Moc Chau in the eyes of a foreigner
If you are a tourist from overseas and you visit the North of Vietnam for a few weeks, you’ll probably never hear about Moc Chau… and you will miss a superb region. This mountainous district is located about 4 hours west from Hanoi, just close to the Laos border. Working in CECAD was the opportunity for me to join the team for a field trip and enjoy the touristic sites. The district is well-known for its high-quality agricultural products such as tea, vegetables, fruits and milk, because of its favorable climate and soil conditions. It is a little less highlighted, but the region is also known for its very cool weather. For once, I experienced temperatures around 5°C in December in Vietnam. But at least it was sunny.
On the first day, I took a good Vietnamese coffee in the new homestay called “The November” before visiting the pine forest of Ang village (Rừng Thông Bản Áng). The park is very pleasant for an afternoon walk with its big lake and strawberry fields. Here, you can see flowers throughout the whole year.
On the second day, I took the morning to visit the Heart Tea Hills plantations (Đồi Chè Trái Tim). It maybe is the most famous attraction of Moc Chau because of its wonderful oolong tea plantations as far as the eye can see. A lot of Vietnamese couples go there to take pictures together for this reason. I took me more than 1 hour to walk in the green hills, surrounded by tea trees, and meet Hmong women occupied with their textile crafts. After the walk, I drank tea with women producers and bought some products. Finally, during the afternoon, I visited the bat cave (Hang Dơi). After climbing numerous steps, I reached this impressive cavern which even hosts a small temple.
In definitive, I can only recommend for tourists to visit Moc Chau, especially if you plan to come in Pu Luong and Mai Chau which are very close. The quiet and special atmosphere that reigns here is certainly worth a little detour.
Clément, volunteer at CECAD