Suggestions for a journey to conquer the majestic Pha Luong peak - the “roof” of Moc Chau

Suggestions for a journey to conquer the majestic Pha Luong peak - the “roof” of Moc Chau

Son La - Dien Bien 15.08.2021

Pha Luong Peak - "the roof of Moc Chau" - is a destination that attracts many tourists who are passionate about experiencing and discovering. To admire the majestic scenery of the Northwest mountains, conquering Pha Luong peak is a must.

Translated by nguyendo

Written by giangntm

Moc Chau is famous for its flower gardens in spring and stretching tea hills, but if you want to conquer Pha Luong peak, enthusiasm and perseverance are virtues you must possess.

Here is a suggested schedule for you to conquer Pha Luong peak in 2 days and 1 night.

The location of Pha Luong Peak

Pha Luong Peak is located in Chieng Xuan Commune (Moc Chau District, Son La Province), between the Vietnam-Laos border, with an altitude of nearly 2,000m above sea level. The locals also call Pha Luong by its common name “Bo Lung”, which means “big mountain” in the Thai language. This place is very suitable for those who are passionate about traveling to experience new things.

The poem "Tay Tien" by poet Quang Dung has a description of the magnificent beauty of Pha Luong peak and is as follows:

“The upward slope was dauntingly tortuous 

Among desolate banks of cloud, gun muzzles sniffed the sky 

A thousand meters ascending, another thousand descending 

Someone’s house in rainy Pha Luong far away”


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The scene of the sea of clouds at the top of Pha Luong. Photo: Nem TV

The best time to conquer Pha Luong peak

Pha Luong Peak has the typical weather of the Northwest region of Vietnam, which is divided into four distinct seasons in a year. The best time to travel to Pha Luong is at the beginning of spring, which is around February and March, offering sunshine, favourable weather, and a lot of peach and plum blossoms.

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Pha Luong Peak. Photo: Tuan Nguyen Travel

The detailed travel itinerary to conquer Pha Luong peak

From Hanoi, you can catch a bus from My Dinh or Giap Bat station to Moc Chau with a ticket price ranging from VND 150,000 to 200,000/one-way.

For convenience, you should begin traveling to Moc Chau town from the night before and start conquering Pha Luong the following morning. You can rent motorbikes in Moc Chau town to actively experience the place with a rental ranging from VND 150,000 to 250,000/day, depending on the type of vehicle.

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Conquering Pha Luong peak is an experience not to be missed when you come to Moc Chau. Photo: Vietnammoi.vn

The first day

You should depart early in the morning from the center of Moc Chau town to Pha Luong border checkpoint. The 40km journey is divided into several stages. You can follow in the direction of the Long Sap border gate (about 20km) and then turn into Muong Ve. It is important to note that this is the roughest and the most dangerous road as one side are cliffs while the other side is an abyss, hence you may get lost here. Although this is the main road of local ethnic people, this dirt road is mixed with a lot of sand and gravel. That is why you should drive carefully. To ensure your safety, you can hire the locals to drive you to the border checkpoint. At the same time, there is a junction near Pha Luong, so you may possibly travel in the wrong direction to Laos.

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The 40km road to the border checkpoint is very challenging. Photo: Zingnews

The 40km journey can take you the whole morning of the first day. Next, you can have a lunch break at the border checkpoint, follow procedures and prepare for the journey to conquer Pha Luong peak. For Vietnamese people, they need to present an identity card, while foreign tourists need a permit from the provincial police where they register their temporary residence.

It can take you about 3-4 hours to climb from the foot of the mountain to the peak, hence you should prepare a lot of water to have enough strength.

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The locals often follow this road to go to the forest to find food. They also take cattle up the mountain to carry goods. Photo: Zingnews

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The primeval forest in Pha Luong. Photo: vntravellive

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The roads covered with dried leaves, together with the tall maple trees create a wild but romantic picture of nature. Photo: Zingnews

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At an altitude of 1,700m, there is a cave that is usually a place for climbing groups to rest. Photo: Zingnews

The road to the peak of the 2,000m mountain is quite diverse with different terrain types. Roads through the forest are especially beautiful, similar to those in a fairy world. Together with the tall maple trees, they are covered with dried leaves, creating a wild but romantic picture of nature. You will be able to experience the feeling of crouching down among the interwoven bamboo trees as an archway. There are times when you will have to cling to tree roots, swing yourselves or climb trees to move forward. What a memorable discovery experience!

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Pha Luong Peak. Photo: Yong

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The majestic mountain scenery from the peak of Pha Luong. Photo: dulichvietnam

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Photo: Merci Tour

After about 3-4 hours of climbing, you will reach the peak of Pha Luong. The surface of the top of the mountain is a giant flat rock situated in an oblique direction of about 20 degrees, dividing the Vietnam - Laos border, and surrounded by winding mountains and clouds. The air on the top of the mountain is extremely fresh, so you should close your eyes and enjoy the peaceful scenery.

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From the top of Pha Luong, you can see clouds surrounding the mountains. Photo: Zingnews

From the top of Pha Luong peak, you can see the villages along the Vietnam - Laos border, which is not a popular scene that you can easily find. Please keep your memories about your journey of conquering Pha Luong peak by taking pictures here.

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The famous cape at the peak of Pha Luong. Photo: laodong

After successfully conquering the peak of Pha Luong, around 3pm - 4pm, you should start going back as the roads in the forest in the evening are very dangerous. It can take you about 2-2.5 hours to go back to the foot of the mountain. At the end of the first day, you can stay at Pha Luong border checkpoint, have dinner with the border guards, and listen to their daily stories to better understand life in the border area.

The second day

If you choose to stay at the border checkpoint, you can enjoy the airy natural scenery of this place from early in the next morning. After that, you can return to Moc Chau town and visit some other famous tourist attractions such as:

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The pine forest in Ang village near Moc Chau town. Photo: clickladi

The pine forest in Ang village (about 4km away).

The Dai Yem Waterfall (about 8.5km away).

Ngu Dong Ban On (about 19km away).

Moc Chau Tea Hill (about 22km away).

Notes when you come to Pha Luong

The most important thing when you intend to conquer the peak of Pha Luong is to have a fully fueled motorbike. Along the way to Pha Luong are ethnic villages with no gas stations, and it is very difficult to find anyone who can help you.

Prepare some necessary items such as ID cards to do paperwork at the border checkpoint; don't forget to bring cakes and lots of water to recharge your battery when climbing the mountain.

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You should choose specialized climbing shoes. Photo: theessenceofvietnam

You should wear light but warm clothes as the higher the altitude is, the colder it gets. At the same time, you should choose specialized climbing shoes to avoid slipping.

Going to Moc Chau without coming to Pha Luong peak would be a pity. The majestic scenery, heaven-like clouds and mountains, and the challenging roads will definitely be beautiful memories when you think about this place.