The accommodations in Pu Luong Nature Reserve are some of the most dramatically situated, atmospheric, and romantic places to stay in Vietnam. About 4 hours southwest of Hanoi, in Ba Thuoc district, Thanh Hoa Province, the scenery in Pu Luong Nature Reserve is the perfect mix between rice terraces, majestic mountains, clear river and the traditional village nearby mountainside beside which wood-and-thatch homes perch on raised platforms, with limestone peaks poking above low-hanging cloud all around. There are some accommodations scattered about Pu Luong Nature Reserve, most of which are now fairly easy to access. Some are more rustic than others, and there’s even more modern. But they are all great places to base yourself while exploring this beautiful corner of Vietnam.
GUIDE: PU LUONG NATURE RESERVEA CCOMMODATIONS
In this guide, I’ve written an overview of some accommodation in Pu Luong, including some information about the location, transportation, specific homestay areas, and things to do (see the contents below). As there are many dozens of accommodations spread across a large area, I have chosen to highlight some several homestays.
However, there are lots of others to choose from, so you can be quite independent and spontaneous when ‘homestay-hopping’ in Pu Luong Nature Reserve. The best time to visit Pu Luong are Spring (March-May) or Autumn ( September – November). In Winter, expect misty conditions, low visibility and cool to cold conditions – especially at night. The Summer is hot and humid.
Our Double Lodge In Ban Hieu Village, Pu Luong
Bookings & Reservations: There are dozens on homestays in Pu Luong, and they divide to small villages. Some of them are very rustic but some now more modern. For the homestays listed below, I’ve tried to include contact information whenever possible. However, even with a phone number, making a reservation can be tricky if you don’t speak any Vietnamese.
Prices & Rates: At the typical homestays (of which the vast majority in Pu Luong are), the rates for sleeping overnight are incredibly cheap: between 120,000-320,000vnd ($6-$15) a night. This is because the sleeping arrangements are much upgrade : usually a mattress on a wooden floor under a mosquito net in a communal dorm on the first floor of a stilt house, often with curtains or partitions for privacy, and a shared bathroom. But food and drink is extra (see below for details). However, the boutique-style ‘retreats’ or ‘eco-resorts’ have much higher prices, sometimes upwards of $100 a night (although these rates often include breakfast and/or dinner).
Below are some homestay areas in Pu Luong:
Ban Hang Homestay Area : In the northwest of the nature reserve, Ban Hang is one of the first village that do homestay in pu Luong. It is near by the main QL15C road through Pu Luong. The road descends to the river valley and continues along the banks, where a cluster of homestays (including Thuy Lan Homestay: 0343736 999, Fog Homestay :0364 604 909) offer beds, food, drinks, and local excursions. The homestays here are popular with young Vietnamese road-trippers and some tour groups. The general standard is typical of homestays in Pu Luong: wooden houses on stilts with access to the pretty river, forests, and surrounding countryside. Because its location is low (down in the valley) the views aren’t as spectacular as other homestay areas, and the local hamlet (Ban Hang) is perhaps not quite as tidy and attractive as others in the nature reserve.
Kho Muong Homestay Area: from Ban Hang area, you can follow the main road or walk on a small trail to reach Kho Muong area which is now still keep the original of traditional custom on weaving. It is a small village down the valley with the field and Bat cave will bring you a peaceful scene. Some homestay in this area such as Kho Muong Homestay (0944325132) Nam Homestay (0394904372)
Ban Don Homestay Area : Perched on a kind of mini-plateau in the southwest corner of the nature reserve, Ban Don has a spectacular position with extraordinary views over a vast valley of terraced rice fields and high mountain surround . This is the most crowded area in Pu Luong with some homestay bellow: Pu Luong Retreat (0968447786), Pu Luong Natura Bungalow (0971336650), Pu Luong Treehouse (0966963851), Ciel De PuLuong (0862356868), Pu Luong Home (0968691171) and some others local villager homestay.
Ban Hieu Homestay Area : Located towards the southeast of the nature reserve, Ban Hieu Homestay close to Hieu Waterfall , a small but spread-out collection of thatched bamboo houses on stilts, built on a steep, jungled mountainside beside a gushing cascade with terraced rice paddies continuing high into the clouds. There are two small homestay areas here, both reached via a muddy road which deteriorates into a steep pathway (although this route is currently being resurfaced). The first area of homestays (Ban Hieu 1) features about a half dozen cheap and atmospheric lodgings in wood-and-thatch homes, including Mr. Ba Homestay (037 978 1988), Bamboo Homestay (0975 710 319), Ngoc Dau Homestay (0327111547). The second area (Ban Hieu 2) boasts a couple of higher-end, ’boutique-style’ homestays, including Les Bains de Hieu (???), Ban Hieu Garden Lodge (0904298536), Pu Luong Riverside Lodge, as well as a triple of cheaper, more rustic options. Pu Luong Riverside Lodge, in particular, is extremely tasteful balance of rustic and chic and they provide a nice restaurant with local food, motorbike for rent and daily tour.
Hiking and biking are excellent here, but the centerpiece is Hieu Waterfall (thác Hiêu), which descends the mountainside in stages, flowing quickly at first, then collecting in a series of perfect rock pools at regular intervals, as it makes its way down to the river at the bottom of the valley. These gin-coloured pools are great for bathing, and they give the impression that the course of the stream has been ‘terraced’ according to the contours of the slope; in the same way that the surrounding rice paddies have been terraced.
Lung Cao/Ban Nua Homestay Area : Right in the middle of the nature reserve, Lung Cao and Ban Nua are little hamlets spread over a wide area around the flood plains of a pretty river valley. The homestays, including Ban Nua Homestay (085 755 0703), tend to be very nice but basic. Some of the homestays can be accessed by the paved road along the valley, but others require a good motorbike, 4×4, or going on foot. I’ve not had time to explore this area for more than a couple of days, but I’m sure there’s a lot to discover if you have some time to spare.
Other Homestay Areas : To the east of the nature reserve, at the top of an extraordinarily steep and fabulously scenic road, is Pu Luong Camping, including hammocks and tents. Unfortunately, the location on my map is not exact, but it’s somewhere before the intersection with road DT432A at Lung Van. There are also several other well-known and not-so-well-known homestay areas around Pu Luong Nature Reserve. By far the most popular is Mai Chau, located just to the north of the nature reserve. However, these days Mai Chau is a firm fixture on most travel operators’ tours, so it can get very crowded and feels a bit ‘touristy’, even though it is still a beautiful place to visit. However, in the same area, just northwest of Pu Luong, there are also a handful of homestays in the remote, peaceful area of Cun Pheo.
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