VietnamActivities & AttractionsWhat to do in Moc Chau Travel Guide

What to do in Moc Chau Travel Guide

Having a few days left in Hanoi and wondering what to do? Don’t waste your time being stuck inside the concrete buildings, but let’s go further to see what Vietnam has to offer. Moc Chau is a humble town roughly 5 hours away from the capital of Vietnam and is blessed with incredible nature that is still unspoiled by tourist masses. See our guide for all the tips and advice for the Moc Chau Travel Guide.

Quick Notes about Moc Chau Travel Guide

  • Moc Chau is a district of Son La Province in Northwest Vietnam and is a favorite destination for a day trip from Hanoi
  • Weather in Moc Chau is generally cool and temperate, and spring (January – March) is the ideal time to admire flower valleys in the vast and wild nature of Moc Chau
  • Moc Chau is home to multiple ethnic groups in Vietnam, including the Thai, Dao, H’mong, etc. hence the variety of ethnic handicraft arts and cuisines
  • What gains Moc Chau its worldwide reputation: endless green valleys, flower fields, pine forests, and Vietnam ethnic cultures

What we’ll Cover in this Moc Chau Travel Guide:

  • What to Pack for Moc Chau
  • Where to Stay in Moc Chau
  • How to Get to Moc Chau from Hanoi
  • What to Do and See in Moc Chau
  • What to Eat in Moc Chau

What to Pack for Moc Chau Travel Guide

Clothing: Moc Chau’s climate is moderately cool all year round, so any warm yet breathable clothing will do, do prioritize pants and long-sleeved tops. In case it rains, you can find disposable ponchos at local shops.

Hiking shoes and other hiking essentials: for adventurers in Moc Chau, you wouldn’t say no to hiking and trekking in the forests and caves here, so better come prepared the regret
See recommended hiking shoe brands by professional mountaineers

Health-related essentials:

Electronics:

Where to Stay in Moc Chau Travel Guide

Moc Chau is a flourishing tourist destination, and with not much effort, you can find a pretty decent stay like a hotel or budget resort. However, for group travelers looking for authentic local experiences, opt for a bungalow or a homestay. Overall, accommodations in Moc Chau offer scenic views, occasionally with tours led by local guides.

Check our recommendations for Where to Stay in Moc Chau

moc chau where to stay lavallee bungalow

moc chau accommodation

Lavalle Bungalow is among the top choices for staying in Moc Chau (Check price and availability)

How to Get to Moc Chau from Hanoi

Distance from Hanoi to Moc Chau: 200 km

Hanoi to Moc Chau by bus/limousine

Travel time: 5 hours
Ticket: from 150,000 VND/pax (bus); from VND 250,000/pax (limousine)
Bus station in Hanoi with buses to Moc Chau: My Dinh Station, Yen Nghia Station

To plan your itinerary and avoid scams, look for Hanoi – Moc Chau bus tickets online:

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Hanoi to Moc Chau by motorbike:

Duration: at least 5 – 6 hours
Motorbike rental cost in Hanoi: from VND 150,000/bike/day

It is tempting to ride a motorbike through mountain passes while admiring rural nature, but it’s advisable not to jeopardize your safety as the mountainous roads are quite undeveloped.

See our break-down for the best means to travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

What to Do and See in Moc Chau Travel

Thung Khe Pass
Google Maps location

Thung Khe Pass is not a part of Moc Chau per se but belongs to Mai Chau District (Hoa Binh Province). As you’re getting to Moc Chau from Hanoi via Highway 6, make a quick detour to the Thung Khe Pass or more locally known as the White Stone Pass because of its unique appearance. Be careful if you’re driving your own vehicle, as the deep curves and steep slopes can be quite a challenge. Some tourist buses also stop by this natural wonder for passengers to take pictures or enjoy some street snacks, so make sure to check with the operator.

deo da trang thung khe mai chau moc chau travel

The Thung Khe Pass is a famous stop for many tours from Hanoi to Moc Chau

Visit Verdant Plateaus in Moc Chau – What to do in Moc Chau

Thanks to its favorable climate and topography, Moc Chau is home to endless plantations and flower fields, namely tea, buckwheat flowers, and plums. Visit Moc Chau during the springtime (January – March) to enjoy the flower fields blooming in profusion. Some Moc Chau’s fields worth checking out are Na Ka Plum Valley, a heart-shaped tea plantation, white kale flowers (Cai Flower), and a buckwheat flower field.

moc chau tea plantation 3

As one of the main tea growing regions in Vietnam, tea plantations are common sights to see along the roads

moc chau plum garden

Na Ka Plum Valley from afar

moc chau buckwheat flower field 2

Views of the flower fields are even more romantic during its blooming seasons 

Immerse in Ethnic Cultures at Local Villages – What to do in Moc Chau

Ang Village (Ban Ang – “ban” stands for village): pine forest, camping
Google Maps location

Get your trekking gear and cameras ready to experience the wilderness of Ang Village’s pine forest. “The Little Da Lat of Northwest Vietnam” has a gigantic natural lake right beside the poetic pine forest. You can spend a day camping here, wander around, or spend some time with the villagers for a sense of authentic ethnic lifestyle.

rung thong ban ang

Strike some poses at the mighty forests

moc chau strawberry farm

Then visit the strawberry farms nearby for fresh strawberries and smoothies

Hua Tat Village (Ban Hua Tat): pine forest, H’mong people’s lifestyle
Google Maps location

Hua Tat Village is where you can immerse in not only the endless rows of pine trees but also the cultural atmosphere of the many H’mong families residing here. Some group tours from Hanoi to Moc Chau sometimes spend quite some time here to learn about the traditional local traits.

