Visiting Son La


Located 300km northwest of Ha Noi, Son La province has become a popular tourist destination in recent years because of its various ethnicities, festivals, historical relics and scenic spots. 

Son La Museum, the Son La Hydro Power Plant, and hot springs in Mong villages, and peach blossoms, apricot and bauhinia flowers inspire tourists near and far.

There are more than 100 historical and cultural relics in Son La of which Son La prison and Son La museum are the most popular. 

Classified as a national relic in 1962, Son La prison is perched atop Khau Ca hill. Covering an area of 500m2, Son La prison was built in 1908 by the French colonialists to imprison Vietnamese communists. 

Known as hell on earth, its cells were built with solid stones and its high walls were covered with barbed wires and broken glass. 

Despite the barbaric tortures, Vietnamese communist soldiers turned their cells hell into a place to communicate Viet Nam’s resolution. The prison has recently been renovated and become a tourist mecca in the northwestern region.

Son La Museum was also built in 1908 by the French. There, distinctive cultures of 12 local ethnic minority groups in the province can be discovered through thousands of pre-history artifacts. 

Collections of 1,000 books, documents, epics, and folk tales and songs of the Thai and Dao ethnicities are kept at the museum. 

Nguyen Hai Duong, a guide at the museum, said, “Covering 14,000 square kilometers, Son La province has 12 ethnic communities, 55% of them are Thai minorities. These are ancient books of the Thai in Son La who have valuable expertise in paper-making from bamboo fiber and other plants. Their books are divided into three main categories: literature, history and belief”. 

The Son La Hydro Power Plant is also an attractive destination in the city. Surrounded by a verdant forest, Son La Reservoir impresses visitors with its incomparable beauty. 

Hoang Lan, a tourist from Bac Giang province, shared, “This is the first time I visit the lake. Nestled in the heart of magnificent nature, it is an ideal place to relax. I would like to come back to discover more about local people’s life”.

Hidden in a mountain range, Mong village in Hua La commune, 6km from the center of Son La, is also a tourist destination. 

Nguyen Hong Thang, a tour guide from Ha Noi noted, “In Mong village, tourists relax in hot springs and enjoy Thai cuisine. Water in hot springs here can be used as a medical therapy or a drink. After having a bathe, you can stay in guest houses and savor delicious Thai dishes”.

Seeing is believing. Go and explore the wide nature by yourself!

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