Muong Hoa Valley, located in Hau Thao Commune, 10 km from Sapa Town Center to the Southeast, is well-known as the largest farmland in Sapa. The valley is home to some Vietnamese ethnic minorities such as Black Hmong, Red Dzao, Giay,... The journey to this valley is a bit hard because of the zigzag roads on high mountains, so an easy trek tour is the best way to conquer and discover the breathtaking beauty of this rich-in-culture mountainous village.
I - How to get to Muong Hoa Valley from Sapa Town?
Due to the narrow and zigzag roads, apart from taking a trek to get to this valley, you can hire a motorbike (with or without a driver).
Motorbike with a driver
The cost is about 100.000 - 200.000đ/person/turn ($2.15 - 4.4). You can find a motorbike-taxi driver in Sapa Town Center, or around the Sapa Stone Church, Sapa Bus Station,...
Exploring Muong Hoa Valley without guide is an interesting experience - Source: Internet
Some motorbike rental shops in Sapa Town Center:
- Hoc Ly motorbike rental shop: No.08 Hoang Lien Son Street, Sapa Town - Phone number: 09151 90 874.
- Tam Tran motorbike rental shop: No.10 Hoang Lien Son Street, Sapa Town - Phone number: 0974 47 37 40.
- Mr. Chinh motorbike rental shop: No.44 Fansipan Street, Sapa Town - Phone number: 0988 628 515.
II - Sapa Muong Hoa Valley highlights
Coming here, you are likely to immerse yourselves in the special harmony of man and nature. The scene of terraced rice fields, fresh streams, and ancient rock fields creates a quiet and peaceful landscape.
Charming landscape in Muong Hoa - Source: Internet
1 - The endless terraced fields
Muong Hoa Valley is the best place to contemplate the terraced fields in Sapa. The most ideal time to admire the terraced rice fields is from May to June (the water-pouring season) and from August to September (the rice-ripen season). Enjoying the sunrise or sunset on the immense rice field in this valley is one of the greatest things to experience on your trip to Sapa.
2 - Muong Hoa Stream in Muong Hoa Valley Sapa
Muong Hoa Stream, a cool and winding stream flowing through the rice fields at the foot of the mountains looks like a soft silk strip. In the ripe rice season, the stream reflects the sunlight and the golden color of the rice, making the scenery of the whole valley more sparkling and poetic.
3 - Muong Hoa ancient rock field
On your Muong Hoa Valley trekking tour, you should not miss this 8km2 ancient rock field. There are many strange and confusing drawings and characters on each rock dating back more than 3,000 years ago. In the indigenous people’s belief, this is a map or an ancient book left by their ancestors. According to archeology, the rock field with unique carvings still contains many unraveled secrets.
III - Cultural experiences in Muong Hoa Valley Sapa
1 - Join local festivals
There are a wide range of local festivals held in January in the Lunar Calendar
Roong Pooc Festival
This is the festival of Giay people to welcome a new year and pray for a good new year with health, favorable weather, and abundant crops to come. Besides the sacred worshiping ceremony, you are surely attracted by a towering apricot tree in the middle of the festival - symbolizing the sun; unique folk games such as tug of war, throwing cotton ball games,... and lively performances of gongs, drums, pi le horns,...
Fire-dancing festival of the Red Dzao people
Fire-dancing festival of Red Dzao people in Sapa Muong Hoa Valley - Source: Qdnd
In the Dzao people’s belief, the Fire God is a powerful god that brings warmth and strength to conquer nature. The Fire-dancing festival is held on the night of the 15th of January of the Lunar calendar. In the framework of the festival, the young men and boys in the village dance around the fire with their bare feet to show their courage and express the Red Dao's desire to conquer nature.
- In 2021 of the calendar year, the festival is held on 26th February
- In 2022 of the calendar year, the festival is held on 15th February
2 - Enjoy the local food in Muong Hoa Valley Sapa
Some special dishes of indigenous people you should try such as grilled fish, buffalo meat hung up on the smoking-shelf, and local cabbages. When staying at the homestays, you are served many tasty local dishes and specialties by the house owners.
The fish from Muong Hoa Stream have firm meat, soft bones, and no fishy taste. You can savor the fresh, sweet, fleshy taste of fish after it is grilled. Indigenous people in Muong Hoa Valley use unique spices such as Talauma seeds (scientifically named Michelia Tonkinensis), Indian Prickly Ash seeds,... to make dipping sauces for this dish.
Buffalo meat hung up smoking-shelf
This is the typical food of the Northwestern people in Vietnam, often used with beer, corn wine, and “can” wine (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes). The dark brown buffalo meat is shredded and dipped with chili sauce or a typical indigenous sauce made from Talauma seeds, Indian Prickly Ash seeds.
Local cabbages (Meo cabbages)
This is a typical type of cabbage in Sapa Town and is processed into stir-fried dishes, boiled dishes,... Take a bite, you can feel a slight bitter taste on the tip of your tongue at first but soon after you can feel its sweetness.
Muong Hoa Valley Sapa is the meeting place between earth and heaven, where nature and people are in great harmony.