Moc Chau best things to do & travel guide

Moc Chau is a large, mountainous district of the Son La province, about 200 kilometers west of Hanoi. It is a great place when you are planning to visit Mai Chau from Hanoi. Thanks to the cool climate, it is home to around 3,000 hectares of tea plantations. These vast green tea plantations extend as far as the eye can see and spread over many green hills. The area has beautiful traditional villages of Vietnamese hill tribes and is especially known for the many beautiful flowers ranging from plum blossom to cherry blossoms. There are not a lot of things to do in Moc Chau, but there is plenty for 2 full days.

5 reasons to visit Moc Chau

  1. Visit the most famous tea plantations in Vietnam.
  2. Take pictures of fields with flowers in bloom.
  3. Enjoy the view from off the beaten track vantage points such as Pha Luong and Ta Xua.
  4. Visit the Dai Yem waterfall
  5. Drive a motorbike or bicycle through the pine forest

What is in this Hanoi travel guide

Practical information

Recommended days to stay

If you come here just to see the tea plantations, flowers and explore the area, two days is fine. If you are planning for longer trekking at Pha Luong or Ta Xua, it is best to plan an extra day or two.

ATM's & money exchange

There are ATM machines in Moc Chau town, but when you explore the area you have to bring cash.

Best time to visit

  • The season of peach blossoms and plum blossoms blooms between February and March.
  • White orchids are in bloom around March and on March 26 there is also the Hết Chá festival.

10 best things to do in Moc Chau

Moc Chau offers you a world of intense tranquility and breathtaking nature. It is therefore not surprising that many groups of young Vietnamese travel to this place during the weekend or during their holidays to escape the hectic city life. Moc Chau is known for its bright green tea plantations, which you can find on every hill. Newlywed Vietnamese wedding couples often travel to this area to have their wedding photos taken here in one of the countless flower fields.

1. Tea plantations

Moc Chau tea plantations
Moc Chau tea plantations

One of the highlights that you can do is visit the tea plantations in Moc Chau. Tea plantations can be seen almost immediately upon arrival in the city from the east. Some large tea plantations can be found in Chi Lon Village, Doi Che Trai Tim, about 20 km north of the city. There is a nice vantage point and here you can find the heart-shaped tea hill. Many couples come here to take wedding photos. More of the famous tea plantations in Moc Chau can be found in the Dai-loan area and the Tan-Lap area. Search for “Doi Che Tra Tim”.

2. Flower fields

Moc Cha flower fields
Moc Cha flower fields

Many travelers are familiar with images of terraced rice fields in the mountainous region of North West Vietnam. But in Moc Chau you come for the flower season. From the end of October to the beginning of November, the early winter of Moc Chau is the time when white mustard flowers gradually bloom. It seems that the entire mountainous area is covered by mustard carpets and a few other colored flowers, making it look like a wonderland. The most famous places where you can see this are Ba Phach Village, Thong Cuong Village and Pipe Hill in Ang Village.

3. Pha Luong

Pha Luong peak

Pha Luong is one of the highlights of Moc Chau, both literally and figuratively. This 2000 meter high mountain is the roof of region and a much photographed place. The trek to the top of Pha Luong is one of the best things to do in this region and a beautiful walk, but especially for the adventurous traveler.

4. Ta Xua

Ta Xua
Ta Xua clouds

Ta Xua Nature Reserve is a mountain area in Son La. It is hardly visited by foreign tourists, mainly a handful of Vietnamese travelers. Ta Xua is particularly known for a special phenomenon around the mountains: the formation of thick clouds, which gives you the feeling that you are in heaven. Ta Xua is a real off the beaten track destination in Vietnam.

5. Visit local villages

Moc Chau villages
Moc Chau minority

Moc Chau has a unique culture of ethnic minorities, mainly Hmong and Thai. They also have their own festivals. The Cha festival, from 23 to 26 March every year, mainly celebrates the new harvest season. The best thing you can do is rent a motorbike or scooter and drive to different villages or alternatively with a taxi or motorcycle taxi (Xe Om). Recommended places are Long Luong, Pa Phach Village, Thung Cuong Village and Na Ka Plum Valley.

6. Stay in a homestay

Moc Chau minority
Moc Chau homestay

One of the best things to do in Moc Chau if you want a real local experience is staying in a homestay. You have several options, you can stay in a homestay from a local ethnic minority, but you can also choose to stay in a modern homestay in a beautiful location or one that is uniquely and creatively decorated. Either way you will have a unique experience.

7. Dai Yem waterfall

Dai Yem waterfall

The falls are one of the few known sights in Moc Chau. Dai Yem Waterfall is the most beautiful from April to September. In the rainy season a large amount of water flows into the waterfall, making the landscape majestic and poetic with the white color of foamy water. The waterfall consists of two parts. The upper waterfall is 70 meters wide and there is a distance of 270 meters between the upper and lower waterfall. The vegetation at the top of the waterfall is rich and beautiful.

