Lai Chau tourism – a stunning highland and mountainous region in Northwest Vietnam, where you will be captivated by the pristine beauty of nature, the shimmering golden rice fields, and the breathtaking waterfalls.

1, Overview of Lai Chau Province

When setting foot in Lai Chau, travelers will be mesmerized by the pristine beauty of nature, vast mountain ranges obscured by clouds, stunning waterfalls that captivate the heart, and the shimmering golden rice fields exuding a fragrant aroma. Moreover, what enchants people even more is the warm-heartedness and hospitality of the locals.

Lai Chau is located midway between two extremely famous tourist destinations in the Northwest, Sa Pa (Lao Cai) and Dien Bien. When visiting here, travelers have the opportunity to admire the majestic and untouched landscapes of the Northwest mountains and forests.

From Hanoi, travelers can reach Lai Chau by taking buses operated by nearly 10 different bus companies on the Hanoi – Lai Chau route. Buses usually depart from either My Dinh Bus Station or Giap Bat Bus Station.

Currently, there are no motorcycle rental services available in Lai Chau. However, if you want to use a motorbike to explore Lai Chau without bringing one from Hanoi, you can rent a motorbike in Sa Pa. To do this, instead of going directly to Lai Chau, you can choose to travel by sleeper bus or train to Lao Cai (Sa Pa), and then rent a motorbike from there to continue your journey of exploration.

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(Photo: Internet)

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2, Beautiful Destinations in Lai Chau

Rong May Glass Bridge Tourist Area

Rong May Glass Bridge Tourist Area is considered a “Wonder – Fairy Scene – Heaven on Earth,” located in Son Binh commune, Tam Duong district, Lai Chau province. It is 16 km from Sa Pa town and 7 km from the Fansipan cable car, towards Lai Chau. This diverse and attractive tourist complex includes beautiful landscapes, unique cultures, adventurous activities, and luxurious resort services. Rong May Glass Bridge attracts tourists with its magnificent natural scenery in the land of mist, the towering rocky mountains of the Northwest. Here, visitors will be mesmerized by the wonders of nature, a masterpiece of creation. Enjoy the sight of winding roads around terraced fields and lush green tea plantations, vast hills and mountains, and the alluring clouds.

For those who love adventurous activities, do not miss the opportunity to Bungee jump from the glass bridge, which is over 300m high, making it the highest Bungee point in Southeast Asia.

Chat Village – “Halong Bay on Land”

In Chat Village, Muong Kim commune, Than Uyen district, visitors can experience the fascinating scenery of “Halong Bay on Land” amidst the heart of a hydroelectric reservoir. The Chat Hydroelectric Reservoir has become an attractive tourist destination, drawing a large number of visitors to Than Uyen district, Lai Chau. On a motorboat or a self-rowed boat along the Nam Mu River, tourists have the opportunity to admire the beautiful natural scenery, where the blue sky and green mountains blend together, creating a wild and majestic picture. After wandering on the green lake, do not forget to visit Tham Phe fishing village and savor the flavors of Northwest cuisine on the river.

Si Thau Chai Community Tourism

Si Thau Chai, belonging to Ho Thau commune, Tam Duong district, is considered an ideal destination for dreamy travelers. It is a community tourism village with untouched beauty, tranquility, and deep traditional cultures of the Dao ethnic people. At an altitude of 1,400 meters above sea level, Si Thau Chai combines all the elements that attract tourists: magnificent natural landscapes, fresh air, and unique customs. This village has become an unmissable destination when exploring Lai Chau province. Here, visitors have the chance to experience the unique culture of the Dao ethnic group, savor traditional dishes and specialties of the highlands, such as grilled fish, grilled meat, and grilled leaves with vả leaves, all exquisitely beautiful.

Gia Khau 1 Cultural Tourism Village

Gia Khau 1 Cultural Tourism Village, about 5 km west of the center of Lai Chau city, connected with the Gia Khau cave system, Sùng Phài commune, is one of the famous beautiful tourist destinations in Lai Chau and the Northwest region. This place not only retains the cultural identity of the White Hmong people with traditional stilt houses, costumes, khen melodies, folk dances, cuisine, brocade weaving, and unique religious customs like the Gau Tao Cha Festival and wedding customs but also possesses the Gia Khau cave system, which is a provincial-level heritage with pristine beauty shaped by geological processes over millions of years. Here, visitors will have interesting and unforgettable experiences. Enjoy traditional dishes and specialties of the Hmong people such as hanging meat by the kitchen, pork armpit, local fish, village chicken, wild vegetables, thang co, dày cake, forest bamboo shoots, multi-colored sticky rice, etc.

Pusamcap Cave System

The Pusamcap Cave System is located about 7 km from Lai Chau city, on Provincial Road 129 heading to Sin Ho district, consisting of three caves: Thien Mon, Thien Duong, and Thuy Tinh. The Pusamcap Cave System is located amidst the Pusamcap mountain range, exuding magnificent and mysterious beauty. Here, tourists immerse themselves in the pristine forests and splendid caves.

