(Hanoi- Mai Chau – Sai – Hang – Kho Muong – Hin – Ba – Xom – Hanoi)
The Pu Luong Nature Reserve is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest and biodiversity. Stretching from Mai Chau in the North West to Cuc Phuong National Park in the southeast, the region is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery. On this trip you can experience the everyday life and culture of Thai and Muong people and stay in scenic villages with traditional home stay accommodation.
Day 1: Transfer from Hanoi to Sai village. Walk to Hang villages.
Day 2: Walk from Hang to Kho Muong village.
Day 3: Walk from Kho Muong to Son village.
Day 4: Walk from Son to Xom village. Transfer back to Hanoi.
Day 1: Transfer Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ban Sai. Start trekking to Pu Luong Nature Reserve (-,L,D)
You commence the 4 days trip from Hanoi by a drive to Pu Luong Natural Reserve on the Highway 6. The astonishing views of fields of tapioca, sugar canes and rice plantations gradually left behind after 2 hours driving, there come the picturesque views of the mountains and valleys of Hoa Binh. You take a break at Mai Chau village, a well-known tourist destination, inhabited by the White Thai minority. From Mai Chau village to Sai village, “gate way” to Pu Luong Natural Reserve, is nearly one hour drive. After having lunch in the Sai village, you start inserting into the Reserve by a walk following the village’s dirt road running through the beautiful and peaceful landscape made of the Thai minority’s hundred years old stilt houses, which are embellished by high arecas and vegetable gardens, all surrounded by paddle rice fields. You will pass by a small stream named Pung, which later can be seen snaking its way at the bottom of the valleys. After nearly 3 hours walking, you arrive at the Hang village, where you accommodate tonight in one of the villagers’ traditional house on stilt. Drinking ruou can “wine drunk out of a jar through pines”, having delicious dinner of fresh local products, chatting the whole evening with the hospitable host family… it is an real opportunity to learn and understand the culture and the daily way of life of the minority.
Approx: Grade 2 of 5/ 3 hours driving/ 3 hours walking.
Day 2: Trek to Eo Ken and Kho Muong villages (B,L,D)
You wake up early to enjoy the beautiful sunset. The villages are already on their daily activities such as working on the rice fields, watering and harvesting the vegetable gardens, feeding the cattle and poultry. After having breakfast, you say goodbye to the villagers and start the morning walk on a small hilly path running through the rice fields, with beautiful mountains and villages view in a short distance. The atmosphere is so peaceful. You will cross the Pung stream again on the way. After about 2 hours walk, you climb a heartbreaking slope and eventually arrive Eo Ken village. Your lunch is prepared and served in a stilt house in the village.
The afternoon walk will be on a trail running along the mountain side of Pu Luong range. You take a relax break at Thung Mun village before climbing over Voi Phuc Mountain. The big challenge gives you the opportunity to enjoy the most beautiful karsts mountains of Pu Luong. In the late afternoon, Kho Muong village is in your eyesight. From the hillside road which leading down to the village, the village’s view is very beautiful, especially in the sunset. You later meet the villages at the stream running behind the village. It is time to refresh by dunking yourself in a cool water before enjoying your well prepared dinner. Spend your second night in a typical Thai eco – stilt home in Kho Muong village.
Approx: Grade 3,5 of 5/ 7 hours walking
Day 3: Trek to Son village (B,L,D)
Another morning you wake up in the sounds of village life and nature. You have early breakfast then leaving the beautiful village and its friendly villagers. On morning route you encounter some steep climbs and more stream crossings before reaching Nua village. From the village the walk is much easier. Following the dirt road give you the chance to meet villagers who are tending their rice fields or on the way back from morning markets. You have lunch at a village on the way.
The afternoon walk is fabulous with a steep ascent on natural stone steps to the top of one of the limestone hills that enclose Pu Luong, following by a descent and then a walk through dense vegetable to Ban Son. You will stay overnight tonight in the remote village of Son village.
Approx: Grade 3 of 5/ 7-8 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch
Note: more moderate walk for today is taking a descent from Kho Muong village to Cao village.
Day 4: Trek to Xom village. Transfer to Hanoi (B,L)
It is the last day of your incredible exploring trip. You walk along the mountain side through some other Thai inhabited villages for about 2 hours. Leaving the beautiful and peaceful views of rice and coin paddle fields behind, you reach to Xom village, where your vehicle is awaiting for your journey back to Hanoi.
Approx: Grade 2 of 5/ 2 hours walking/ 3 hours driving
• English or French speaking guide
• Porters (to carry food and luggage)
• All needed transport
• All indicated meals, plus snacks
• Water on the whole trip
• Silk sleeping bag
• Waterproof bluebag for luggage
• Mosquito net
• All entrance fees
• Local house fees and permits
• Personal Pocket Money
• Drinks and beverages
• All other services not indicated as inclusive