Pu Luong straddles the two districts of Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc in Thanh Hoa province. An ecological treasure trove, if it is managed sustainably, this area has great chance for eco-tourism.
Adventurous travelers come here to sleep in stilt houses, resorts and escape bustling life. Most of the area’s inhabitants are hospitable ethnic Thai community who crops rice. Passing along old trails, tourists will reach the hamlets of Hieu, Kho, Don and Muong. Here, stilt houses stand side by side, surround by terraced rice fields. Some of the locals speak only some Vietnamese words, while local children hide behind their mothers and cast shy curious glances at visitors.
Travelers would love trekking through the reserve area and camping overnight in Don Village, Thanh Son commune. They enjoy the beauty of Cham fountain also, which flows through the valleys in Ban Cong commune. While water wheels are rare in most mountainous region, they still be used here, carrying water along small canals in a sophisticated system that reaches the furthest places. In the afternoon, photographers enjoy capturing scenes of daily life, such as children playing by the fountain or locals taking their buffalos home, following farmers to their fields to learn how to plant rice, learning how to cook local dishes like sticky rice, grilled over charcoal, grilled meat and fish wrapped in leaves.
Pu Luong is home to some 908 animal and 1,542 plant species species, including many endangered species listed in the Vietnam and Global Red Books, such as terrestrial orchids, Pa Co pines, Phayre’s leaf monkeys, antelopes, cheetahs, and Asian black bear. While the larger animals are hard to spot, travelers who hike into the forests can enjoy the region’s birds, butterflies, flowers and interlacing vines.
Thanks to efforts to both preserve and promote its nature and identity, Pu Luong is attracting more travelers. Several stilt houses, resorts have been built near local villages. Thanks to the use of natural materials, these tourism facilities bring to the area’s natural beauty, but still make you feel modern comforts. It’s such a happy to sit at a bamboo table overlooking golden rice terraces. It’s also a pleasure to enjoy really authentic Thai foods after a day of trekking or kayaking. Pu Luong has the quiet charm beauty of shyly smiling Thai ethnic girl in a pieu headscarf.