5+ Best places To Visit In Son La Vietnam- The Complete 2024 Travel Guide

 In Beach, Caves, Holidays, museum, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel, Travel Journal, Vietnam, waterfalls

Son, La – where culture and nature become one

A cool climate, beautiful mountainous terrain, and simple but warm and hospitable people – Son La, is bustling with all these qualities. Who wouldn’t want to visit such an authentic and breathtaking place? Vietnam offers a lot of culturally rich, historically captivating, and diverse places to visit. Son La in Vietnam is such a place that enchants you with its stunning landscapes and cultural beauty.

Vietnam is considered one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, and with jaw-dropping locations – there is no doubt about it. Son La is a place in the northwest region of Vietnam with the most diverse ethnic groups with over 30 different types of minorities including Black Thai, Meo, Mung, Tay, and White Thai. With such unique and diverse customs and traditions, especially highlighted by the cover of a majestic landscape, Son La, redefines beauty. 

Some of the best places to visit in Son La, Vietnam bring together the diverse culture and the stunning landscapes. To make your trip worthwhile browse through the best Vietnam tour packages, and take advantage of our selection of the best places to visit in Son La, Vietnam.

The land of Son La, Vietnam at a glance


Son La is situated almost 300 km northwest of the city of Hanoi. It shares a border with Lai Chau and Yen Bai provinces to the north and Thanh Hoa Province and Laos to the south. Hao Binh and Phu Tho Province lie to the east while Dien Bien province lies to the east.

Son La being a part of the northwest mountainous region has most of the land covered with hills and mountains. The low hills in the region have an average elevation of 600-700 meters. The region is characterized by steep slopes and rugged surfaces which are divided by large mountain ranges.

Son La’s weather is of mainly two types – the dry season from October to April and the rainy season from May to September. Unlike the rest of Vietnam, Son La does not experience typhoons but is subjected to harsh weather conditions due to the presence of high mountain ranges along the Vietnam-Laos border. The region’s geographic characteristics generate a dry and moderately warm breeze on the sheltered side of a mountain range.

Vietnam is amazing all time of the year and the best time to visit Vietnam differs from region to region. The best places to visit in Son La have the best landscapes with 

Places to stay in Son La


When you are tired after wandering around Son La, Vietnam you do need to snuggle up and rest to get ready for further adventures. A lot of homestays have started opening on account of the number of tourists flooding in, and homestays are the best way to immerse yourself in Vietnam’s culture.

It may be tiring to search through every hotel and homestay while on your travels. To help you through this, here is a quick look at some of the places to stay in Son La:

  1. Muong Thanh Luxury Son La Hotel – Rated as one of the best in the region, this hotel puts visitors close to attractions and great dining places.
  2. Ta Xua Ecolodge – With an excellent view of the mountain ranges, this accommodation will keep you well-rested while providing aesthetic pleasure.
  3. 1941M Homestay Ta Xua – The architecture is traditional and you get traditional Vietnamese food with warm hospitality.
  4. Windsor Hotel – The hotel has a bar and a garden and offers traditional Vietnamese cuisine. 

Suggested Read- Vietnamese Food

Discover Son La’s Enchanting gems: Unveiling Beauty Across the Land

Dai Yem Waterfall


When you enter the Moc Chou District, you have to visit this magical cascading waterfall. Dai Yem waterfall is a historical landscape with close ties to the history of the Thai people. The Dai Yem Waterfall is 100m in height and has several branches with different heights as it falls into a beautiful green lake.

There is a beautiful red bridge across the stream named Cau Tinh Yeu (Love Bridge) from where you can get a great view of the waterfall. A perfect spot for couples looking for honeymoon destinations with those perfect honeymoon packages.

The legend of the waterfall

The name of the waterfall Dai Yem is said to have come from two legends from folklore. One legend states that long ago there were foreign invaders who were attacking nearby Laos. With the bond between Vietnam and Laos, the nearby young men from Ban Vat volunteered to help the neighboring country.

During that time, a young couple from Vietnam was in love. When they were parting ways they met at the top of the waterfall and promised each other to meet there and marry once the conflict was over.

After the conflict, all the men returned apart from the girl’s lover. Even after a lot of courtship from the other men from the village, the girl remained faithful and decided to wait for her lover on top of the waterfall.

One day, the girl, while waiting for her lover, slipped and fell on the waterfall. The villagers couldn’t find the body but found a strip of cloth (Dai Yem) hanging on a tree branch. The strip of cloth had both the lover’s name embroidered in it. The locals then started calling this the “Dai Yem” Waterfall, symbolizing the strong love between the young couple.

The other tale is of a young boy being saved from a flood by a strip of cloth from a girl who used to live nearby.

