Located 100km from Ha Noi, Da Bac has dramatically become an ideal place for travelers who want to discover the ethnic life of Muong ethnic group, spend a while escaping from the hustling and bustling, and immense in the pure natural landscapes.
Time to go?
Da Bac is warm year round with an average temperature of 27C. Rainfall is heavy during the summer months from May until September. The best time to visit Da Bac is from October to April when the weather is dry, warm, and suitable for cycling, sightseeing and water activities.
How to get there?
There are two roads to Da Bac. The road leading to Da Bac is a bit obstacle and tough that may make the arrival moment more delightful.
Line 1: From Hanoi, you go straight to Highway 6, through Hoa Binh city, ask the road to the Vồ market. Then go to Da Bia village, Tien Phong Commune. This road is around Hoa Binh Hydropower lake, so you can both enjoy the scenery of floating islands along the river.
Line 2: In order to avoid Highway 6, you should go to Thang Long Highway, go straight to Da Chong, across the culture village of Vietnam, turn left to Chẹ, get on the ferry at Hop Thinh in Phu Minh commune, Ky Son district crossing the Da river. The road from Chẹ to Hop Thinh ferry is such a very beautiful road, then Da Bac appears after 20 km.
Where to stay?
Da Bac Homestay is part of a community-based tourism project by AFAP Vietnam (Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP) in Vietnam) that seeks to enhance business and tourism opportunities, promoting equitable distribution of income and sustainable income generation for ethnic minorities in Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province. The project of building a model of homestay resort combines activities such as walking, boating, kayaking, biking, exploring the Muong ethnic cultural exchange.
All homestays were designed and decorated in a style that combines European – Asian features but still very close to nature and keep the typical stilt house of Muong ethnic people in Hoa Binh. With wood material is the main reason when you come to homestays, you will feel like living in a traditional space between Hoa Binh mountain. From the window, one can behold the beauty of peaceful hamlets, green lakes, romantic hillsides and enjoy the fresh mountain breeze. In addition, trained skills in cooking, tourism skills, people can process a lot of diverse dishes in the aura style, meet the needs of many customers.
What to do in Da Bac?
Coming to Da Bac, visitors will see an incredible landscape and visit ethnic minority village with 300-year-old as Sung village and enjoy outdoor activities, including biking, kayaking, rafting on the biggest man-made reservoir in Northern Vietnam.
– Trekking and hiking through the forest, through the mountains and through remote villages of ethnic minority people. Hiking is the best way to discover Da Bac area. Explore tropical forest, luxuriant mountains and ethnic hill tribes. Roads vary in distance, difficulty level and sceneries. You can stay at the stops and admire the majestic scenery of the clouds, mountains and rice fields. This is an ideal place for adventure travelers with hilly terrain and rich flora. There are many villages scattered on the walking routes and are home to the Muong, Dao, Tay and Thai. You can have a single day walk or multi-day hikes. Below are walking trails:
* Option 1: Daytime walking route from Da Bia to Muc village. This route is suitable for those who are physically fit and do not require previous walking experience. This road takes visitors through a village of Muong people and through the mountains, corn fields, and green forests. At the end of the trip, visitors can take a boat ride on the lake before returning homestay. This road goes only during the day, including 6-7 hours walking.
* Option 2: Long walk: Xom Ke (Muong ethnic group) – Bieu Mountain – Ban Sang (Dao ethnic group) – Da Bia village (Muong Ao Ta people). This is a beautiful scenic route with an opportunity to experience the life of an ethnic minority. You can spend time interacting with local people to find out about their culture and activities. This road is suitable for those who have good strength and little walking experience as they will have to cross rainforest and different terrain, sometimes even High Mountain slopes. This road usually starts at Xom Ke and takes three to four days to complete, with 6-7 hours of walking each day.
– Cycling: Da Bac district has sealed, paved roads and mountain trails offering fantastic bike ride for enthusiastic mountain bikers.
– Kayaking: If you want to enjoy the peaceful scenery of beautiful limestone cliffs on the lake or simply enjoy the underwater activities, kayaking or paddle rafting is a good suggestion for you. Kayak can be rented from any homestay by guests. It can also be combined with other activities such as swimming and boat trips to fish farms. For those who want to independently explore the stunning scenery surrounding the villages, homestay owners can recommend suitable locations and routes.
In the evening, you could have chance to enjoy the traditional performance with locals. So interesting!
So, if you want to escape from Hanoi for a day or two, come to Da Bac! You can enjoy the beauty of wild nature and witness the life of Vietnam homestay with ethnic minority people living in the mountainous area. And don’t forget to do trekking as I did.
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