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SON LA MAP

"The draw is tough! The trails are very happy and without a bamboo pole and the help of the Black Hmong women is really impossible, we slither on the small paths and rocks and sometimes we have to really hold on to the women who are slipping up and down the mountains. Walk, as if it were nothing, at the end of the draw, the women naturally want to sell their bags and souvenirs to us and because everyone is so happy with their help, we buy all bags, necklaces, bracelets and scarves.
We spend the night in a 'homestay' it is a kind of very big shed where we all sleep in the attic, quite comfortable, after a lovely hot shower and a delicious meal from the householder, we crawl into our bed early and make ourselves ready for the next day, day 2 of the draw."  

          Son La - is characterized by a rugged, yet breathtaking, mountainous landscape and steep valley slopes with hundreds of stepped rice terraces. The lush valleys are home to small and isolated villages. With a significant population of minority groups, you don't have to look far to find people who have traditional lifestyles far from the hustle and bustle of the larger, more urbanized centers of Vietnam.
Son La is a medium-sized city and has a distinctly old part to the north and the newer, more modern part of the city to the south. Son La is mainly home to residents of Thai descent. It is also the fifth largest province in the country.

For the vast majority of visitors, the Son La area offers only a series of slow panoramas, which you can observe from a minivan window, as they make their long, winding road trip from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu. It is recommended to discover this province in peace and not in a group. Something you should not miss is the beautiful Pha Din mountain pass, which is located 60 km from the town of Son La.
Although the provincial capital of the same name, Son La has little value for tourists, it is a classic destination of the type "I've been there" ..

 

Son La is located halfway between Hanoi and Dien Bien Phu. It was once the site of a sizeable French garrison during the French War, but today, apart from the ruins of the prison, the only evidence that the French have ever been here is the baguettes and the rich, strong coffee. Most visitors have an overnight stay in Son La before continuing.
One of the most famous monuments from the French colonial period is the prison, which was known as "hell on earth". It was known for the brutality the French colonists exercised against prisoners. You can find this prison at the top of Khau Ca Hill, Khau Ca street. At the Trade Union hotel in the north of the city of Son La you have a good view of the city. It is possible to rent a motorbike in this hotel, in the city it can be a problem with renting a motorbike.

As in the rest of the northwest, June through September is a wet season. You can expect heavy rain and foggy weather. Landslides are common in the mountains and will slow down your journey. Visible, late September to October and March to May are the best choice. Evenings and early mornings can be cool to cold all year round. Make sure to dress accordingly when riding a motorcycle. The temperature can be cold on high mountain passes, but hot in the valleys.


Northern Vietnam

 


At nightfall

 

 


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