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Son La has prospered as a logical transit point between Hanoi and Dien Bien Phu. It’s not a must-see destination, but the surrounding scenery is impressive, and there are a few interesting diversions.

The region is one of Vietnam’s most ethnically diverse and home to more than 30 different minorities, including Black Thai, Meo, Muong and White Thai. Vietnamese influence was minimal until the 20th century, and from 1959 to 1980 the area was part of the Tay Bac Autonomous Region.

Best time to visit

Like other plateau and mountain areas, Son La enjoys a pleasant climate all year round, especially in Moc Chau with temperate weather comparable to Sapa, Tam Dao or Da Lat.

The beauty of Son La to see in every period:

  • Moc Chau will immerse you in meadows of white mustard flowers between October and November, peach and plum trees in spring, before and after the Tet festival.
  • The Independence Day is for the Hmong in Moc Chau, one of two larger traditional festivals, with Tet Nguyen Dan. This colourful opportunity lasting between August 31 and September 2 is a delight for locals and visitors with its many folklore events and traditional games.
  • In winter during the months of December and February, you will have the opportunity to enjoy relaxing moments in a natural hot spring, one of the customs of the Thai people in Son La.
  • A hike in the high mountains in Ta Xua attracts many young people and photography enthusiasts between November and April, the best time to appreciate a breath-taking cloudy ocean. It is, therefore, better to predict the risk of floods in the mountains in summer between June and September, the rainy season in the North.

Check the below table for the general idea of Son La weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 20.2 14.7 10.3
Feb 23.9 17.6 12.3
Mar 27.2 20.9 15.8
Apr 29.2 23.6 18.8
May 30.9 25.6 21.3
Jun 30.3 25.8 22.4
Jul 29.8 25.4 22.4
Aug 29.9 25.3 22
Sep 29.6 24.7 21
Oct 27.5 22.4 18.3
Nov 24.8 19.3 14.8
Dec 21.3 15.8 11.6

Son La’s current weather and 7-day forecast


If you intend to visit this highland province, top 5 most attractive Son La destinations will be useful. 

Moc Chau Plateau

Located in Moc Chau Commune, about 200km from Hanoi to the Northwest, Moc Chau Plateau is an attractive destination with its unique beauty. The most typical characteristic of Moc Chau is the long and huge fields of green tea stretching about 80km and 25km in width along with 1600 ha grass.

Moc Chau is known for its many tourist attractions in Son La and the northwestern part of the country. In addition, with special climate and tourism resources, Moc Chau plateau is an appealing place for tourism and relaxation.

There are some great ways to explore and experience the beauty of Moc Chau; just hike up on green hills and takes photos of the villages, wooden houses, and terraces of the locals or walk down the valleys and meet the locals, buy some Moc Chau Milk – the traditional product of the area.

Prison and museum of Son La

The Son La’s Prison was first built in 1908 on the Khau Ca Hills where many of Vietnamese soldiers had been taken into. This place witnesses some evidence of the brutality of the French colonist to Vietnamese political soldiers. 

Pha Luong Mountain

This mountain is also known as Bo Lung with the height of nearly 2000m in the border area of Viet-Laos. It is located in the east of Moc Chau district, Son La province. When exploring the paradise of Pha Luong, tourists will be overwhelmed by the huge scenery of wildflowers.

Ta Xua

Located in Bac Yen District, along with Moc Chau, Ta Xua is one of the most attractive destinations when exploring Son La. This area is also said to be the heaven of clouds thanks to its rugged terrain and the vast of steppe with thousands of wildflowers. With dangerously winding routes, it has become increasingly popular among Vietnamese and international trekkers in recent years. Breathtaking close-ups of blankets of clouds and valleys are the best reward for those who dare take up the challenge.

Dai Yem Water Fall

This is a place associated with the long history of residence of Thai ethnic people in the ancient Muong Sang. Up to now, Dai Yem Waterfall is considered to be a beautiful ecological landscape anyone visiting Son La is all willing to see the natural beauty of it.

We were hugely impressed with the amount of accommodation on offer in the town with the majority of it found around the lake, the centre and close to the park. There are budget options like Bien Phong Guesthouse and Hoang Son Hotel (under USD10) in the centre of the town and have fridges, TVs, bright and spacious rooms as well as internet. Try the Sunrise Hotel (USD20) for midrange as it has good views of the countryside and has good sized rooms that contain decent furnishings. For the highest quality hotels, we advise Hanoi Hotel (USD30-50) as it has very comfy and spacious rooms, a restaurant, bar, Jacuzzi, sauna and internet. Another option would be the Cong Doan Son La (USD20-50), which has tall ceilings, balconies, big satellite TVs, baths and much more.

