Activities Pu Luong – What to do in the Nature Reserve

pu luong reserve nature activité activities

There are number of activities in the sublime Pu Luong Nature Reserve. The beauty and particularity of the Reserve, also called Petit Sapa, attracts more and more tourists, local and international. For additional information on Pu Luong Nature Reserve, you can refer to this article which also lists how to come to Pu Luong, where to stay and the best time to get there >

activité pu luong nature reserve activities

Pu Luong Introduction:

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is decorated with limestone landscapes, stunning beauty and culture. It stretches from Mai Chau in the north to Cuc National Park Phuong to the south. The reserve is engulfed by rich forest limestone mountains, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking landscapes.

The Pu Luong Nature Reserve was created in 1999, it is located about 180 km southwest of the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. It has a total area of 176.62 square kilometers and 3/4 of the nature reserve is mainly tropical forests. Pu Luong is also the living place of the Muong and Thai ethnic groups. In Thai, Pu Luong means bamboo forest village.

Activities in Pu Luong:

According to everyone’s desires, the Pu Luong Nature Reserve offers activities that will suit everyone. Whether for adults or children, adventurers or relaxation enthusiasts. Here is a list of the best activities to experience in Pu Luong.

Nature activities in Pu Luong

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Expérience in the jungle

Pu Luong is mainly covered with tropical forest. And the locals use its resources sparingly, both for food and medicinal purposes. For those who want to learn more about these practices, a day in the jungle with a minority guide will allow you to learn how to harvest, cook and somehow survive in hostile terrain. Of course, the harvest depends on the season and the picnic with cooking in the bamboo will adapt to it.

Trekking – Hiking

From half-day hiking to multi-day trek, this is the main activity in Pu Luong. Walking through the rice terraces, crossing traditional villages with this magnificent mountain range in the background is a delight for the eyes. Not only will you be able to contemplate the daily life of the minorities in the fields or in the villages, but you will be able to go through an imposing cave (the bat cave in the village of Kho Muong). You can even take a refreshing break in the waterfall of the village of Hieu .

activités camping pu luong


As in every natural park, camping is an activity that allows a full and deep connection with the surrounding nature. What could be better than waking up in the middle of nature for a sunrise over the mountains. Barbecue over a wood fire in the evening and why not sing a few songs during a rice alcohol tasting.

Pu Luong peak

Located at some 1700m above sea level, it is possible to make this excursion in one day, leaving early in the morning. You will pass through the jungle and be rewarded with a wood fire picnic at the top. Even if the summit does not seem very high, it remains an activity reserved for people in good physical condition. It is currently impossible to offer this program with a night in the jungle because it is prohibited for foreigners. The papers are being prepared to offer this activity to Pu Luong very soon.

Scooter tour

Time is often the missing factor when traveling so you can take the time to see as much as possible. Many will take the option of renting a scooter to be able to venture further into the Reserve. It is of course recommended to be in order to be able to drive in Vietnam even if nothing will be asked of you.

You can also be the passenger of a local guide. This allows you to look at the landscapes rather than focus on the road. You can easily reach the village of Kho Muong and its cave in one day. Go through the hidden village of UI, stop at the local market of Pho Doan (Thursday and Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.). And continue to the village of Hieu for a swim in the waterfall and why extend to the town of Son Ba Muoi . Other routes, especially along the Ma River can be made. A local guide will be helpful to get off the beaten track.

Culture activities in Pu Luong

food in Pu Luong - cours de cuisine - activités Pu Luong

Cooking class

As in each region of Vietnam, each has its specialties. From the famous Nem La Lot (nem with meat wrapped in a salad leaf) to the salad of banana flowers and Com Lam (sticky rice cooked in bamboo), Pu Luong’s gastronomy keeps all its promises. It’s not just a cooking class, but, depending on the season, you’ll hike and either pass by a local market or collect ingredients directly from the jungle. The course takes place with a local family, generally better cooks than in restaurants.

Bamboo rafting

Originally, it is the traditional means of transport for locals who live along the Ma Rive., It has become an activity in Pu Luong to allow visitors to experience riverside life and relax after hiking. The ride lasts about thirty minutes and you can take control of the raft to try your hand at navigation.

bamboo rafting - activités Pu Luong - aventure et détente

Bamboo waterwheels

A specialty of the Thai minority, bamboo watermills are an ingenious system that collects water from the river to irrigate the fields. When the rice fields are filled, they are numerous, aligned and of different sizes. They hum along the rotations, a resounding musicality in the middle of the countryside. The waterwheels are removed each year during the storm season, in summer, because they are fragile. They can be seen in other places like Lai Chau or Cao Bang but those of Pu Luong are among the most impressive.

Homestay dinner or lunch

Exclusivity of Song voyages is to offer a meal at the inhabitant. Off the beaten track, you will be invited to share a meal in a traditional house which is not dedicated to tourism. A real immersion in local life in a typical house. Be prepared to consume a large amount of rice wine. The generosity and hospitality of the locals very often translates into many invitations to toast.

activités pu luong - détente piscine


We do not forget that you are on vacation. Therefore it is important to mention that Pu Luong is an ideal place to relax. Whether by the pool or on your terrace, you will enjoy a coffee, a tea or why not a glass of wine while contemplating the view or reading a book. Some hotels like Pu Luong Eco Garden offer a herbal bath in a wooden tub.

This is the main list of activities you will find during your visit to Pu Luong. We can create a tailor-made circuit according to your tastes. Send us your request with the list of activities that interest you, the number of days and the number of people for the circuit

Combined multi-destination tour:

Pu Luong’s ideal location in the heart of several must-see destinations makes it an ideal place to combine them. From Hanoi, it is very easy to make a superb loop Hanoi – Pu Luong – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay in 6 or 7 days. A perfect mix of landscapes of rice fields, culture with the visit of the two bays of Halong , terrestrial and maritime. We can even add the splendid valley of Mai Chau or the province of Nam Dinh to complete an already rich itinerary.

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This loop is a great way to save time for those who want to visit Vietnam from North to South in 15 days.

Also, it is possible to do a tour focusing only in 2 or 3 days on Pu Luong. But we recommend to add a day to stop at Mai Chau. This provides insight into the life of minorities in the valley as well as in the mountains.

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