Pu Luong Nature Reserve travel Guide

réserve naturelle de Pu Luong rizières en terrasse

Pu Luong Nature Reserve:

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is decorated with limestone scenery, amazing beauty and culture. It stretches from Mai Chau in the north to Cuc Phuong National Park in the south. The reserve is rich with limestone mountains, bamboo forests, jungle, beautiful rice terraces and breathtaking scenery.

The Pu Luong nature reserve was established in 1999, it is located about 150 km southwest of the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. It is a nature reserve with a total area of ​​176.62 square kilometers of which 3/4 are mainly tropical forests. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is also the home of the Muong and Thai ethnic groups.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve was recently discovered as an excellent destination for multi-day excursions from Hanoi and/or Ninh Binh. Trekking in forest and jungle through different villages to experience local life, admire the beauty of rich green limestone mountains and rice terraces.

An unique Reserve

The landscapes are sublime with two mountain ranges on both sides creating a green valley in the middle dotted with traditional villages. The locals here are some of the friendliest people you will meet in Vietnam. You can always be invited to their house for a cup of tea or rice wine during your trek. The local culture is rich and authentic. The villagers live in small villages nestled in the valleys or in the mountains in traditional houses on stilts

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is one of the “off the beaten track” places near Hanoi. Despite the rapid development, the regulation of not being able to build buildings of more than two floors helps to preserve the general beauty of the site.

When to go to Pu Luong Reserve:

Rice terraces are popular and splendid in Pu Luong Valley. Pu Luong is also called “little Sapa”. Want to travel at the right time of year? The best time to visit Pu Luong Nature Reserve is from February to May and September to November, when the rice fields are either full of water, green or they are just around the corner. This is the time to fully appreciate the fields in multi-layered terraces and the verdant landscape that will certainly provide breathtaking photographic moments.

rizières en eau à pu luong
rizière en or récolte du riz à Pu luong

In addition, the weather is pleasant at this time of year with a temperature range of around 15-30°C. The hottest period is from June to September with highs of up to 38°C, while winter (November-February) can be cool and cold

June, July and August are also beautiful months, but the temperatures can be very high and complicate long hikes

Pu Luong is one of the few mountainous regions to have two harvests a year. This makes the place unique.

How to go to Pu Luong :

Travel distance from Hanoi to Pu Luong is about 150 km. A daily limousine bus departs from the Old Quarter every morning around 7:30 a.m. and arrives in Pu Luong around 1 p.m.

The second option will be to rent a private car. The trip will take about 4 hours

You can contact us to arrange transport.

The advantage of Pu Luong is that it is convenient for a tour combining Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh and Halong Bay without having to return to Hanoi.

What to do in Pu Luong Reserve:

As a reserve, the main activities are related to nature. The (too) rapid development of the district has brought other activities.

  • Trekking : probablement le plus agréable pour avoir le temps de découvrir la région et sa beauté. Il y a des randonnées pour tous les niveaux, de la demi-journée en terrain plat aux plusieurs jours dans la jungle pour atteindre le sommet de la montagne Pu Luong (1700m)
sommet pu luong mountain 1700m trekking
  • Camping : An excting adventure to immerse into the local nature
  • Bamboo rafting : Enjoy a relaxing cruise on board of a bamboo traditional rafting
bamboo rafting Réserve naturelle de pu luong
  • Motorcycle circuit: For those who do not wish to hike or do not have much time, most of the roads are in good condition to go around to access the villages, the waterfalls…
  • Cooking class: part of traveling is learning about local cuisine so having a lesson by locals is the best way to experience it
  • Quad or jeep tour: Due to development, you can find these activities on site.

Not to miss :

  • Two or three day jungle trek with collection of jungle products, wood fire picnic and overnight in the jungle
pique nique jungle pu luong
  • Explore the waterfalls. The best known being that of the village of Hieu (but very busy now). Go exploring to find more isolated ones (contact us)
Hieu waterfall
  • The isolated village of Kho Muong and its bat cave. Very beautiful village at the entrance of a valley surrounded by mountains. No access by car so the tranquility of the place is preserved. Opportunity to explore the cave.

Where to sleep :

Various hotels have opened during the Covid period. As Pu Luong has become popular in the domestic market, trendy hotels with swimming pools and 3-star standards are popping up all over the place, mainly concentrated in Don village and along the main road.

Warning : If you are loooking for a quiet and peaceful place in Pu Luong, it is good to know that many hotels call themselves “Retreat” but are mainly hotels for Vietnamese. Which means that you can expect Karaoke parties, crowded swimming pools and big groups.

Our recommended Hotels:

Pu Luong Eco Garden > choose villa 3,4,5 or 6 which have more privacy. The view from the infinity pool is amazing

Tree house Pu Luong > Original hotel surrounded by rice terraces with swimming pool and rooms perched in the trees.

Lua Pu Luong > Run by Lua who is a yoga enthusiast. Nice pool, comfortable rooms, quiet location.

Pu Luong Eco Charm > No pool but fantastic view from the private bungalow. Hanh, the owner and manager, is a local Thai people from Mai Chau and offers adventurous tours. Quiet place. > link ici

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