Son La, the fifth largest province in the country, is located in the northwestern region of Viet nam. Son La province is a northwestern mountainous province. It has two large plateaus also named Son La and Moc Chau, and an immense area of crop fields. The rest consists of valleys, high hills and mountains, Son La province borders Laos to the south. The province is co-inhabited by various ethnic groups: the Xa, H’Mong, Dao, Muong, Kinh, Kh’Mu, Tay, Thai and so on. The Thai is the largest single ethnic group. Eighty percent of the province’s natural area is covered with mountains.
As a northwestern area and the fifth largest province in Vietnam (14.174 sq km), Son La is seemed to be an undiscovered land with great tourist potential. Most of the area of Son La is mountains, hills and terrace paddies which is the home to various ethnic minorities like Kinh, Dao, H’Mong and Thai (makes up about more than 1,000 inhabitants)…The capital city is Son La Town. About the attractions in Son La, we can spend whole day telling you. The natural beauty of Son La, a typical highland area, with green fields and hills are irresistible attraction. Besides, the unique traditions and customs of the Thai and other minorities are also worth for you to experience.
2. Son La specialties
Hoa Ban (White Bauhinia) is the symbol of this Northwestern Province as this white of flower appears in numbers of poems admiring its beauty. Besides, Son La is also one of the sources of Hoa Dao (Prunus Persica), which is a symbol of Tet in the North of Vietnam.
Hoa Ban ( White Bauhinina) – Photo: news.zing.vn
Spring should be the best time to fully explore natural beauty and special culture of Son La when forests of both the flowers bloom beautifully. Spring is also the season of festival when Tet Holiday definitely the most enthusiastic occasion of the year takes place; as well as lavish carnivals of ethnic groups in Son La like Xoe Dancing, “Khèn” Flute performance or “Còn” Throwing competition.
The traditional Xoe dancing of Thai ethnic group in Son La – Photo: vov4.vov.vn
Son La’s culinary is not very diverse, however, it still occupies some popular dishes and drinks like buffalo meat, Thit Gac Bep, Com Lam and Ruou Can.
3. How to get there?
Son La is 320km to the Northwest of Hanoi, along National Highway No. 6, through Dien Bien so tourist may visit this historic city on the way as well. Coaches are available to you in stations in Hanoi with a fare of about 100,000 VND. For romantic travelers, going on boats from Hoa Binh Lake to Son La is a good suggestion.
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4. Where should you visit in Son La?
About landscapes and spots of beauty, there are 3 famous sites that you must visit when in Son La
Moc Chau is located in the north of Vietnam, which is about more than 150km from Ha Noi Capital. Thanks to the gift of nature, MocChau becomes one of the most attractive destinations that people should come once time in life. People are interested in discovering the natural and wide places here.
Moc Chau beauty – Photo: dulichsvietn.vn
Green tea hills in Moc Chau
Green tea hills, corn wine, fresh atmosphere together with friendly people contribute to create “an extremely wonderful land”. You only can enjoy completely the beauty of MocChau by taking using all of our senses like opening your eyes to capture the colorful picture with the combination of green trees, yellow wild flowers, and white smoke waves on the top of small houses. Then don’t forget to listen to all vivid sounds of life, interesting conversation with much of laugh between neighborhoods, singing of bird or the sound of wind through the tree. Who know you maybe feel your heart beat faster, your soul is so peaceful and you are smiling without your noticing.
Green Tea Hill in Moc Chau – Photo: singcafe.vn
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Dai Yem Waterfall in Moc Chau
Dai Yem waterfall gives you the chance to see the rush water. You also harmony with nature, listen to the sounds of the jungle and forget all sadness and shadow.
Dai Yem Waterfall in Moc Chau – Photo: congdongviettravel.vn
Ban Ang Pine forest in Moc Chau
Ban Ang village tourism area- pine forest Dong Sang is very similar to the scence of Da Lat.
Ban Ang Pine Forest in Moc Chau – Photo: dulich24.com.vn
Home-stay in Moc Chau
Another thing that you had better not ignore is home-stay. Living with ethnic minority people will give you a chance to understand more about them. They all are very friendly and simple. Especially, you also learn some special customs to diversify your knowledge.
Prison and museum of Son La
French colonization period has been over for a long long time, but a huge number of traces still existed as memory keepers for one of the darkest period in the history of Vietnam. Among these historical relics, Son La Prison is regarded as one of the most famous places, with a no less notorious name “Hell on Earth” to describe the frightened brutality of French colonialists to Vietnamese prisoners here.
Although the original construction was partially demolished after the two wars, Son La Prison has still conserved major features of it, especially jail system and torturing facilities inside. Impression of visitors to outer sceneries might be nothing special, but most guests crossing the entrance and enter the prison will definitely be surprised with inside space because they cannot understand how French colonial can lock prisoners in the terrible place like this.
Son La Prison – Photo: vanhoa.gov.vn
The atmosphere is damp and stifling with ugly smelling and insects everywhere. For the underground jails, condition is much worse and essentials elements for human lives like light and air seems only be a luxury. Moreover, there are also some special rooms for torturing that has remained with almost complete collection of unbelievably terrifying items and method for excruciating and collecting information from prisoners. The common feeling of visitors when they see those rooms is horror with their brutality and fortunate when they do not have to experience the cruelty of these tools.
Tham Tet Toong Cave
Tham Tet Toong Cave in Son La – Photo: blogphuot.info
Another famous tourist site in Son La Province is Tham Tet Toong Cave. Tham Tet Toong Cave is said to be a natural wonder which has attracted a great number of tourists coming to admire. This 150m-long cave is situated 2km from Son La City and has numerous mountains and forests above. In addition, many various stalactites as well as stalagmites located along cave’s walls will bring the visitors to a relaxing space. In the morning, they are sparkle in the sunshine creating a great picture. Additionally, white waterfalls of a stream flowing inside the cave promise to bring you a comfortable feeling.