Where is Pu Luong Nature Reserve?
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a new tourist destination, located in the districts of Ba Thuoc and Quan Hoa, in the Northwest of Thanh Hoa Province, which is about 130 km from the city center. Pu Luong has a border adjoined with Mai Chau, Tan Lan and Lac Son Districts of Hoa Binh Province in the North and the Northeast.
What is the best time to visit Pu Luong?
Pu Luong is beautiful all year round, but according to many experienced tourists, the most beautiful time to have a Pu Luong trekking tour is during the period of May to June and September to October. In May and June, this time in Pu Luong is summer, but the weather is extremely cool and the temperature does not exceed 20℃. Pu Luong this time seems to be immersed in the new green color of rice paddy fields. Whereas in September and October, is the ripe rice season, thus, during this period, visitors will have a chance to admire the golden rice terraces spreading on the mountains. What an amazing and peaceful beauty!
Golden rice terraces in Pu Luong
How to go to Pu Luong?
If you depart from Hanoi and Northern provinces, you can follow the direction of Xuan Mai, Luong Son, Hoa Binh to Lac Village, Mai Chau, then continue traveling along to Co Luong, Dong De, turn to 15C Road then go along the Ma River to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. If you depart from Thanh Hoa and Central or Southern provinces, you just need to go along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Until you reach Cam Thuy, turn right then go straight to Canh Nang, turn to 15C Road and go 10km more to Pu Luong.
Where to stay in Pu Luong Nature Reserve?
Pu Luong is an ideal eco-tourism destination for nature and culture lovers. Therefore, if you travel to Pu Luong, you can choose to stay at hostels or homestays in Kho Muong Village, Kiet Village, Ban Village, etc. to have more experience. The price for this service is about 50.000 VND/ person for one night.
Pu Luong Retreat
In addition to that, you can choose to stay at Pu Luong Retreat. There are collective stilt houses for about 320,000VND/ person/ night or bungalows for about 1.4 million VND/ person/ night. As a tourist destination associated with ecotourism, those places certainly do not have televisions, air conditioners, or refrigerators, etc. However, it is sure that space here is very clean, airy and it still has the basic facilities and wifi to meet the basic needs for a Pu Luong tour for families.
What to eat when visiting Pu Luong?
To Pu Luong, tourists will be able to enjoy delicious specialties of any Vietnam food tours such as hill chickens, sour bamboo shoots, bitter bamboo shoots, bamboo rice, banana flower salad, etc. In particular, you totally can order those dishes at the homestays or hostels you stay with the price of about 80,000 VND/ portion. Among those mentioned specialties, the 3 most delicious dishes in Pu Luong you definitely have to try is the bitter soup, hill chicken, stream duck or fermented rice wine (“rượu cần”).
The bitter soup is made from a type of bitter leaves in the forest, which is often cooked with chicken giblets and blood. The bitter taste will be difficult to eat on the first try. However, once the bitterness passes, your tongue will feel the very sweet and strange flavor. Bitter soup is considered as the famous specialty of Thanh Hoa Province in general and Pu Luong in particular.
Hill chickens and stream ducks are simply chickens and ducks which are raised naturally, often run and mainly eat natural food so the meat is very textured and fragrant, different from the poultry raised in the cages. These chickens and ducks are cooked in many ways such as boiled, roasted, grilled, stir-fried with bamboo shoots, steamed with wild leaves, etc. Each way has its own taste but in general, it tastes very good.
Pu Luong specialties
Fermented rice wine is another specialty in Pu Luong and Vietnamese cuisine. Rice wine is made from cassava and spring water, has a very strong pungent taste. In every meal, the hosts will use rice wine to welcome guests, and if you are invited to use this rice wine during your Pu Luong trekking tours, then you should feel very happy because the hosts really like you.