Pu Luong Retreat Review — A majestic off-the-beaten-path getaway in Northern Vietnam
Pu Luong Retreat (or Puluong Retreat) is truly a microcosm of Northern Vietnam, with a strikingly preserved scenery of beautiful mountain ranges, majestic rice terrace fields, stunning rivers and waterfalls, breathtaking mountain passes, and calm distant traditional villages.
Explore Pu Luong Retreat
Pu Luong Retreat (Puluong Retreat), also known as Pu Luong Nature Reserve, is located in the Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc Districts of Thanh Hoa Province, on Vietnam’s north central coast. It is around 180 kilometers from Hanoi’s capital. With its diverse flora and animals, Pu Luong has a high biodiversity value. It is bounded on both sides by two mountain ranges, producing a beautiful middle valley dotted with ethnic settlements and a vast amount of agricultural land.
About the name of Pu Luong, in Thai language, it means “the highest summit of the village.” The landscape is truly beyond words and imagination.
Indulge in the atmospheric and romantic Pu Luong Retreat, you should be surprised how far you are away from the modern life: no air-conditioners, no televisions, no fridges, and no modern entertaining services.
There will be just you left in the midst of the landscape’s woods, farmlands, limestone mountains, and valleys. However, wifi is accessible, allowing you to capture photos of the endless splendor and publish them on networks indefinitely.
All of Pu Luong Retreat’s activities are related to environment and life discovery: hike gorgeous paths through traditional villages and magnificent rice terraces, enjoy bamboo rafting, kayaking, ride thrilling bike routes, and camp in the fresh outdoors. Pu Luong Retreat offers activities at various levels that can be discovered and tried nowhere else. There are locations and paths just waiting to be explored!
You can kayak to find your ways through the beautiful river landscape, pass by the simple stilted houses, the eye-catching water wheels as well as the green farmland.
You can choose from a number of magnificent trekking routes, passing through outstanding rice terrace fields, stunning hills, and valleys and fascinating hamlets giving a glimpse of daily life.
Isn’t this heaven breathtaking? It truly is a microcosm of northern Vietnam, including Sapa’s majestic mountain ranges, Mu Cang Chai’s stunning rice terrace fields, Cao Bang’s scenic rivers and waterfalls, Ha Giang’s breathtaking mountain passes, and Mai Chau’s isolated ethnic minority settlements. However, it does not resemble all of them. The above scene is not “copied and pasted” by Pu Luong Retreat. It is impressive in its own right and attractive in its own right.
Relax at Pu Luong Retreat
Pu Luong owns high elevation and extensive ranges of the tropical evergreen forest, which is ideal for eco-tourism. And therefore, it will be a perfect holiday destination for family vacation, groups of friends, and lover couples.
Families and loving couples may stay at the Dulex Bungalow, which is nestled on a hillside and offers a magnificent view of the entire region. So, if you wake up early in the morning, you’ll be greeted by an appealing sight over the valley, which is shrouded in mist, with the glow of daybreak towering behind ranges of green mountains. A very romantic and fresh sensation will therefore help your day start off on a high note.
The Deluxe Bungalow at Pu Luong Retreat is comfortable and elegant, with original hardwood furnishings. Dulex’s balcony offers a panoramic view of Pu Luong’s beautiful scenery. You may enjoy the panoramic view even from your bed.
There is nothing more lovely than sitting on the balcony of Dulex Bungalow at sunset, chilling a cup of coffee, watching the sun go down, clouds freely floating, mountains getting black, and feeling a fresh wind softly stroking your skin. The Puluong Retreat costs vnd1,400,000 ($62.4) from Sunday to Thursday and vnd1,700,000 ($75.77) from Friday to Saturday.
The Suite Bungalow is more valuable than the other bungalows. The bungalow boasts the best panoramic view, with a 270-degree panorama of the entire valley in front, an infinity pool on the left, and rice terrace fields on the right.
The last side is a small garden where guests can enjoy the luxurious outdoor bathtub in the middle of nature surrounded by plants and trees.
The house is constructed around two large jackfruit trees. One is placed on the balcony, while the other is in the restroom. The house and the trees form an environment that is well suited to nature. The Puluong Retreat costs vnd2,200,000/night ($98.06) from Sunday to Thursday and vnd2,500,000 ($111.43) from Friday to Saturday.
Furthermore, Pu Luong Retreat offers groups of visitors a home on stilts, which is perfect for a party of up to 20 people. A classic and huge stilt home built to international standards, separated into two wings. Each has four sleeping spaces that may be configured as twins or doubles upon request.
During the day, the entire home is open, ensuring an in-house beautiful view from the window and enough room. As a result, it must be a one-of-a-kind stay experience. The Puluong Retreat costs vnd 320,000 per person per night ($14.26).
Most intriguingly, at PuLuong Retreat, you will get the most comfortable sensation when enjoying in the infinity pool with natural cold water, no chlorine, no chemical like other pools.
Besides all adventurous activities, just relaxing and doing nothing next to the pool is great too.
You may relax with a glass of wine at the pool in the afternoon to enjoy the quiet ambience. Or read a book on the swing beds before taking a walk around the slopes, enjoying the fresh air.
The swing bed is really weird to restfully lie down, feeling your inner peace.
“It’s a beautiful location in the highlands where time appears to have stopped. Walk through unspoiled areas where farming is being done the old-fashioned way and cars are not seen!” A guest expressed his thoughts about Pu Luong Retreat.
How to get Pu Luong Retreat?
With the renovation and building of new roads, Pu Luong Retreat is easily reached overland. You can go by coach or taxi to get Pu Luong. The price will fall around vnd200,000 – vnd250,000 ($9 – $11.5).
Some experience on Pu Luong Retreat travel:
- Don’t skip a single interesting activity to explore Pu Luong at its most.
- Meals are served in Set menu. The flavor of meals here is authentic with foods made from local ingredients. The price will fall around vnd 150,000 – vnd 200,000/person ($6.7 – $9).
- You should pre-book your meals at least 1 day prior to your arrival because they need time to prepare.
- The number of rooms is finite, 8 bungalows and 1 house on stilt. So pre-book your room to make sure you’ll have a wonderful time there.
Pu Luong Retreat
- Address: Ban Don, Thanh Lam commune, Ba Thuoc district, Thanh Hoa province
- Opening: Mon-Sun: 08:00 – 20:00
Best time to visit Pu Luong
The best time to visit Pu Luong is during the rice harvest season, which runs from September to November or February to May. The plantation is lush at this time of year, and the weather is nice. Pu Luong is best reached from Mai Chau or Ninh Binh. Multiple-day treks through va to Pu Luong via less-traveled paths are also a possibility for hikers. The greatest thing to do here is trek through villages like Ban Sai, Ban Hang, Ban Kho Muong, or Ban Hieu and stay in one of the traditional homestays. Everyone, especially families with small children, has alternatives.
How to get to Pu Luong
The distance between Hanoi and Pu Pu Luong is around 210 kilometers, and it takes approximately 4 hours to reach the national park by bus or private vehicle transfer, or to engage a private local guide for a 6 day (5 night) tour in Pu Luong – Mai Chau at a cost of $65 per day for a private tour. It drops to $50 per day for 2-4 persons. You may have to pay for your guide’s meals and lodging on private trips like these, so double-check. A bed at a homestay should cost no more than US$10 per night, including supper and breakfast.