Sunday, September 28, 2014

Journey to Tây Bắc ( Vietnam Northwest Area )

Majestic mountains, peaceful villages, magic terraced fields, bright smiles ... all have made a fascinating Tây Bắc. However, because this area is still quite primitive and has limited travel services. Thus before taking a safety trip to Tây Bắc, you should note a few things as below:

1. Best time to visit 

Tây Bắc has a particular beauty in each season. Practically, there are two seasons that make Tây Bắc most beautiful are Spring and Autumn. In these times, the flowers, plum blossom, cherry blossoms ... are the most beautiful flowers of Tây Bắc. This is also the season at Northwestern ethnic festival, singing, fun, colorful costumes, the most brilliant ...

October is autumn in Tây Bắc.  The terraced fields turn into a shiny yellow picturesque. Tây Bắc markets usually take place on Saturday or Sunday. It is a chance for you to add an unforgettable experience. Colors, sounds, life of the highlands are wonderful and should not miss.

If you only have 3 days to discover Tây Bắc, you can go follow this journey: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Moc Chau - Son La. If you have 7 days or more, you can follow journey: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Moc Chau - Son La - Dien Bien - Lai Chau - Lao Cai. From Lao Cai train can travel by road for the night or between Hanoi.

2. Transportation 

 From Hanoi, there are many buses going to Tây Bắc Provinces, take a bus, you can reach the city center.

If traveling by car, you should not go more than 60 km / h when on the mountain pass. The best speed of 40 - 50 km / h, you can just watch the scene, while ensuring safety. For motorcycles, the speed should be kept between 30 - 40 km / h when up and down the pass.

3. Accommodation and dinning 

In Tây Bắc, typically, each 50km, there is a small town. Every town has a holiday but the conditions and quality of service restrictions. Ideally you should carefully calculate journey to get to the city or town center. Can refer people to find local accommodation.

 Find accommodation near the market or on the main road center makes it easy to find a place to eat and walk around at night. Most of the guest house, motel room in the area cost about 100.000 - 200.000 VND / night. Should see the room before deciding to stay.

Not many restaurants, especially the journey away from the city. If you find the restaurants, you should stop eating, not fussy or wait for better consistency, you will probably get hungry. Only when you arrive, ordering the new bartender to cook hot food. So do not be afraid of the diner look "poor", go ahead to ask, you'll have warm meals belly before continuing the journey.

4.  Respect local culture

Unless some point to have been "cultural tourism", many areas along the northwestern stretch of road was pretty wild, gentle honest people, come here, you have absolute respect for indigenous culture.

No joke too much, do not tease local girls, not laughed loud when in the village because the villagers would bother, do not photograph them if they did not intend to authorize or unhappy.

If you are friendly, intimacy, respect for indigenous people, you'll get back the same. Although want to learn people's life, you should not excessively spying on the corner of the house, not looking especially incline into the bedroom of the owner.

5. Things need to pay Attention

Should carefully review the route map before you leave. Do not take this same street-style improvisation, whatever. For a safe ride for yourself, and do not affect other people, need to prepare everything carefully. To calculate the journey every day to go and to safety.

To protect their transportation, where there is hardly going to get off stage observed before the pass. Vehicle speed must be employed in any situation. When tired to find a safe place to stop and rest, do not go trying ...

Pack food in vehicles such as cakes, chocolate, some fruits like apples, plums, oranges... in case you are hungry and there is no shop along the way. Always carry warm clothes when you go to Tây Bắc in winter.

And do not forget to buy a lot of sweets, cakes to ready the car because you can see children on the street anywhere and a great gift for kid’s uplands is confectionery. Looking cheerful kids smiling with petite sweets, your trip will be more full and warmer.