Hoa Binh is a province located in the Northwest of Vietnam, about 60 km from Hanoi, bordering Phu Tho, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Son La and Thanh Hoa. This land is considered the cradle of Muong culture with a myriad of strange things not yet discovered. With the advantage of being near Hanoi and having many attractive places, Hoa Binh is one of the choices for you to explore every weekend.
When is the best time to visit Hoa Binh
Each place has a suitable time for visitors to enjoy, so it depends on you to decide where you want to visit. Most of the places are available for you throughout the year. Here are some suggestions:
- If you want to stay away from the heat of Hanoi, summer is the best time to go. The cool atmosphere of Mai Chau, Thung Nai valley will keep you away from the swelter of the plains.
- If you want to see the flood discharged from Hoa Binh lake, rainy season is the choice, but remember to watch the weather forecast.
- Tien Temple festival (in Lac Thuy – Hoa Binh) takes place from 4thto 6th January (in lunar calendar)
- Visit Lung Van in the months from Tet (Lunar New Year) to April, you can enjoy a prettier scenery.
How to reach Hoa Binh
There are always some low-cost airlines in Vietnam for you to consider at Traveloka
VietJet Air: www.traveloka.com/vi-vn/vietjet-air
Vietnam Airlines: www.traveloka.com/vi-vn/vietnam-airlines
After reaching Hanoi, Hoa Binh city is only 73 km away. You can take the couch to get there or go directly to the tourist destination, then catch a cab to any tourist attractions you want.
Backpacking travel lovers can also ride motorbike since it only takes 2 hours from Hanoi to Hoa Binh. On the other hand, the tourist spots in Hoa Binh are usually far away from each other, therefore it is more convenient to travel by bike.
Where to go in Hoa Binh
Besides the famous places such as Mai Chau, Thung Nai or Hoa Binh hydropower plant, there are some more special tourist attractions.
Mai Chau Hoa Binh
Mai Chau is the most famous place which should be your first choice when you visit Hoa Binh. Located in the West, Mai Chau welcome hundred thousands of domestic and foreign tourists each year.
Currently, the main tourist spots in Mai Chau are these villages: Lac, Pom, Coong, Van, Nhot, …
Instead of having hotels or motels, Mai Chau villages have their homestays with full sets of facilities (one of the places you may found is Moon House).
And also there are many homestay nearby can be found here.
There are also brocade goods selling outside the stilt house with reasonable price, which is suitable for souvenirs.
Compared with Mai Chau, Thung Nai is closer to Hoa Binh, and locates only 23 km far from the center of the city.
You can take a taxi from the city bus station to enter the valley. With those who ride motorbikes, you should find a place to park your ride before taking a boat through the lake.
You can book a full board package (including boat trips to visit places of interest) with the price of 300,000 VND per person. Or hire a private boat in case you travel in groups.
At Thung Nai, you have many options of destination: lake travel, Suoi Trach (a stream with crystal clear water which can cool you on summer days), Ba Chua Thac Bo Temple (a sacred place to be worshiped by many people), Thac Bo cave, Thac Bo floated market…
You also have many options of food to enjoy: boar meat, river fish, free range chicken…
Hoa Binh hydropower plant
Hoa Binh hydropower plant located 3,8 km away from the city center. You can get there by following Le Thanh Tong street by motorbike.
It was built from 1979 to 1994 on Da River, provides water and electricity for the North of Vietnam.
Kim Boi rural district
Kim Boi is in the East of Hoa Binh city, contains many of tourist attractions:
Kim Boi mineral spring
Kim Boi mineral spring resort is uniquely attracted by its crystal-clear, odorless and aseptic mineral water.
According to scientists, Kim Boi mineral water is derived from limestone bed of geological age about 250 million years, with the temperature about 34 – 36 degrees Celcius in the open-air. It is considered as the mineral spring with the most stable chemical composition.
The main ingredient of water is calcium – magnesium bicarbonate sulfate, which turns it to become a kind of beverage that is good for human health. Kim Boi mineral water source is an ideal condition to help us restore health, stabilize blood pressure, cure arthritis and gastrointestinal disease. Kim Boi spring water has been bottled as beverages, the same type with Thach Bich mineral water in Quang Ngai and Paven Banis in Bulgaria.
Cuu Thac Tu Son (Tu Son waterfall of nine streams)
Located in Kim Boi district, near Kim Boi mineral spring, Tu Son waterfall is considered the best of the place. Majestic mountains and romantic streams, thus fresh cool climate comforts every visitors who have decided to come here.
Tu Son waterfall has nine streams, each has its own charming beauty.
Along the stream, there are huts for you to rest and various famous dishes for you to enjoy: rice in bamboo tube, bamboo shoots, grilled fish, grilled chicken, bacon…
Dong Thech ancient tomb
It is the Muong ancient tomb located in the Northwest of Muong Dong valley of Chieng Dong hamlet, Vinh Dong village, Kim Boi district, Hoa Binh province. “Dong” – according to the Muong people – has it means to be the place in which you bury the dead. “Thech” is the name of the land. That is why the tomb has its name Dong Thech.
The land has the shape like a dragon mouth, which is a good place according to ancient Feng Shui concepts. So long ago, the Muong Dong family (the family which took part in officialdom) monopolized the cemetery as the last resting place of their lineage. With an area of several thousands square meters, through many lifetimes, the tomb of Dong Thech has hidden hundreds of graves of many generations of Dinh family. Among them, there are higher tombs as the mark to show the power of the clan. Dong Thech became the holy ground of that family, covered with dense forest through time. Nowadays, it continues to become more and more mysterious with generations of Muong Dong people.
From Hoa Binh, straight the way to Mai Chau – Moc Chau, pass Muong Khen town to an intersection which has a roadside market, you can ask local people for the way to Lung Van – Dinh Gia. The road is a little bit craggy, but keep moving forward and the place is on your right.
With the majestic charming nature and specific cultural features, Lung Van now being the top choice of travel lovers. The place is considered as “the roof of Muong Bi”, because it is the highest living area of the Muong people, and also contains many stories have come into myth.
Check this out.