Experience seasonal rebirth as spring descends on Moc Chau valley

The advance of spring across Mu Nau Valley of northwest highlands Moc Chau Town has unlocked plum and apricot blossoms, attended to by butterflies whooshing overhead.

Moc Chau, apricot, plum, blossoms, spring

Apricot blossoms in Mu Nau Valley of Son La Province, northern Vietnam.

Mu Nau Valley lies in sub-zone 13 of Moc Chau Town in Son La Province. Two kilometers south of Moc Chau center, the valley spans 200 hectares and comprises a 40-year-old apricot forest, a 25-year-old plum forest, and last but not least, an old-growth forest.

The route from the town to the valley is short but steep and requires excellent driving skills, often scaring first-timers.

Leaving Moc Chau around 5 p.m, I was accompanied by Duy, owner of Pho Nui Tinh Yeu Homestay, to Mu Nau. He picked me up at the intersection near town and advised me to mentally prepare myself for the ride, an effort that would prove futile as soon as we hit the road.

The higher we got, the more Duy revved his engine, with the slope becoming increasingly uncooperative. I was not in the least comforted by the fact I was on the back of a local's bike. At one point, I was shaking with my eyes closed shut out of fear the vehicle would flip over. As we ascended the hill, I gripped onto Duy, holding on for dear life.

After five minutes of wrestling with the road, we finally reached our destination. Drenched, I quickly used my arm to wipe the sweat off my forehead. This would be the first and last time I was ever taking that "death" road, I thought to myself.

From the tippy top of Mu Nau, sun rays gently lit wild flowers, weeds, and evergreen grassy plots. The entire town of Moc Chau nestled snugly at the bottom. Pretty, poetic, and romantic beyond words. It was afternoon and breezy, with a hazy mist floating far off. Indeed, at the end of a rocky road was a real-life paradise.

Enraptured by the amazing beauty of the landscape, I stood contemplating it as the sun gradually set behind the mountains.

It was now 6 p.m. and the sun had completely disappeared. As dusk fell, lights brightened Moc Chau. Lining the main streets of town, yellow lights sparkled in the dark night like stars in the sky. Night had arrived in Moc Chau!

Under the night sky, Duy drove me to Pho Nui Tinh Yeu Homestay in Mu Nau Valley. Tucked in the heart of Mu Nau Valley, Duy’s homestay is the sole one in the valley.

Moc Chau, apricot, plum, blossoms, spring

Pho Nui Tinh Yeu Homestay in Moc Chau, Son La Province.

To many people in Moc Chau, Duy goes by "crazy guy". The nickname originates from his love of the hometown; it was so strong it ended his thriving career at a leading Hanoi construction firm, drawing him back here as a proud homestay owner.

During the initial construction period, he encountered many obstacles since the area lacked electricity and basic materials. Duy personally transported every rock, steel bar, and sack of cement for the homestay on his bike. After countless arduous days, a charming and inviting homestay was erected.

That evening, Duy’s family welcomed me with a scrumptious feast of mountain specialties like jungle fowl and wild boar. After the delicious dinner, Duy started a campfire, and with his wife told me nostalgic anecdotes of their tough beginning as the crackling flames danced to the spring breeze. In a heartwarming spirit, I slipped into a deep sleep in the middle of Mu Nau Valley.

Unlike my previous visits to Moc Chau during which fog obscured the way, the following morning was vibrantly blue with fluffy clouds floating about. My first morning in Mu Nau was a tender one. While stretching, I caught the first sunrays of the day.

I then relished in a hearty breakfast that Duy’s wife had prepared ahead. After the meal, I put on a deep red H'mong dress and began another exciting day of adventure in Mu Nau Valley.

I climbed on the back of Duy's bike to follow him through the gorgeous landscape of Mu Nau. From the homestay, I passed by pristine white bok choy flower gardens, strawberry fields, as well as old-growth forests. We eventually stopped at an apricot garden.

One simply cannot talk about Mu Nau without mentioning its three specialties: apricots, plums, and old-growth forest. For a novice, it is incredibly difficult to distinguish between an apricot and plum blossom. Their beauty is unquestionable, however.

Mu Nau apricot flowers grow by themselves. They have five round and smooth petals of one to three centimeters in diameter and are characterized by their snowy white shade. The trunk of a plum flower tree is typically taller than an apricot tree, its height varying from four to 15 meters. The petals of a plum blossom are also white but bunched up.

From the hilltop, I saw endless rows of spotless white apricot flower trees blending in the beautiful landscape of humble-sized H'mong abodes.