Best time to visit Dai Yem Waterfall – 

The best time to visit Dai Yem Waterfall is between April and September as the weather compliments the amazing scenery of flora and fauna you get to witness. With the water level down and the stream looking like a silk ribbon, beautiful memories can be created here.

Moc Chau Plateau


A large hilly region situated in the northwest part of Vietnam is the Moc Chau Plateau which is one of the best places to visit in Son La Vietnam. With an altitude of almost 1000 m, the Moc Chau is a perfect destination to experience the fresh and cool atmosphere, with enchanting landscapes, soothing green tea hills, and gardens of luscious trees.

Moc Chau Plateau is considered to be one of the best places to visit in Son La. The Plateau has a temperate climate and topography, making the soil provide for excellent crop plantation. The endless tea hills give the region a unique aesthetic look, attracting many tourists. You can buy or rent ethnic wear from the local shops and click photographs with an amazing background setting.

The locals have planted plenty of flowers including buckwheat and white kale, which makes the valley look prettier and much more attractive. The scenery and the people in this region give the area a rich sense of culture and beauty making it one of the must-visit attractions in Son-La.

Moc Chau mainly consists of Hmongs and Thais along with a large group of other ethnicities. Most of the local ethnics live in wooden houses where they are closer to nature and preserve the culture. The hospitable people you encounter give you more reason to come and visit again.

Best time to visit Moc Chau Plateau

With beautiful colored flowered fields and the greenery of the tea plantations Moc Chau plateau showcases the vibrant and delightful scenery for tourists.

Late January to February is the best time to visit the Plateau when the forests of peach and plum blossoms bloom across the region.

March in Moc Chau sees the region blooming with vibrant-colored flowers and you can also witness the Het Cha Festival celebrated by the locals during this time.

Ta Xua Peak


Probably one of the most beautiful, heavenly, and best places to visit in Son La, the Ta Xua Peak is refreshing and reinvigorating in many ways. Hiking is one of the best things to do in Vietnam and a little hike to reach this amazing peak is worth the trip.

Ta Xua is a small mountain range that borders the Bac Yen district of Son La and Yen Bai province. Situated at a height of about 1500-1800 m above sea level, the Ta Xua Peak is an amazing sightseeing spot. One of the main tourist attractions in Son La Vietnam, the Ta Xua Peak is made for couples and young people.

Staying in one of the nearby homestays, sitting on the balcony sipping tea, and looking over at a bed of clouds covering the valley with your dear ones promises a one-of-a-kind experience. The clouds look like waves crashing into the mountains and with a camera in your hand, you can create ever-lasting memories.

The task of reaching Ta Xua is moderately rugged, with a hilly commune and you can take bikes or cars to reach there. From Hanoi, it takes about 5 hrs to reach and the view along the way is spectacular with wavy clouds and an amazing mountain range in the offset.

Most of the tourists staying in Ta Xua in the Bac Yen region spend a night in one of the homestays to prepare for the trek to the peak in the morning. Most of the families living in the area are from the Hmong community. The hospitality and warm nature of the people also make Ta Xua one of the most heart-warming places to visit in Son La.

Best time to visit Ta Xua peak

The period between January to March is the best time to hunt for those angelic clouds. During this time, you get to witness mist-covered clouds which provide great photography and create breathtaking scenery.

Doi cave (Bat cave)


On the route from Hanoi to Moc Chau town, you will reach this cave along National Road No. 6. If you are already in Moc Chau, you should visit this place.

There is an amazing legend associated with the mountain range of this cage. The story talks about a dragon flying in the region in search of the East Sea. Enchanted by the beauty of the land the dragon decided to settle down in the mountain range and forgot all about finding the East Sea.

The resting of the dragon made the place magical and mystical with clear blue skies – white as crystal in the mornings and violet in the twilight. When the dragon decided the leave the region he left seven jades from his mouth and turned them into mountains to show gratitude to the people of Moc Chau. One of the caves holding the jade is supposed to be in Doi Cave.

The cave is truly magnificent with 7 colored stalactites that hang down and look like the roots of a tree. There is an ancient palace of a princess in the middle of a cave. The cupola of the cave houses many small rocky holes swarming with bats. With sparkling stalactites and soothing echoing sounds of nearby streams, it makes it an excellent hiking location.

Travelling uphill from the cave you will get an amazing view of Moc Chau town – full of tea plantations and beautiful nature. If you are looking for an adventure then Doi Cave does not disappoint.

The Doi Cave is frequented by local tourists more than foreign ones and guides are necessary to traverse the mountain ranges.

Best time to visit Doi Cave

Like most of the places to visit in Son La, Vietnam Doi Cave is magical throughout the year. It is advised to go there during the springtime when the flowers are in full bloom and the valley gets a view like no other.