Sin Suoi Ho – Community Tourism Village

Sin Suoi Ho is a community tourism village of the Mông ethnic people, located in Sin Suoi Ho commune, Phong Tho district, 36.2 km north of Lai Chau city. When visiting Sin Suoi Ho, tourists can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the “valley of beauties” with blooming peach blossoms and orchids, visit the heart-shaped waterfall, and experience cloud hunting on the mountain peak. Do not miss the opportunity to visit the weekly market on Saturdays and savor traditional dishes of the Mông ethnic people such as stone worms, stone moss, grilled goby, grilled stream fish, bitter bamboo shoots, sweet bamboo shoots, dried buffalo meat, steamed pork, bitter vegetable soup, etc.

Vang Pheo Community Tourism Village

Located about 30 km from the center of Lai Chau city, Vang Pheo Community Tourism Village in Muong So commune, Phong Tho district, Lai Chau is known as the “valley of beauties” and one of the oldest ancient villages of the White Thai people in Lai Chau. Here, visitors can savor traditional dishes and specialties of the highlands, along with a peaceful atmosphere, dreamy nature, and the hospitality of the local people. Experience folk games such as throwing the con, playing badminton with chicken feathers, and even try on traditional costumes such as scarves, handwoven belts, and colorful and splendid dresses.

Lai Chau is indeed a land of captivating beauty and diverse cultural experiences, offering a unique and unforgettable journey for every traveler.

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(Photo: Internet)

See more: Travel to Cao Bằng – Discover the Natural Beauty and Unique Cuisine of Cao Bang

3, Delicious Dishes to Try in Lai Chau

Nestled deep within the highlands and mountains of Northwest Vietnam, Lai Chau takes pride in its unique and enticing cuisine, deeply rooted in the ethnic cultures. Travelers visiting here not only immerse themselves in the breathtaking natural scenery but also indulge in delicious and exotic dishes that can only be found in this Northwestern region.

Grilled Wild Pig (Locally known as “Lợn cắp nách”): This specialty dish can only be found in the highlands. The wild pig meat is grilled to perfection, tender and naturally flavorful, leaving an unforgettable taste on the palate.

Pork Mixed with Sour Leaves (Locally known as “Thịt lợn trộn lá chua”): Another tempting dish is the “pork mixed with sour leaves” – a delicacy of the White Thai people. The wild sour leaves are crushed and combined with pork and natural spices like chili and Ddoi seeds, creating a unique flavor that is not easily forgotten.

Thai-style Grilled Fish (Locally known as “Pa Pỉnh Tộp”): Also known as “Pa Pỉnh Tộp,” this dish is a must-try. The stream fish is marinated with special spices like mac khen, forest herbs, lotus seeds, mint leaves, and galangal before being grilled over hot charcoal until cooked. The sweet and fatty taste of the fish, combined with the spicy flavors and the red and green colors of the spices, creates an amazing culinary experience.

Buried Fish (Locally known as “Cá bống vùi gio”): Exploring “buried fish” gives you the opportunity to savor the distinctive flavors of the mountainous forests. The small fish is marinated, wrapped in dong leaves, and buried in hot ashes, creating a delicate aroma without being greasy.

Purple Sticky Rice (Locally known as “Xôi tím”): This dish stands out with its fresh purple color, sticky yet non-sticky texture, and delicious, fragrant taste that is not overwhelming. The glutinous rice is dyed using the Kẻm plant, creating a unique and nutritious flavor.

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(Photo: Internet)

Bamboo Shoot and Ban Flower Salad (Locally known as “Măng nộm hoa ban”): This dish is a unique combination of Ban flower and bamboo shoot. The bitter, sour, spicy, salty, sweet, and crunchy flavors of the young bamboo shoot or bamboo bud, the fresh Ban flower petals, and mixed grilled stream fish create a strange and fascinating taste.

Dried Amaranth Salad (Locally known as “Nộm rau dớn”): Don’t forget to try “dried amaranth salad” – an exquisite dish of the ethnic people. The amaranth, a type of watercress, is kept crispy and sweet, combined with spices like chili, ginger, garlic, and fresh lime juice, creating a fragrant, spicy, and sweet taste.

See more: Travel to Hoi An – An Ancient City as Beautiful as a Painting

4, Hotels and Accommodations in Lai Chau

Lai Chau is not yet heavily developed as a tourist destination, so the number of hotels and accommodations is relatively limited. If you are planning to stay overnight in Lai Chau, it is advisable to make reservations in advance to avoid any risks.

Hotels and guesthouses are mainly concentrated in areas such as Than Uyen town, Tan Uyen, and Lai Chau City. The services here generally offer affordable room rates compared to other tourist destinations in the Northwest.

5, Best Time to Visit Lai Chau

In terms of the best time to travel, Lai Chau is best visited around September to October. During this time, you can not only enjoy picturesque landscapes but also have the chance to admire the stunning ripening rice fields in Mu Cang Chai and the shimmering Mường Than rice terraces under the golden sunlight.

However, it’s best to avoid visiting Lai Chau during the rainy season or when storms are expected. During these times, the roads in the highlands are prone to landslides and floods, which can be hazardous and inconvenient for travelers.

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