The winding road, year-round cool climate, hospitable people make the Po Mu village in Ngoc Chien Commune, Son La Province is as beautiful as a fairy tale. Po Mu is name of a kind of conifer tree, known as Fokienia in English.
Driving through the Sa Sip Pass with sharp turns, dangerous roads and 20 kilometers of road along Nam Chien hydropower reservoirs, the image of wood stilt houses with smoke of cooking, the vast dense forests or gentle flavour and colour of the bamboo fences are enough to warm visitors.
The Po Mu village in Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district, Son La province is as beautiful as a painting that nature created. Located about 80 km to the northeast of Son La city, at an altitude of 1,800 meters above average sea level, Ngoc Chien is the highest and the most beautiful land of Muong La District. Dreamy beauty hiding in the mountain mist along with gentle smokes from wooden houses makes this place so magical.
Coming to the Po Mu village, travellers seem to get lost in a heaven. The roofs in the village are thatched by precious po-mu wood, created long time ago by the elder and now preserved as a treasure bestowed by forests and mountains.Winding country roads, calm weather seems to protect the little villagers. People here are extremely friendly and gentle like the jungle.
Amid the forest, sometimes we can see scented flower branches blooming, healing hot springs and the pensive quiet houses. Po Mu village has excellent architecture in house building with beautiful subtle patterns on the beams, trusses and columns. People in Ngoc Chien in brilliant costumes are always thoughtful, friendly with tourists coming to visit. Their life goes by slowly.
Walking around the village, you can enjoy nice landscape with doors made by po-mu (Fokienia) wood, unique bamboo fences, taking us back to childhood, where life was simple and intact.
Besides, when coming to the village, it a must to enjoy delicious sticky rice from Ngoc Chien fields. This gift is even more delicious than the famous specialty sticky rice in Tu Le, a great place for Vietnam adventure travel.
Not only attract visitors by the wild beauty, charming scenery, the Po Mu village also is home to the Hmong and Thai people. The villagers are not as rich as rumours from the people in lowland, but not too poor. Their life still has elements of self-sufficiency; all products are homemade so everything is very fresh and delicious.
The women here are also as beautiful as the great forest of Fokienia. On spring days or at the weekend, walking around Muong Chien, Lo Phon, Na Sang village... you can enjoy the cultural beauty of the people: the featured dances, tug games making the atmosphere become so fun and exciting, the girl with a radiant face, brighten a corner of the sky.
To have a trip of the lifetime to Ngoc Chien from Son La city, it’s around 80 km. The road is difficult and very rugged, so travellers should be careful, especially when you visit the place by motorbike.
From Son La, take the provincial road 106 about 40 km to the northeast, then you will arrive in the town of It Ong, continue your ride to Sa Sip Pass located at an altitude over 2,000 meters, a winding 40 km long pass with entire region in luxuriant woods. You will move forward over the bridge across the stream, and Ngoc Chien commune is in front of your eyes.
The service here is also very affordable. Price is around 70,000-80,000VND (3-4 USD) for an overnight stay per person. Do not forget to enjoy the hot spring baths and check in with the old fokienia roofs.
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