At an altitude of about 1,600m above sea level, Ngoc Chien is blessed with geographical and climatic incentives, opening up development opportunities for the potential land. This unspoiled land is surrounded by mountains, so it is cool in the summer and not too cold in winter.
Notably, the natural hot mineral water source has become an attractive eco-tourism destination for tourists. During the winter days, when outdoor temperatures are only around 10 degrees Celsius, people and visitors still enjoy soaking in hot mineral water pools, amidst the nature, to feel deeply relaxed.
Locals and visitors soaking in hot mineral water pools in winter (Photo: NDO)
Coming to Ngoc Chien at different times, visitors can admire ‘hoa son tra’ (medlar flowers) in full bloom, amid the mountains and forests, or red and yellow fragrant fruits, as well as enjoy the vast space of mountains and forests, rivers and streams, winding around ripen rice fields, or valleys of colourful roses and daisy flowers. Visitors will have the chance to take photos with charming Thai ethnic women, beside door frames engraved with beautiful patterns, in houses on stilts, that have been tinged with ‘pomu’ (Fokienia hodginsii) wood. They will be surprised when standing under the canopy of thousand-year-old trees, listening to the old villagers’ legend stories of deep loves. Enjoying many local specialties, such as Thai-style grilled fish (pa pinh top), sticky rice and dried pork hung up in the kitchen.
Visitors are eager to peaceful scenery at Na Tau hamlet, Ngoc Chien commune. (Photo: NDO)
Ngoc Chien commune is located about 80 km from the centre of Son La city, about 40 km from Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai) and nearly 300 km from the centre of Hanoi. Therefore, visitors can come to Ngoc Chien from two directions, including Son La city or from Khau Pha pass.
Thai ethnic minority people often make different dishes from dried pork during Tet. (Photo: NDO)
During the full moon of the first lunar month, Tet (Lunar New Year) atmosphere still remains in the activities of the locals. Plum and peach flowers are in full bloom. The dried pork hung up the trellis of the kitchens. The villagers are friendly to invite guests. Community-based tourism models have formed in Ngoc Chien, bringing visitors to interesting experiences and promising changes to the locals’ lives.