Moc Chau plateau is a must-visit destination in Vietnam because of its beautiful landscapes with green tea plantations, many herds of milk cows, the huge garden of apricot trees and various flowers.
There are various famous attractions in Moc Chau including Pa Phach village, pine forest of Ang village, Dai Yem waterfalls, Five Caves of On village, tea hills and Love Market.
Moc Chau Province is located in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, about 180 kilometers far from Hanoi. It’s a plateau located in the northern mountainous area of Vietnam. With the variation of its climate and the short distance from Hanoi, Moc Chau becomes a well-known destination for tourist in almost every season of the year. The highest temperature recorded in Moc Chau is 32oC and the lowest is approximate 10oC. The average temperature here ranges from 16oC to 29oC.
How to get to Moc Chau?
The distance between Hanoi and Moc Chau is about 180 kilometers so it will take by bus around 4-5 hours to get to Moc Chau from Hanoi. Tourists can find many buses at My Dinh bus station at any time of a day. Getting to Moc Chau by bus is the safest way to travel because travelers do not have to remember the route. No worries about the problem encountered in the way to the destination such as dangerous part of the route, the rain, and the fog. In the bus, travelers can either choose to take a nap or watch the beautiful scenery along the highway.
Traveling by bus is a very common way of transport in Vietnam so the quality is good enough and the price is reasonable. Nowadays, more and more people choose the bus to get to Moc Chau because of its safety and convenience.
Places to visit in Moc Chau, Vietnam
Hua That village.
Hua That is a lovely small community of H’mong tribe in Moc Chau, blessed with lush, breathtaking scenery, authentic local culture, and a poetic trekking path into nearby pine forest.
Come to Hua Tat, you’ll have the chance to enjoy almost everything in one trip from cultural immersion to pine forest trek to hand-on lessons of ethnic handicrafts. All these activities are set in an idyllic and peaceful atmosphere of highland’s village.
Pa Phach (or Ba Phach) village.
This village is at 5 kilometers far from Moc Chau Town. To get to Pa Phach village, move toward the route 6 then turn into a small road in front of Moc Chau Tea Company. The top of Pa Phach is the village of Thai people. The bottom of Pa Phach Village is divided into three parts including Pa Phach 1, Pa Phach 2, and the village of Hmong people.
The weather in Pa Phach village is quite cool and comfortable. Especially in the afternoon, the fog will cover all the village and make it become a unique scenery. Pa Phach village is considered as the paradise of colza flowers in Moc Chau. Pa Phach does not only have colza flowers but also a recommended place to observe other flowers as plum blossom, broccoli flowers.
Dai Yem Waterfall.
This waterfall is located in Muong Sang Ward, Moc Chau District, Son La Province. Dai Yem Waterfall is also called Nang Waterfall or Ban Vat waterfall. Described with the height of 100 meters, Dai Yem waterfall is one of the most famous destinations for tourists who visit Moc Chau. “Dai yem” in Vietnamese means a long piece of cloth.
It’s called as “dai yem” because from far view, the waterfall looks like a cloth which connects the ground and the sky. The best time to visit Dai Yem waterfall is from April to September. At that time, Moc Chau is in the rain season. In the rain season, water from the top of waterfall flows down the slopes to the bottom. That scene is a stunning beauty of nature, which is a treasure of Moc Chau plateau.
Moc Chau town is mostly covered by tea hill. In here, tea is the main crop and the most famous product of Moc Chau. Among many tea hills in Moc Chau, there are two tea hills with the special shape of heart.
The nearest heart-shaped tea hill is in Dai Loan area which is 10 kilometers far from Moc Chau town. The other heart-shaped tea hill is in Tan Lap 3 area which is 11 kilometers far from Moc Chau town.
The heart-shaped tea hill in Moc Chau is a long-lasting inspiration for photographers and couples to take wedding pictures. The best time to visit Moc Chau heart-shaped tea hill is from February to December because January is the time for people to harvest the tea and prepare for a new farming season.