Son La is considered the jewel of the Northwestern mountains. With a cool climate, fertile land, hard-working people, there are many Son La specialties that are popular with many people.


Well, it goes without saying that almost you can find milk just everywhere. However, Moc Chau’s fresh milk has made a name for itself across the country for being perfectly creamy and nutritious. You can drink it within only three days but no worries, we are certain that you will finish it in a day or two since being able to start a day with a cup of warm creamy milk in the chilly morning is a undeniably blessing feeling, rendering you warm as well as refreshed.

Where: Trang trai bo sua Moc Chau Dairy Farm

Address: 168 Hoang Quoc Viet, Nong Truong Town, Moc Chau, Son La

Tel: 0223.66.66.99 - 0916.668.969


Five-color sticky rice

Moc Chau is one of the most vibrant hubs for minorities in Vietnam. Each tribe represents an exquisite color that it is proud of. Dao people add to the fun with their five-color sticky rice which is made of rice mixed with a range of herbal leaves, creating an irresistible dish for the local as well as tourists.

Cải mèo

As simple as his town, Cai Meo is a one-ingredient dish featuring Cai Meo. Rest assured since it won’t disappoint you with numerous tastes your tastebuds will feel with only a bite of it. A little bitter at first but it will pass soon, leaving a clear sweetness in your mouth. Although Cai meo Moc Chau can be used to add in hotpot, fried dish, chicken, its favorite style is the easy boiling and then served with a bowl of soy sauce or fish sauce.

Buffalo’s meat (Thịt trâu gác bếp)

The “leader” of Moc Chau’s specialties, Thit trau gac bep, originally of Thai tribe, must never be missed in Moc Chau’s big events such as Tet Holiday or Wedding. Few have left Moc Chau without buying a little Thit trau gac bep for souvenir. Generally, its price will be approximately 600000VND/kg, sold at Tiểu Khu 32, Chiềng Đi or intersection 73 (ngã ba 73), Peach Garden.

Grilled Stream Fish (Cá suối nước)

One merit of Grilled Stream Fish is that you can eat both the meat and the bone. In addition, the Grilled Fish is tasty with the company of spicy fish sauce (mắm tỏi ớt) or chili sauce. It is highly recommended to eat Grilled Stream Fish with sticky rice, which never fails to amaze the diner.

Calf meat (Bê chao)

Soft sweet calf meat “chao” by hot oil in the pan, letting out the most irresistible taste that entrances anyone passing by. You can easily catch sight of “Be chao” restaurants along the National Road 6 (Quốc lộ 6), Tiểu Khu Chiềng Đi or Công Trường Mộc Châu town (Moc Chau Site Town). Prices for small dish range from 100 000VND-150 000VND, 150 000VND to 200 000VND for big one.


*Quan 64 Moc Chau

Address: AH13, Phiêng Luông, Mộc Châu, Sơn La

Tel: +84 96 981 16 66

*Nam Hung 70

Address: QL6, Phien Luong, Moc Chau, Son La

Tel: 0212 3869 558

*Xuan Bac 181 Restaurant

Address: QL6, Phiêng Luông, Mộc Châu, Sơn La

Tel: 0166 608 3486

Green tea

Not only serve as a spectacle for beholders, Green Tea Hills, occupying up to 3000 ha of Tea Land in Moc Chau, offer delicate tea cups not only for the local people but also across Vietnam.

Where: Doi che Trai Tim (Heart-shape Tea Hill)

Address: Nông trường Mộc Châu, Mộc Châu, Sơn La

Tel: 091 279 39 22


Available at the end of May annually, peach from Moc Chau can be found sold by street vendors along National Road 6 (Quoc lo 6). Moc Chau’s peach brings about pleasant sense of sweetness and mild sourness, refreshment at every crunchy bite.

Where: Vuon Dao (Peach Garden)

Address: Vườn Đào, Phiêng Luông, Mộc Châu, Sơn La

Getting to Son La from Hanoi

You have two options to get to Son La from Hanoi, by bus or motorbike. With a distance of almost 300 kilometres, you normally need between 4.5-hour drive to get to Son La from Hanoi by bus. The journey time varies depending on the type of vehicle and the point of departure.

There are a dozen Hanoi - Son La buses and Hanoi - Moc Chau buses that depart daily from downtown Hanoi or from My Dinh and Yen Nghia bus stations. The average ticket price is 220,000 VND or 11 USD per person.

Get around

To explore the different corners between mountains and forest, villages and valleys, a motorbike or a bicycle is a nice way and quite thinkable in Son La and especially in Moc Chau, its main attraction. It is, therefore, in Moc Chau that you can easily find a motorbike or a bicycle at your hotel and in nearby points.

Contact us to get more information


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