Written by

Located in northwestern Vietnam, Lai Chau is a mesmerising destination which has not been discovered by many tourists yet. This untouched beauty offers natural views as well as engaging outdoor explorations like none other. Feeling your head in the cloud at the top of the mountain peaks while overlooking lush green valleys, widespread rice fields and hills is a view you will get nowhere except Lai Chau. The culture and people lead a simple life away from the touch of modern society and would give you a glimpse of the traditions and lifestyle they follow.

Places To Visit During Lai Chau Tour

Lai Chau in Vietnam is a small village with only two minority tribes inhabiting the place. It is a scenic area hidden from the world filled with simplicity and views. Filled with breathtaking sites, you would be overwhelmed as you navigate this village. To help you out, we have picked the top places you must visit on your Lai Chau tour:

1. Quy Ho Pass

Mesmerising beauty of Quy Ho Pass, a must-visit place

Image Credit: Kiếm Anh for Wikimedia Commons

One of the longest and highest peaks of the mountains is located in north Vietnam, as you reach the top you will be mesmerised by the amazing views of the Hoang Lien Son range and lush green valleys around it. With the longest and most difficult drive of 50 km up to the hill, you would be mesmerised by this one-of-a-kind view. Covered with unique flora, the mountain is covered with clouds and cherry blossoms in March. The region experiences snowfall in winter as well. You can stop by to recharge yourself with the local fruits being sold. There are a few eateries as well.

Must Read: Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh

2. Sin Ho Plateau

Dreamy view from the top of Sin Ho, a topmost attraction near Lai Chau.

Image Credit: Tiên Ông for Wikimedia Commons

Located 60 km to the west of Lai Chau at a height of 4921 feet, this place is also known as the roof of Lai Chau. With a temperate climate, you would have to pass through forests, and streams to reach this unsolicited beauty. You can take a tour of famous spots like Heaven Gate, Fairy Mountain, rice fields, and Stone Umbrella Mountains. You can enjoy hot Vietnamese dishes like grilled goat, sticky rice, and hotpots amidst the cold weather. It is an all-year tourist destination but its beauty is at its peak during the spring season with wildflowers blooming around.

3. Tam Duong Market

Scenes of Tam Duong market near Lai Chau.

Image Credit: LN9267 for Wikimedia Commons

Located in Lai Chau, this market is the confluence of goods and people. People from different ethnicities come here every Sunday and Thursday to exchange their products and to get together. Just 20 km from Lai Chau, Tam Duong market brings in all hues of people, products, and behaviour. You can enjoy and learn about the culture while taking a stroll and conversing with locals.

Suggested Read: Festivals In Vietnam

4. Muong Thanh Field

 Muong Thanh Rice Field near Lai Chau.

Image Credit: Chris Feser for Wikimedia Commons

It is the largest field in northwestern Vietnam spread over an area of 140 square kilometres. Surrounded by the Nam Rom River, the field spread out like a flower. The sky blue water and golden rice fields are magnificent sights. As you walk or take a bicycle ride, these giant rice and corn fields look endless and beautiful. You can also enjoy authentic rice recipes at the origin place.

5. Putaleng Peak

Captivating view from the summit of Putaleng Peak, a must-visit destination.

Image Credit: NKSTTSSHNVN for Wikimedia Commons

A famous spot among trekkers, Putaleng Peak is 20 km northeast of Lai Chau. The mountain peak stands at 3049 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rich vegetation. The best time to visit this mountain is from October to March when the flowers bloom creating a picturesque sight. As you reach the top, you will be surrounded by the clouds. If you plan a trek, reaching the summit would take around 2 days and 1 night. Enjoy the streams, forest and the aroma of fresh cardamom. Coloured azaleas (white, pink, yellow, red and purple) bloom in spring, drawing a fairyland picture.

Suggested Read: Temples In Vietnam

6. Muong Te

 Beautiful rice fields on Muong Te, a famous tourist place near Lai Chau.

Image Credit: Adwait for Wikimedia Commons

Nestled between the Vietnam and China border, Muong Te is a rocky terrain with dense forest at a height of 3083 metres. The mountain is a hidden gem and is further adorned by the Nam Na river which also helps in irrigation for agriculture. It is an off-beat place due to the lack of transport and remote location. You can plan a trek to this mountain and explore the culture of the diverse ethnic groups living here. You can visit this place from September to April when the rice harvest takes place with the golden harvest swaying with the winds.

