Luong is a treat for trekkers and nature conquerors. You can find many adventurous and equally scenic trekking routes, which will be a challenging experience to check your aggressiveness.
Nature lovers can choose from 5 km hikes to multiple-day trekking according to their liking.The water world of Pu Luong can be fully enjoyed by river rafting in the mesmerizing Cham River, paddling and kayaking especially during the rainy season.Tourists will have enough options to select from rustic camping with basic facilities as well as hire fully equipped equipment and be close to Mother Nature.
Travel Packages And Tours:
You can find many Vietnam tour operators offering diverse Pu Luong tours, and it would be easy for you to choose the best one as per your budget and availability of time. Most of the tour operators can accommodate overseas booking, which is a convenient option for tourist from overseas. Some of the travels packages available are as follows:
• A 3-day private trekking tour through the terrain of Pu Luong with a professional guide.
• Explore Mau Chau valley and Pu Luong Nature Reserve on a 3-day motorcycle tour.
• An opportunity to cycle through Mau Chau to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Private tours are special packages, where tourist will get an exclusive guide, and they can move around alone.
As it is a road less traveled, Pu Luong still lacks tourism infrastructure. It is still an untouched area by urbanization. Even though there are Eco retreats and Eco-Lodges available, the best accommodation and food recommended is traditional homestay. The homestay experience especially living in traditional stilt houses are unforgettable. One learns a lot about the local culture and the simplicity and generosity of the locals win you over.
The ideal season to visit Pu Luong is during September – November, the harvest season, where you will have lots of seasonal harvest activities. Similarly during February to May is also one of the best seasons to schedule your visit for engaging activities. At this time of year, the weather is delightful, and the plantations are lush. The tour packages include activities for people from all age groups. Tourists can book the programs in advance and also ask for English speaking tour guides. PuLuong Nature Reserve is a stress-free retreat where people can come to enjoy nature in its pure and best state.