Unique places to visit in Son La

  • Son La Museum

The Son La Museum displays a collection of ethnic daily life artifacts from the old days until now. The museum also holds a special lot which has a display of ancient books and scrolls written in ethnic traditional language.

  • Mong Village

If you want to interact with locals then visit Mong village located 7 km from the Son La city. The area is blessed with a hot spring and has a hot-spring culture thriving from Thai customs. The people are hospitable offering you their simple but delicious dishes and chatting with them around the fire is quite an experience.

  • Ngoc Chien

A remote area of Muong La district in the northern province of Son La lies the Ngoc Chien commune. The population consists of ethnic minority people mainly Hmong, Thai, and La Ha making it a diverse location in terms of culture. The deliciousness of the tan sticky rice is the highlight of Ngoc Chien.

  • Son La Prison

Built-in 1908 by French colonists to imprison Vietnamese revolutionaries, the Son La prison was known as “hell on earth”. To understand the hardships faced by the Vietnamese people and soldiers you can visit the Son La prison. Listen to heroic and harrowing stories of Vietnamese soldiers from 1930 to 1945.

  • Son La Dam

Son La Vietnamese Hydroelectric Dam is built on the Da River and stretches over 150 km. The Bon village and Na Tau village are located nearby where you can enjoy exotic culture with the villages celebrating various traditional festivals like the Xen Pang festival, New Rice celebration, and Boat Racing festival.

  • Chieng Khoa Falls

A natural wonder in Son La, Vietnam, the falls have a refreshing and natural beauty as most of the area around it is untouched by civilization. A nice place to make a stop and enjoy nature with its pristine surroundings and quiet and peaceful surroundings makes it a great place to visit.

Things to do in Son La, Vietnam


There are many adventure activities to do in Vietnam, and Son La has some great options for cultural activities to get you in the spirit of choosing Son La as a travel destination.

Embracing the nature and beauty of the land – The natural beauty of forests and landscapes, high mountains and low valleys, and remote villages makes the destinations and region, one of the best places to visit in Son La. Moc Chau throughout the year adorns itself with beautiful flower displays. You can admire the beauty of the flower seasons with a diverse range of flower species across the region.

Enjoy the local festivals – Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by enjoying various festivals like the Buffalo fighting on the 5th of the lunar first month, boat racing in Son La hydroelectric power on the 10th of the lunar first month, hair-washing of White Thai at the end of the year, and Mong Independence Day on September 1st.

Savour the flavour of Son La – With various ethnic groups in the region enjoy a variety of local ethnic dishes that will make you want to come for more.

A do-over destination

The diverse group of ethnic people, the simple but tasty local food, and the breathtaking scenery make Son La one of the most preferred destinations in Vietnam. Many other places in Vietnam provide the same level of excitement and joy when visiting, as the culture is so enriching, and the people are so hospitable and friendly.

Most of the tourists stay in homestays and near villages to enjoy the village life led by the simple farmers. The best way to connect with nature is to understand the importance of the land seen through the eyes of the locals. That is why the tourists try engaging with the locals more.

With tourism increasing rapidly in Son La, there have been advancements in the lives of the locals making it easier for tourists to reconnect with the land and come back for more. So get those Vietnam travel tips and join us in rediscovering Vietnam.

What are the must-visit attractions in Son-La?

Some of the best and must-visit attractions are:1.Moc Chau plateau,
2.Dai Yem Waterfall, 3.Ta Xua Peak, 4.Doi Cave also known as Bat Cave

How do I get to Son La from Hanoi?

There are three ways to reach Son La from Hanoi. The cheapest way is by bus which takes about 4 hrs and has a fixed departure time. Check with the local bus operators. You can hire a taxi or rent a car to reach Son La. The journey will be shorter if you drive yourself and can reach it at your leisure.

What are the best outdoor activities to do in Son La?

Some of the best outdoor activities that you can do in Son La are:1.Hiking in the Moc Chau Trail and Vietnam Trail Marathon (a 42 km route) in Huyen Moc Chau, Son La, Vietnam ,2.Hike and watch the sunrise in the cloud paradise of Ta Xua, Son La, 3.Hiring a two-wheeler and visiting beautiful locations while trying out the best Vietnamese food., 4.Exploring the largest caves in Phong Nha National Park., 5.Engage with the locals on ethnic festivals.

What is the best time of year to visit Son La?

Winters are cold and dry in Son La while summers are hot and wet. There is a high chance of rain during summer, especially from June to August, and the days are scorching hot. It is best to avoid going there during this time of year.The best time to visit Son La would be from late autumn to the beginning of spring.

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