Moc Chau is mostly known for the poetic beauty of its enchantress, Na Ka plum valley. However, in the last two years, another hidden gem was discovered - Mu Nau plum valley. Fairy-like plum gardens stretch all over the hillsides of the valley, brightening up the Moc Chau plateau.

More than visually pleased by the rows of pristine white apricot flower trees, I climbed back on the back of Duy’s bike to visit the plum garden. Shortly after, I found myself lost in a paradise of plum flower trees and time seemed to slow down.

From the back of Duy’s trusty motorbike, I contemplated the snow white plum blossoms that fluttered throughout the garden aisles, almost resembling snow. I quickly climbed down, rushed to the trees, caressed the soft petals, and attentively watched as they flaked off branches and flooded the way.

Far off, the visual of local H'mong grazing their horses on a pasture completed the dreamy landscape.

Moc Chau, apricot, plum, blossoms, spring

The author, Xu Kien, amid plum blossoms.

*Before traveling to Mu Nau


Motorbikes are the only means by which to reach Mu Nau from Moc Chau Town. From the Moc Chau intersection, you can rent a motorbike taxi to Mu Nau. You could also attempt to walk to Mu Nau. However, please note it is highly recommended not to drive up to Mu Nau if you are a beginner due to the dangerous route. My suggestion is contacting Duy to book a ride at 097 492 66 96.


Homestay Pho Nui Tinh Yeu Moc Chau is currently the sole option in Mu Nau. It offers a selection of dorm rooms as well as private rooms in a contemporary style.


Mountain specialties like wild fowl, boar, and vegetables are must-tries when in Moc Chau. It is worth noting all produce are locally grown and free of pesticides.


The most ideal time to visit Mu Nau Valley is from mid-December until early March during which plum and apricot flowers are in full bloom. March is fruiting season and April, harvest season. For the rest of the year, Mu Nau dons a green garb.

Other activities

In addition to visiting peach and apricot flower gardens, Duy also organizes trekking tours to Thai and H'mong ethnic villages, departing from the homestay. The opportunity to interact with ethnic culture is truly an enriching experience one cannot miss when traveling in the northwest.

News Related


Duck braised with dracontomelon

Chi: Welcome to VOV24/7’s Food Delight with recipes and cooking tips. I’m Kim Chi, your host. Today, let’s join a class at EZCooking, a well-known cooking center in Hanoi to learn how to… Read more »

Support packages need to be at the right place and time

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many economic activities to stall, causing the State budget revenue to decline, while the need to spend on prevention and overcoming of the epidemic increased. Monetary policy must balance… Read more »

Quang Ngai pulls plug on proposed global geopark

After spending VND20 billion ($870,000) on surveys and research since 2015, Quang Ngai Province wants to end the project since the proposed geopark’s socio-economic benefits are “unclear.” “After reviewing the project, the People’s… Read more »

Vietjet to join hands with Hanoi to stimulate tourism

Passengers pose for a photo with a stewardess of Vietjet Air (Photo: Photo courtesy of the carrier) HCM City (VNA) – Responding to the domestic tourism stimulus programme of the Hanoi People’s Committee,… Read more »

Underground stream discovered in Quang Tri cave

In 2020, at Tria Village, a local resident discovered a new cave in North Huong Hoa Nature Reserve, according to staff member Ho Van Phan. The cave lies about 30 minutes by foot… Read more »

Ghositaram pagoda in Bac Lieu province

Located in Cu Lao village, Hung Hoi commune, Vinh Loi district, the pagoda was built in 1860 and renovated in 2001. Ghositaram has the typical architecture of a Khmer pagoda, consisting of a… Read more »

Domestic tour operators’ hopeful of revival by summer

Currently the entire tourism sector is working frantically to make preparations for the coming national holidays from 30 April and in early May. The peak summer season too is being targeted as a… Read more »

Ba Ria-Vung Tau tourism to be promoted on BBC Global News

The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has launched a campaign to promote its tourism on BBC Global News for two months. The provincial Department of Tourism has signed an agreement with Global… Read more »

Credit in Hanoi increased by 0.7% in the first quarter

Hanoi Statistical Office has just released a report on the socio-economic situation in the first quarter, including the bank credit indicator. According to the Hanoi Bureau of Statistics, credit institutions in the area… Read more »

‘End’ the progress of reviewing portfolio of aviation infrastructure assets managed by ACV

ACV has just been requested by the Ministry of Transport to urgently review the list of aviation infrastructure assets invested by the State. According to ACV, the historical cost of total assets at… Read more »

FAO: Global food prices rose for the 10th consecutive month

Source: world-grain.com The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on April 8 that global food prices rose in March 2021, marking the 10th consecutive monthly increase, with the prices of vegetable… Read more »