moc chau plum garden 2

Follow the locals to learn more about their cultures

Rejuvenate at Dai Yem Waterfalls – What to do in Moc Chau
Google Maps location

As the land of many unknown wonders, Moc Chau also offers stunning views of some gorgeous waterfalls in Vietnam, and on top of the list is Dai Yem Waterfall. The best time to see Dai Yem Waterfall is from April to September.

dai yem waterfall

Dai Yem is roughly translated as “long pieces of silk”, and we can see where it’s got such a delicate name

Conquer Pha Luong Board Peak – What to do in Moc Chau
Google Maps location

The top of Pha Luong Mountain in Moc Chau overlooks the majestic natural scenery of the Vietnam-Laos border. You will need to be accompanied by a local guide to reach the peak, and no one is allowed to stay overnight in this border area, so camping is out of the question.

pha luong what to do moc chau

Epic photo opportunities at the Phu Luong Board Peak, on the left side is Laos and Vietnam is on the right side

Be Amazed by Moc Chau’s Many Caves – What to Do in Moc Chau

The Five Caves of On Village (Ngu Dong Ban On)
Google Maps location

The cave system is part of a remote hill, newly discovered by locals in 2006 when people were fleeing from a major flood. The location is hidden in a coarse and treacherous forest it takes an audacious traveler to reach the caves. Get your trekking gear and camera ready to admire the mysterious beauty of Ngu Dong Ban On.

ngu dong moc chau travel guide

The mystic beauty of Moc Chau’s most impressive cave system

Bat Cave (Doi Cave – “doi” stands for bats)
Google Maps location

Though this is not quite like your Bat Man’s fantasy, the mighty appearance and history of which can take you aback. The Bat Cave used to be home to thousands of bats (hence the name), a secret military base during the many wars in Vietnam, and now it is crowned as the most beautiful cave in Vietnam, frequently visited by travelers and archeologists.

hang doi moc chau travel guide

As the old saying goes, “There’s always light at the end of the tunnel”

Son La Prison Relic and Museum – What to do in Moc Chau
Google Maps location

Moc Chau District, and Son La Province in general, carry many courageous stories of the war-torn past. The Son La Museum collects and preserves evidence of the land establishment, and how people had to fight with blood and tears to protect their homes.

What to Eat in Moc Chau Travel Guide

Moc Sa Wine

The traditional Moc Chau’s spirit is pretty much what you’d look for in good alcohol: natural ingredients and fermentation, smooth, and is claimed to not give you a hangover! Moc Sa Wine is made from corn and herbs; such distinguished flavor has made Moc Sa Wine a gift from Moc Chau, and from Northern Vietnam in general. You can look for a bottle at a local Hanoi’s souvenir shops to try the alcohol if you have never been to Moc Chau.

Price: VND 65,000/500ml bottle

moc chau rice wine

Mellow down at night with some shots of Moc Sa Wine

Dried Buffalo Meat (Thit Trau Gac Bep)

It is a staple dish of the Thai people in Northwest Vietnam, so when you’ve got a chance to be in Moc Chau in particular, join the locals to try the one-of-a-kind buffalo jerky which is heavily marinated before being dried in the kitchen above the stove. Thit Trau Gac Bep is a perfect snack with some Moc Sa Wine, or you can bring some home to enjoy with a nice cold beer.

thit trau moc chau travel guide

The unique drying method creates a distinguished aroma for the jerky

Beef Salad Rolls (Thit Be)

Vietnamese cuisine is famed for its many amazing rolls wrapped in rice papers, and Moc Chau rolls are no exception. The rolls usually have beef (mainly calf’s beef) as the highlight, wrapped with wild herbs, unripe banana slices, etc. A small bowl of dipping sauce is what weaves every ingredient together.

moc chau thit be luoc

The beef here is freshly made with specialized recipes

moc chau be chao

Other than beef, goat meat is also a favorite

Grilled fish/fried fish

Moc Chau’s grilled fish is certainly not a Michelin-quality dish, but with simple ingredients and cooking methods, this rustic dish can bring the freshest taste from rivers to tables. Grilled fish or fried fish can easily be found at a local homestay, or even better, you can go to a nearby river and fish for your own meal.

moc chau meal

Freshly caught grilled fish is a usual main dish in Moc Chau’s meals

Yogurt with fermented purple sticky rice

The nationwide favorite dessert originates from Moc Chau, so there’s nowhere else better to taste this special yogurt than in its hometown. Besides the typical layer of yogurt on top, scoop in a little bit for a fun chew of the purple sticky rice lying beneath.

moc chau yogurt

The yogurt is appealing because of its look to taste

Our Insider Tips for Moc Chau Travel Guide

  • On the way from Hanoi to Moc Chau, you can stop by Mai Chau District to experience more natural wonders of Northwest Vietnam
  • When taking pictures with the ethnic kids, they may ask you for money, so try not to encourage this behavior if possible (give them candies instead, for example). Read more about Responsible Travel in Vietnam
  • If you’re traveling by a motorbike, make sure to check the motorbike’s gears and engines carefully, wear a quality helmet, and possibly elbow and knee pads. Plan your gas and travel time upon starting your journey

Our Takes on the Moc Chau Travel Guide

Compared to its fame, Moc Chau is still a rural tourist destination, so book your tickets now to this incredible land! We hope our blog on what to do in Moc Chau can be your trusty guidebook, but feel free to be spontaneous to gain more precious memories in Vietnam.

Further reading for your First Time in Moc Chau

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