The Love Market.
Love Market is a traditional festival which is held by Thai people in Moc Chau. The event is celebrated organized for men or women to find their life partner. Love Market lasts for just one day on September 1st, which is coincided with The New Year Day of Hmong people. Coming to Love Market, you will have the chance to see the traditional colorful costume of Thai people.
Despite lasting for just three days, Moc Chau Love Market is prepared for months ago. With the hope to impress the partner in the opposite sex, boys and girls at the age of 15 to 17 prepare dance moves and colorful costumes months before love market. Many relationships which start in the love market last for a lifetime. Not just an event to find a life partner, Love Market is also the time for Thai people to express their cultural and spiritual tradition.
In this festival, Thai people and other ethnic minorities always welcome the tourists to join with them in the festival especially in the competition or their activities.
The Bat caves.
Covering the area of 6,915 square meters in the northeast of Moc Chau, bat cave is a recommended place for visitors in Moc Chau. The bat cave is also called Son Moc Huong cave and Sa Lai cave. The entrance of the cave looks like the mouth of a dragon and keep an ancient story about that told it’s used to be a dragon. Cave entrance can only be reached after climbing 240 steps and once you’re inside an impressive limestone system will great you with of its mighty beauty.
What to eat?
This dish is a specialty in many provinces in northwest Vietnam, including Moc Chau Plateau. The sticky rice is made from glutinous rice but the colors are made from natural ingredients. There will be five different colors including green, yellow, red, purple and white. Due to different ingredients, the fragrances of each colored sticky rice will be different, too. You can find this dish most frequently at fair markets.
Ca Suoi Nuong (Grilled Fish). The fishes caught from the clean streams of Moc Chau are firstly cleansed and its organs will be removed before before being grilled. The tantalizing smell when the fishes are done is absolutely irresistible and the taste won’t disappoint you. If you have the chance to dine with a Thai family, this dish will appear on the table, served as the warmest welcome from the host family.
Remember the best time to visit Moc Chau.
During spring, Moc Chau boasts a lush, poetic beauty when the plum and peach flowers bloom all over on the green hills. Come to the villages of Thai, Hmong, Dao minorities for such sights. In summer, pine forest in Ang village offers shades for picnics while Dai Yem waterfall is its finest beauty. Come to a tea plantation for a refreshing taste of the most famous Vietnamese tea. In autumn, Moc Chau changes for its most important fair market and festivals – “Love Market”, “Independence Day” and “Het Cha” festival. It would be a wonderful experience if you can join the joyous, festive and lively atmosphere of the people here.
– January – February: peach blossom and damson flower season
– March: ban flower season
– April: tea field harvesting season
– April to August: peach and damson fruit season
– September: Tet Doc Lap – the biggest holiday and cultural festival of Moc Chau people
– October to February: kale flower, da quy flower season (peak on November)
Independence Day Celebrating of H’ Mong people: since year 1945, H’Mong people in Moc Chau, Son La have developed a new festival – the Independence Day Celebration which is to be held in 1st of September every year.
Thousands of thousands people from many ethnic minorities in north Vietnam and some from Laos come and gather in Moc Chau to celebrate this glory day of Vietnamese history. September 1st is also the day of an annual love market in Moc Chau where girls and boys meet wearing their best costumes and sing their songs. Foods and all kinds of goods are displayed in the market. If you are planning to visit Moc Chau on September, you should not miss such an event.
Praying-for-rain festival of Thai people: this is the most important festival of Thai people in Moc Chau. In 15th century, the festival was popular then lost until 2011 by when it was restored. The festival is held on 15th of February of Lunar Calendar annually to wish for a new bumper. Thai people prepare very carefully for this important day and one thing that can’t be missed is the Neu tree which is believed to send the messages of the people to the gods above.
An altar full of fine foods and votive is made and put out in the outside. A shaman will use a bamboo leave to splash water on everyone symbolizing that the gods shall give rain to the people.