Activate capital for low growth industry

Accordingly, the post-translation support capital flow is recommended by experts to focus on businesses that really need it, especially small and micro enterprises. Growth in revenue and profit after tax by industry. Recovery… Read more »

Peaceful parks in Hanoi

Early morning at Yen So Park. NDO – Behind the bustle of the streets, there is also a peaceful and quiet capital city of Hanoi , with its beautiful parks. Over the years,… Read more »

Airlines prepare the resumption of international flights, waiting for "Vaccine passports"

On March 25, a flight by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines from Taipei, Taiwan (China), landed at Da Nang International Airport. It was a repatriation flight bringing Vietnamese citizens home, which they had… Read more »

Dawn breaks over famed Nha Trang beach

Locals along 12-km Tran Phu Beach, which U.S. News in 2019 listed among the world’s top 50. Nha Trang is well known for its beaches and scuba diving, attracting large numbers of backpackers,… Read more »

Localities launch tourism stimulation packages for 2021

Many interesting sea tourism events will be held in Da Nang city this summer (Photo: VTV) NDO – Localities across the country are hosting an array of stimulus programmes to boost domestic travel… Read more »

Vietnamese captures smiles on round-the-world journey

A woman accompanies her son on his tricycle en route to Lake Moriri in Ladakh, India. “I often spend time in rural regions. In these areas, I have encountered nothing but honesty. It… Read more »

How does Circular 03 impact listed banks?

Circular 03 allows credit institutions and foreign bank branches to restructure their remaining due debts Supplement and expand the conditions for debt restructuring According to the recently announced Circular 03, the State Bank… Read more »

The Ministry of Transport requested a review of state-invested aviation infrastructure assets

Document signed by Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan requires the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to urgently review the list of aviation infrastructure assets invested by the State to Vietnam Airport… Read more »

The Suez Canal incident could reduce shipping capacity and large-scale lack of container equipment

Flexport predicts that a crash on the Suez Canal will lead to a large-scale reduction in capacity, both in terms of capacity and container equipment. A domino effect is also expected when ships… Read more »

Uninhabited island lures adventurers to Phu Yen

With scores of charming beaches and attractive islands dotting the country’s south-central region, few travelers know of gem-like Hon Nua Island. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can take a bus or motorbike… Read more »

Uninhabited island lures curious adventurers to Phu Yen

With scores of charming beaches and attractive islands dotting the country’s south-central region, few travelers know of gem-like Hon Nua Island. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can take a bus or motorbike… Read more »

Avana Retreat, where nature, mind and body connect

A mere 150 kilometers from Hanoi, Avana Retreat is in Mai Chau Province, though its idyllic atmosphere more closely resembles neighboring Moc Chau highland. Surrounded by rural mountain landscapes and ethnic villages, Avana… Read more »

Vinh Phuc pagoda solemn in East Sea

Vinh Phuc pagoda is located on Phan Vinh island in Truong Sa district (Photo: VNA) Vinh Phuc pagoda is spacious and boasts a tranquil atmosphere (Photo: VNA) Vinh Phuc pagoda’s architecture is as… Read more »

The Ministry of Transport: Adjusting the ceiling price and the floor price of air tickets must be in line with the actual conditions

The story of the ceiling price and the floor price of the plane ticket is getting the attention of the public when the Vietnam National Airlines – Vietnam Airlines in a recent meeting… Read more »

A large regional service center will be formed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

The Prime Minister has just approved the overall strategy for the development of the service sector of Vietnam for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, in which the service sector development… Read more »

Hanoi to host tourism, culinary fest

This year’s event will include some 200 stalls at the Ly Thai To monument, Octagon House in Ly Thai To Garden, Le Thach Street, and Le Lai Street displaying tourism products and at… Read more »

‘Chosen chicken’ a distinct Quy Nhon delight

More than 20 restaurants located along the highway connecting Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces are famous among culinary buffs. Nguyen Phi Hong, 43, owner of Huu Lai chicken restaurant, said his eatery… Read more »

Capturing rare bird species in Central Highlands park Yok Don

Yok Don National Park resembles a European forest during its dry deciduous period, as depicted by Ngo Vu Thang’s photo. There are more than 12 ranger stations in the park, ensuring conservation of… Read more »

Capturing rare bird species in Central Highlands park

Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak Province resembles a European forest during its dry deciduous period. There are more than 12 ranger stations in the park, ensuring conservation of the forest ecosystem… Read more »

In 3 months, Quang Nam has collected more than 7,300 billion VND

According to the report on the socio-economic situation in the first quarter of 2021 of the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province, through the first three months of 2021, the socio-economic situation in… Read more »

What factors put pressure on inflation this year?

