|Wadding through streams to visit the water wheels in the ripen paddy fields. Photograph: Huy Thang
In May and June, the paddy fields in Pu Luong begin to ripen from the area of Canh Nang town to the central villages of the reserve. This is also the time when the rainy season comes, with rivers and streams pouring more and more. Before entering the central area of Pu Luong to visit the village, visitors can rest in these fountains (water wheels) and take pictures. Water fountains are abundant in the area of Chieng Lau village, about 5km from the center of Canh Nang town.
Water rods are only used in the rainy season, so only during the summer months can you see them rotate. You can hear the sound of burbling streams, smell the scent of fragrant paddy lingering in the air and see the stilt houses of Thai people hidden far away in the poetic mountainous landscape.
|Making Lam rice by yourself. Photograph: Khanh Tran/VN Express
One of Thai and Muong people’s traditional dishes is “Lam rice”. Lam rice is cooked in freshly cut bamboo tubes and grilled on a wood stove. Cooked Lam rice’s aroma has a hint of bamboo. It is served with dipping spices made from forest herbs. Pu Luong’s initial and long-time residents are the Thai and Muong groups. Hence, visiting the area grants you the opportunity to understand how the local people cook Lam rice, you can even join them in every stage such as going to the forest to cut down bamboo, chop wood, make a fire to cook the rice. After all those stages, finally, everyone can together enjoy the freshly cooked and delicious Lam rice.
Not only adults but also children can participate in this activity to better understand local people’s life.
|The ripen paddy fields in Pu Luong. Photograph: Khanh Tran/VN Express
May and June are months when Pu Luong’s paddy fields start to enter their ripening season. The fields from all over the villages in the nature reserve begin to bloom and ripen gradually. Don, Uoi, Kho Muong, Hieu are villages with the best terrace fields in Pu Luong. The ripening rate is not even as it depends on the sowing time as well as the geographical terrain. However, the most suitable time to watch ripen paddy usually lasts from late May to early June. At that time, the terraced fields‘ color transforms from green to shiny yellow.
|Kids exploring the green forest. Photograph: Footprint Camp
Other than terrace fields, Thai and Muong villages also have primary forests with flora and fauna range as diverse as in Cuc Phuong National Park. Pu Luong is also well-known for the 1,700-meter-high Pu Luong mount, as well as many beautiful caves and waterfalls. Trekking to explore Pu Luong forest is definitely a not-to-be-missed experience for those who love nature and outdoor activities. When coming here, children and adults can find trekking tours suitable for all ages and endurance abilities. Each jungle session will give you beautiful pictures and many lessons on survival skills.
|A luxurious retreat in the mountains and forests. Photograph: Khanh Tran/ VN Express
In the summertime, when life in the cities can be quite suffering due to the hot and humid weather, a quiet and peaceful space surrounded by primary forests in Pu Luong can be the ideal destination to “escape from high heat”. Tourists who love to relax now have a lot of accommodation options in Pu Luong. Most of Pu Luong’sresorts have infinity pools and bungalows looking to terrace fields. However, the most notable ones are Pu Luong Retreat, Pu Luong Tree House, Pu Luong Eco Garden, Pu Luong Natura… with a minimum price of VND 1,3 million (56 U.S. dollars) per night.