7. Tien Son Cave

Stunning rock formations of Tien Son Cave are a must-see while exploring nearby attractions.

Image Credit:[Tycho] for Wikimedia Commons

In the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Tien Son Cave is a 980-metre-long cave with stalactites and stalagmites formation. As you explore, you will see a 10-metre-deep hole following a 500-metre-long cave inaccessible to tourists. The stunning formations were created due to tectonic plate movement and have been recognised as a UNESCO site. It is less crowded than the Phong Nha caves and offers a better experience and tranquillity. The entry ticket costs 80,000 VND; you can visit here anytime from 7:30 AM to 4 PM.

Suggested Read: Vietnam Beach Resorts

8. Tam Duong Hill

 Rice plantation at Tam Duong Hill, located near Lai Chau.

Image Credit: multimolti for Wikimedia Commons

Located 30 km south of Lai Chau district, Tam Duong is nature’s own secret. Blessed with fertile lands, Tam Duong Hill grows tea, offering a majestic view to savour it. With a cool climate and cultural diversity, you would be enchanted by the rolling mountains, forests and landscapes. You can explore the mountains on a bike or interact with the locals to learn more about their life, farming practices and culture. You can also visit the local market and buy their amazing handicrafts.

Best Time To Visit Lai Chau

Dry seasons are the best to visit here.

Image Credit: CongVuphotographer for Pixabay

Lai Chau in Vietnam experiences two major seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The best time to visit this mountainous landscape is during the dry seasons. It stretches from October to March with clear skies and breezy weather with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius. The weather is optimal for exploring the rocky terrain and planning a hike. During the rice harvest season, all the farms shine with golden grains and paint a beautiful picture.

The rainy season is prevalent from April to September. The temperature is 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, with higher humidity. The region experiences heavy rainfall, which makes it unsafe to explore the mountains. However, the rain makes the forests alive, and nature blooms with peak beauty.

Suggested Read: Vietnam Nightlife

How To Reach Lai Chau In Vietnam

the Lai Chau bridge

Image Credit: yarra64 for Wikimedia Commons

By Bus: Lai Chau is around 500 km away from Hanoi. You can get a bus from My Dinh bus stop ahead of a journey of 8 to 10 hours. You can opt for AC sleeper buses for this long journey. The bus ride can cost around USD 17 to 20. You can also reach Lai Chau by Sapa which is only 70 km. If you take a bus from Sapa, it will pass through the iconic Tram Ton Pass.

By Car: You can also book a private cab from Hanoi for a flexible and comfortable ride. It would be on the costlier side, but you can stop at your desired location and explore the beauty of Vietnam. You can also go on a 12-hour bike ride to get here. It is better to take regular breaks to reduce travel strain.

By Air: You can also take a one-hour flight from Hanoi to Dien Bien Airport. Dien Bien Airport is a domestic airport with a limited number of flights. You can cover the remaining 200 km by private cab or bus, if suitable.

Suggested Read: Romantic Getaways In Vietnam

Lai Chau is a hidden gem with stunning landscapes filled with amazing outdoor experiences and activities. If this guide about Lai Chaum makes you feel wanderlust, then here are some of the best plans for a trip to Vietnam. The diversity and traditions of Lai Chau’s people will leave you mesmerised. The land is filled with rich produce of tea, corn, wheat, and rice, which will give you a closer perspective of a farmer’s life.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit: Tiên Ông for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Lai Chai

How much is required to explore Lai Chau?

You may spend 3 to 4 days exploring all the popular areas in Lai Chau

Why should you go on a trip to Lai Chau?

Lai Chau offers some of the best views in Vietnam. If you are a nature enthusiast, you should visit Lai Chau.

What are the must-try foods at Lai Chau?

You must try their sticky rice, Bun Cha ( grilled pork noodles) and fresh spring rolls.

What does Lai Chau mean?

Lai Chau means the mountainous province of Vietnam.

What are the other places to visit around Lai Chau?

If you are in Lai Chau, you can also visit Fansipan Mountain, Pu Sam Cap Mountain, Ky Quan San Peak and Thai Trai Tim.

People Also Read:

Category: Mountains, Places To Visit, Vietnam

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month