Like as smooth melody of Thai folk song “Inh la oi”, Northwestern mountainous scenery is very majestic and charming, especially the way to Mong Village (Hua La Commune, Son La City, Son La Province).
When visiting the village, tourists will be immediately attracted by the distinctive scenery constituted of spectacular mountains and rivers. The different mountains form a stunning range that resembles a dragon embracing Nam La River. The trees of coffee, pine, plum, apricot and bamboo cover the sides of mountains. The village is also surrounded by primitive forest with many precious trees and colorful orchid flowers. In spring, all types of flowers such as apricot, plum and Ban show off their beauty. Flying around the flowers are yellow bees making the brilliant scenery of Mong Village more charming. And the winter is the perfect time for vong gai flowers to bloom, filling the forest with a bright red color. Standing out amongst that beauty is the traditional stilt houses and cheerful Thai women with com shirt, black skirt, blue belt…
The village is home to more than 106 Thai households living mainly by rice cultivation, cattle breeding and brocade weaving. The traditional cultural values of Thai ethnic group as costumes, jewelry, cuisine, festivals, folk dances and songs … have been kept intactly. Mong Village also attracts tourists by abundant hot mineral water resource. According to scientists, average temperature of the outdoor hot mineral stream in Mong Village is 38oC. Water is colorless, odorless with physical, chemical characteristics and natural mineral components which appropriate with treating some diseases of skin, rheumatism, neuropathology, cardiovascular… In particular, water temperature changes to seasons. In the winter, water is warmer than in the summer. See List of Vietnamese ethnic groups.
With plentiful tourism potential, since 1997, Son La City has collaborated with the villagers to invest and develop community-based tourism type associated with hot mineral stream bath. To Mong Village, tourists will see mixture beauty of tradition and modern. Entrance, roads, alleys are always clean. The villagers also built a community culture house; established an art team to perform Thai folk songs and dances… Especially, all stilt houses have standard toilets and bathrooms.
Staying in Mong Village, tourists will have the opportunity to admire, purchase textile, brocade products made by the villagers; especially enjoy many local specialties as cay pinh (grilled chicken), pa pinh top (grilled fish), forest vegetables, sticky rice…
Community-based tourism has helped the villagers not only preserve but also promote traditional cultural identity. With this direction, Mong Village will be always a peaceful destination for tourists to keep away the noisy of city.