Getting back to nature is what many tourists choose whenever it comes to energy exhaustion or work stress, and advice to Pu Luong from Hanoi might be what some of them are searching for. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a great shelter of serenity that people in Hanoi might flee to for the refreshing moments, spectacular nature, and pure air. Around 160km from the capital city, Pu Luong is accessible all year round and can function as a “remedial retreat” for nature lovers.
Buses from Hanoi to Pu Luong
You can take the shuttle buses from Hanoi to Pu Luong, which takes around 4 hours. The fare is around VND400.000. Many tour agencies in Hanoi offer the shuttle bus services to guests, so just do a simple Google search to pinpoint their addresses. Note that there is no direct public bus from Hanoi to Pu Luong. Rather, you can take advantage of the buses from My Dinh bus station (Hanoi) to Mai Chau. And then, from Mai Chau, take the 90-minute taxi drive to Pu Luong.
Another transport option is the private car rental with a driver from Hanoi. With the latter option, you are able to choose the start time, pick-up location, type of car, sightseeing itineraries, etc., by working directly with the car lessors. Often, people choose the 2-day itinerary to Pu Luong from Hanoi, and the car rental fare will be quoted in advance. For the choice of 3 days, they usually spend the last day in the neighboring Mai Chau.
Here is a sample itinerary of the 2-day car rental.
Day 1: Around 8:00 AM, the private car with a driver will pick you up at the hotel in Hanoi. The drive will follow National Road 6 and then turn on Ho Chi Minh trail to arrive at Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Once the 4-hour drive is done and you get there, it’s up to you to stay in Pu Luong Retreat or experience a homestay in the local village like Don, Hieu, or Kho Muong. Then, relax by trekking down the valley, taking pictures, and mingling with the stunning nature.
Day 2: The breakfast time will be followed by more trekking opportunities, or cycling to the nearby villages, or kayaking to the water wheel. Until the departure time as agreed (often after lunchtime), get on the car for the transfer back to Hanoi.
Unique Highlights of Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Within a distance of 160km from Hanoi, Pu Luong Nature Reserve is an ideal destination for trekking, cycling, meeting the ethnic groups, and exploring the dense jungles; all in all, it takes you back to Nature. Founded in 1999, in a protected area of 17,662 hectares, this eco-tourism spot owns the karst landscape, the rich flora and fauna, and home to the Thai minority group as well as the small population of Muong. Images of the traditional stilted houses in the middle of the rice paddies can be the great remedies for the eyes.
Standing out as “the green pearl” nearby Hanoi, Pu Luong offers the fantastic settings for off-the-beaten-track hiking, ethnic cultural experiences, homestay in the Thai’s stilted houses, cycling, rafting, and waterfall exploration. Its natural highlights include the endless mountains, untamed jungle, and fertile valley.
Ways to make the most of your time in Pu Luong
- Cool down in Thac Hieu Waterfall. Trek your way to the top of Hieu village from which you see the picturesque cascade. Trek down and follow along to reach the natural pools for swimming and relaxing in the cool water.
- Visit the ethnic Thai village and explore the stilted house. As the major ethnic group in Pu Luong eco-garden, the Thai group inhabits in the quaint hamlets and villages which are open to tourists. You can make the experiences more special by opting for the homestay in the stilted houses. This way, you know how Thai’s local customs and culture look like. You will be interested in their laid-back lifestyle and tradition.
- Treat yourself with natural beauty. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is rich in natural highlights, so you’re sure to be able to mingle with Nature. It is the mountain covered with a tropical rainforest that encourages you to climb and reach the top. Besides, the series of terraced rice fields establish the infinite green background for photographing amazingly. You can also please the ears with the sounds of waterwheel and forest. For the simple life moments, while you are snapping the pictures of wildlife and greenery, just wave at the farmers who are working on the fields with the water buffaloes. Or, you can enjoy the joy of doing nothing and appreciate the breath of fresh air.
- Explore handicraft workshops. Check out the proximity of the handicraft workshops nearby your hotel or homestay for a glimpse of the local business and culture. The Thai people are known for their skills of weaving, embroidery, bamboo furniture, and basket making. The workshop visit will also make a contribution to the local business and aid them in preserving their tradition.
- Enjoy the local food of the mountain. Pu Luong is ideal for growing vegetables and rice. Also, it’s great to eat the locally-raised pork and the grilled mountain snails. You will find a variety of mountain specialties on the table.
- Hike to the peak of Mt. Pu Luong. The mountain owns spectacular splendor which urges trekkers to follow the marked trails (or go with a local guide) to reach the hilltop. You can plot a route for a day trek by hiring a local guide, or can do a multi-day trek across the whole reserve areas.
- Opt for a homestay with the local family. Pu Luong guarantees your homestay experiences in the mountainside huts or the stilted houses amid the rice terraces. While there are some lodges and retreats, the homestay with the ethnic family provides deep experiences with the local culture and lifestyle.
Putting the advice from Hanoi to Pu Luong into practice, and expect that you can make the most out of the trip to this Nature Reserve. Contact our local expert at firstname.lastname@example.org for the best trips!