Moc Chau plateau in Son La province is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam’s northern mountain region. Visitors are treated to vast green vistas, pure fresh air, strawberry gardens, heart-shaped tea hills, alongside Yen waterfall.
|Moc Chau tea hills (Photo: baosonla.org.vn)
Traditional festivals and special cuisine add even more excitement to exploring Moc Chau.
Moc Chau has much to offer visitors: the majestic Pha Luong peak, the roof of Moc Chau which is located at the Vietnam-Laos border, and the endless plum valleys.
Tourist Tran Phong Hoang of Ho Chi Minh City, who has been to Moc Chau several times, is impressed by local people’s hospitality. He said the local ethnic people are friendly.
"We are really welcomed here. Their traditional costumes are beautiful and embrace the uniqueness and diversity of the ethnic culture in Vietnam’s northwestern region,” Hoang said.
Fresh strawberries in Moc Chau have been a favourite with Vietnamese consumers. Farms that allow visitors to come and pick fruit are a popular tourist service there.
Chimi, one of the major strawberry farms, has been packed with visitors again after several months of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is my very first time picking strawberries in a garden," Phan Thi Yen of Bac Ninh province said, "The fact that the strawberry trees are planted in pots really surprised me. Strawberry picking is a wonderful experience for me. I will definitely visit a strawberry farm again when I return to Moc Chau.”
Moc Chau, which is cool all year round, is an ideal getaway from the summer heat. Hotels and homestays in Moc Chau, which have recently resumed their operation, have been fully booked, especially during weekends.
Visitors used to take big buses to visit Moc Chau but recently they prefer motorcycles and private cars. When it comes to accommodation, homestays and resorts are the most popular choice.
|Trang A Chu homestay (Photo: baodantoc.vn)
Trang A Chu, owner of A Chu Homestay in Hua Tat village, told VOV, “Travelers to Moc Chau often come in groups of five or six people. Each group books a whole stilt house. My homestay can accommodate up to 20 people at one time.”
Service providers in Moc Chau pay attention to preserving and promoting their traditional culture to a wider public.
Bui Thu Hien of Van Ho Ecolodge, said traditional items, such as brocade cloth and the ‘pieu’ scarf, a kind of indispensable accessory of the Thai ethnic women, are used as decorations in guest rooms.
"Our menu features typical food of the Thai, Muong, and H’Mong ethnic groups. Our staff members often don their traditional costumes. We believe all these things connect visitors to where they are staying,” Hien elaborated.
At night, the resort offers visitors unique dishes and an art show by local ethnic people. A highlight of the show is “Sap” dance, a typical dance of the northern provinces. Usually four to six sitting people hold bamboo poles and clap them together while dancers dance in and out of the poles.
Originally a folk game, “Sap” dance has become an art form, which is easy to dance to and creates a jubilant ambience that bonds people together, regardless of their ethnicity.
Le Xuan Bo of Hanoi recalled, “The art show was a lot of fun. Moc Chau boasts great potential for tourism development, particularly ethnic culture. We absolutely enjoy all the activities here.”
Since social distancing measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted, the Moc Chau national tourist site has welcomed thousands of visitors.VOV5