Moc Chau plateau in the northern mountain province of Son La has long been on the traveler’s radar because of its fields of flowers and green tea hills that stretch to the horizon.
Na Ka plum valley (Photo: VOV)
Recently, Na Ka valley and its plum trees has been an emerging destination on Moc Chau’s tourism map. Na Ka plum valley puts on its best white garb when the plum trees blossom. This place draws visitors with its exquisite landscape, fresh mountain air, and juicy plums that can be eaten right off the tree.
16 kilometers of winding, narrow mountain road takes visitors from the little town of Moc Chau to Na Ka valley, which has long been overlooked because of its distance from the beaten path. But those who make the effort to get there are not disappointed. Na Ka’s awesome mountainscape and white plum blossoms will overwhelm you at the end of the journey.
It’s best to visit Na Ka plum valley in the late morning or early afternoon. The early morning fog obscures everything until about 9am, while the sun goes down quickly in the afternoon, taking with it the light needed for perfect photographs.
Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet, who owns a plum orchard in Na Ka valley, said the place has become crowded in the past three years. “The tourist season begins here in the 11th lunar month. The peak periods are after the traditional Lunar New Year festival when the plum trees blossom and in the harvest season between March and May. At those times, an orchard might receive as many as 2,000 visitors,” Tuyet said.
From the middle of January to the end of February, plum blossoms clothe the entire Na Ka valley in white, which is gradually dyed shades of plum until mid-April, when the harvest season offers visitors the experience of picking and tasting juicy plums fresh off the tree.
Just a few years ago, community-based tourism was a novelty in Na Ka. When tourists began flocking to this valley for its photogenic views, orchard owners started offering photo services and pick-it-yourself plum tasting. They erected bamboo huts for photo shoots and wooden rest camps. Mong ethnic minority women stand at the entrance gate and provide costumes for rent.
One day is enough to explore all the attractions of Na Ka plum valley. Trinh Hoang Duong of Hanoi told VOV “I’m digging this place with its old plum trees, delicious fruits, and fresh air. There are several orchards here, making it a really vast plum region. I like it a lot. I will definitely return to Na Ka.”
Na Ka plum valley does wonders for someone who wants to escape the hectic urban lifestyle and find peace in nature. VOV