Average CPI in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.29% compared to the first quarter of 2020, the lowest level since 2002. However, the General Statistics Office said that inflationary pressure is… Read more »

VDSC: VN-Index in April fluctuated around 1,200-1,300 points, the momentum came from banking stocks

In the April 2021 investment strategy report just announced, Rong Viet Securities Company (VDSC) believes that the stock market in April will continue the gaining momentum of March. There are two main catalysts,… Read more »

Mulberry fields in Hanoi turn red when April comes

Thanks to its alluvial soil, mulberry is a plant generating a high economic value for locals in the gardens of Hiep Thuan. NDO – Every year at the end of March and early… Read more »

National Tourism Year 2021 contributes to the recovery of Vietnam's tourism

At the press conference NDO – With the theme “Hoa Lu – Thousand-year-old Capital”,the National Tourism Year 2021 will take place in many localities across the country in 2021, with many attractive activities… Read more »

Should the plane ticket price be applied at this time?

At the recent meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam on solutions to solving problems for aviation in the Covid-19 pandemic, the representative of Vietnam Airlines proposed to raise the ceiling price… Read more »

Belarusian hawks cakes for a living in Saigon amid pandemic

At the end of February vendors around Tan Dinh Market in District 1 and visitors began to notice a foreign woman every morning. “Cake! Cake!” she would yell out in Vietnamese with a… Read more »

Da Nang's tourist attractions swim in a sea of clouds

Da Nang, dubbed the ‘city of bridges”, bursts through the clouds. The central city, which neighbors popular ancient town Hoi An, is famed for its long, sandy beaches, especially My Khe. Da Nang,… Read more »

Economic news before the transaction time (April 6): US stocks found new peaks, Hoa Phat received tax incentives of more than 1,200 billion VND

Today’s economic and financial news has outstanding news such as: the US pumps money like a waterfall: Vietnam benefits, many countries face difficulties; Hoa Phat enjoys tax incentives of more than VND 1,200… Read more »

Domestic tourism demand stimulus: Reducing prices or increasing quality?

Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) on April 5 held a press conference at Vietnam International Tourism Fair VITM 2021 and National Domestic Tourism Forum 2021. According to the Organizing Committee, the national domestic tourism… Read more »

Vietnam International Travel Mart 2021 to take place in Hanoi

At the Vietnam International Travel Mart 2018 NDO – The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM 2021), themed “New Normal – New Opportunities”, is expected to take place from May 5-8 in the capital… Read more »

Churches add charm to Quang Binh

Hoi Nghia Parish Church is located on the bank of Son River in Ha Vang Village, Phong Nha Town, Bo Trach District. With its back to the mountain and forest, the yellow-painted church… Read more »

Churches charm of Quang Binh

Hoi Nghia Parish Church is located on the bank of Son River in Ha Vang Village, Phong Nha Town, Bo Trach District. With its back to the mountain and forest, the yellow-painted church… Read more »

‘Living museum’ to be urban highlight of Da Nang

In the master plan for Da Nang until 2030, with a vision to 2045, the “living museum” would cover an 11-hectare urban patch of Hai Chau District. It would include some residential areas… Read more »

North-South Railway: Old upgrade or new high-speed construction?

After the report on the pre-feasibility study for the North-South high-speed railway project submitted to the State Appraisal Council, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the standing agency of the council, gave a… Read more »

Activate the sleepless city

“Light up” the night economy People’s Committee of Hai Chau District (Da Nang City) has just issued a plan to pilot the program Da Nang at night – Danang by Night, which is… Read more »

Changing direction of belt 5 project, Hanoi Capital region

The Prime Minister has just agreed to the local adjustment of the planning of the 5-stage ring road from Km68 to Km75 in the detailed planning of Ring Road 5, the Hanoi Capital… Read more »

Economic news before the transaction (April 5): HSBC lowered its GDP growth forecast to 6.6%, CII sets a plan for a sudden increase in profit

Today’s economic and financial news has outstanding news such as: HSBC lowered its forecast of Vietnam’s economic growth to 6.6%, predicted that GDP will increase by 8.5% by 2022; Gold prices were mixed… Read more »

Saigon noodle stall famed for three-decade crab infusion

A food stall at 84 Dinh Tien Hoang Street in District 1 has been a popular address for crab dishes in Saigon for 27 years. From outside, the small stall looks no different… Read more »

Seminar discusses recovery of tourism sector after the pandemic

General view of the seminar. NDO – A seminar was held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the relevant units in the central province of Thanh Hoa on April 3… Read more »