The magnificence of the Muong Hoa Valley has to be seen in person to be believed. Located roughly 14km away from Sapa, the rolling hillsides and soaring peaks constitute the largest rice farmlands in the region.
The dramatic landscape is inhabited by humble locals who take pride in their livelihoods and culture. Always happy to embrace visiting tourists, these villagers have roots going back thousands of years.
History of the Muong Hao Valley
The presence of ancient rock carvings indicates that the Muong Hao Valley has been civilized for centuries. Inhabitants faced much more extreme climates compared to most Vietnamese towns and cities and had to adapt to the elements to survive.
Ethnic minorities like the Zao, Zay, and Hmong reside in the hills of Muong Hao Valley and their livelihoods still revolve around its abundant nature. The famous terraced rice fields, seen as an iconic local feature, were created by these clans.
The mystical beauty of the Valley extends far beyond the mountains, however, as visitors can explore the winding streams, the bustling villages of Hau Thao, Lao, Chai, and Ta Van, and meet the friendly locals who live there. You can also take a cable car to the top of Fansipan Mountain.
Sapa Ancient Stone Field
The Sapa Ancient Stone Field has perplexed and fascinated historians around the world. This UNESCO-listed site features giant rocks carved with artwork of unknown meaning and abnormally intricate detail.
Much like the English landmark of Stonehenge, scientists aren’t sure how the rocks were placed next to each other or who the people behind its creation were. What we do know, however, is that the writing on some of the rocks dates to the High Middle Ages.
Best time to visit the Muong Hao Valley
Though the Muong Hao Valley is beautiful year-round, September-November is probably the best time to visit. Temperatures are pleasant, conditions are dry, and overall visibility is at its most clear. The summer months can make it difficult to embark on the long walks and hikes you’ll be doing, and the depths of winter can be incredibly cold and damp.
The Muong Hao Valley is one of rural Vietnam’s true highlights. If you’re looking for a destination that reacquaints you with nature, be sure to visit.