Moc Chau - The far North Vietnam
From Son La Highway 6 climbs east, passing Yen Chau – a town famed for its fruit – and some very pretty Black Thai villages on the right after about 80km, particularly La Ken, which can be visited by crossing swaying suspension bridges over the river. The main road from Son La climbs onto a thousand-metre-high plateau where the cool climate favours tea and coffee cultivation, mulberry to feed the voracious worms of Vietnam’s silk industry and herds of dairy cattle, initially imported from Holland, to quench Hanoi’s thirst for milk, yoghurt and ice cream. Just less than 120km out of Son La, the sprawling market town of MOC CHAU provides a convenient place for a break.
Moc Chau Plateau is in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, about 200km northwest of Hanoi. Located at the height of 1,050m above sea level, Moc Chau is a steppe with green tea hills, the widest and the most beautiful grass fields in the North's mountainous areas.
For the next 4km heading towards Hanoi, the road is dotted with stalls selling local milk products such as three kinds of flavoured milk, thick home-made yoghurt and blocks of condensed milk (which they advertise as chocolate when cocoa is added), as well as green tea. The rigid lines of tea bushes that border the road round Moc Chau create curious patterns, and though there are few side roads, this is a region in which some might want to linger.
Moc Chau has a temperate climate. It is cool in summer with average temperature of 20oC, a bit cold in autumn, freezing in winter and warm in spring. Coming here in winter or spring – the most beautiful season in Moc Chau, tourists will have chances to contemplate the breathtaking scenery of blooming flowers. Areas around Sao Xanh hotel (Moc Chau Town), the pine forest in Ang Village (Dong Sang Commune), Dai Yem Waterfall (Muong Sang Commune), Pa Phach Village (Dong Sang Commune)... are some of the most beautiful spots.
In winter, there is full of fogs covering over the colorful orange wild sunflowers combining with the red poinsettia flowers blooming along roadsides. When spring comes, the whole Moc Chau is bright with colorful blooming white pumpkin and apricot flowers. Warm sunlight is spreading across the steppe, and then sometimes gives way for light cold drizzles. Far away, fields of white mustard flowers are spreading as far as the eyes could see, crawling in slope hillsides. Arriving in Moc Chau, tourists can visit landscapes and learn more about traditional cultures of Thai, Mong people... living in this area.