8. Ban Ang Pine Forest

Ban Ang Pine Forest
Ban Ang Pine Forest

The Ban Ang forest has a natural lake with an area of ​​five hectares, surrounded by green pine forests. In the distance is the landscape of the Moc Chau plateau with the tea slopes and colorful flowers. Ban Ang is home to the Thai people who mainly live in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts. In the village of Ban Ang you have the opportunity to see daily life with the villagers.

9. Chieng Khoa waterfall

Chieng Khoa waterfall
Chieng Khoa

Chieng Khoa Waterfall, also known as the Cloud Falls, is a small waterfall that has not yet been put into tourist activities, so it is quite wild and natural. That is why discovering this waterfall from Moc Chau is a sort of exploration. If you want you can also swim here.

Another nice thing is its location. You can fine a lot of nice rice fields in the area with local minority villages, making a trip to the waterfall worth it.

10. Caves in Moc Chau

Moc Chau cave
Bat Cave Moc Chau

There are also a few caves in Moc Chau you can visit, that might not be that impressive at the caves in Phong Nha, but can be worth a visit if you are in the area.

The most well known cave in Moc Chau is the Bat Cave, Son Moc Huong or Hang Doi. It is locatated in the northeast of the Moc Chau town with an area of ​​6,915 square meters, the cave is remarkable with beautiful stalactites and a winding path that leads to it. From Highway 6 you have to climb 240 steps to reach the cave.

Another cave can be found at On village, the Ngu Dong Ban On. It actually consists of five caves and is named after China’s five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. These caves are a bit off the beaten track and are poorly equipped with paths and lightning.

Best hotels & hostels in Moc Chau

Moc Chau has two places, Moc Chau Town and Moc Chau Farm Town. Both have a number of hotels to choose from. If you go to Moc Chau on weekends or public holidays, it’s best to book in advance to make sure you have good accommodation. Alternatively, you can also look for accommodation in the countryside. These accommodations are often basic, but provide a great experience. If you want to go all out for the unique experience, opt for an overnight stay in a homestay of local ethnic minorities. During a stay here you will learn more about the local culture.

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Homestay Moc Chau
  • Moc Chau Town – Homestay

Mid range hotel

  • Sao Xanh hotel
  • Stella Moc Chau Hotel

High end hotel & resort

  • Muong Thanh Holiday Moc Chau

Food & drinking

There are plenty of restaurants in Moc Chau, but don’t expect any western food. Many ethnics minorities live in Moc Chau-Son La; that is why the kitchen in the northwest is very diverse, plentiful and unique. If you stay in a homestay, you can book meals with traditional food from ethnic minorities and enjoy performances in some villages.

How to get there

Moc Chau does not have an airport or railway station, for this reason you always have to travel over the road. The town is located 190 kilometres from Hanoi.

Busses to Moc Chau

The distance between Hanoi and Moc Chau is 190 km, so it takes around 4 to 5 hours to get there. Every day a number of buses leave for Moc Chau. Most start from the My Dinh bus station in Hanoi. All buses to Son La and Dien Bien Phu also always pass by Moc Chau.

Alternatively you can take a direct tourist minibus including pick up and drop off at your accommodation.

How to get around

If you want to explore the surroundings of Moc Chau you have to rent a motorbike or car with driver. Most hotels and homestays offer motorbike rentals with the average price of 250,000 VND per day. Often they can also help you arrange a car, but it is recommended to plan this before you go.

Itinerary 2 days in Moc Chau

Read this itinerary to know what to do in Moc Chau in 2 days. If you have more time, visit Ta Xua. Ta Xua is not close at all, with more than 130km from Moc Chau town. If you want to go here, it is best to stay nearby the day before, to get up the mountain early and see the beautiful clouds.

Day 1

Explore the beautiful surroundings of Moc Chau. Visit a number of tea plantations, flower fields, the pine forest and the Hang Dơi cave.

Day 2

Take the motor to Pha Luong, 33 km from Moc Chau Town. Hike up the mountain and don’t forget to bring your passport that you must show at the police station, since you are very close to the Laos border. Enjoy the great view.

Visit the Dai Yem waterfall on the way back.

More tips for traveling in Moc Chau

Where to go next?

On the way to Moc Chau from Hanoi you will pass Mai Chau, so you can combine this destination very well. You can continue the road all the way to Dien Bien Phu via Son La town, which is 300 kilometre through the mountains, so this can take another 7 hours driving. To Mu Cang Chai, where you can find the most beautiful rice fields of Vietnam, is 200 kilometre.  


Moc Chau is mostly visited by domestic travelers. Don’t expect people to be able to speak English in this area.

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