Go trekking or biking through lush karst landscapes and stay overnight at Muong homestays in Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve. The area combines wonderful landscapes with traditional Muong villages, where you can rest and share daily activities with the local population.
What to experience?
The Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve was established in 2004 to preserve an area with high biodiversity and to prevent further deforestation in the area. In and around the Nature Reserve approximately 15,000 people live, mostly from the Muong ethnic group.
The community-based ecotourism experience is centred on trekking and biking routes through a lush karst landscape. The routes are connected to villages and local sights such as rivers, waterfalls and special cultural areas. Every trekking group is guided by a local who will guide you to the best sights of the park and will help you to interact with people who may be met along the way.
At the end of a day trekking and exploring the nature reserve you will stay at one of the homestays in traditional stilt houses that reflect the Muong culture. There you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the hosts by participating in rice sowing or learning how to weave traditional brocade.
A Muong cultural festival is now held every year, check the internet to get the right dates.
How does it help?
Since 2006 the Spanish NGO Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura (with funds from the AECID, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development) has worked hand in hand with the Nature Reserves’ Forest Department to develop small-scale community based ecotourism in seven communes belonging to two districts, i.e., Lac Son and Tan Lac. These communes include Ngoc Son, Ngoc Lau, Tu Do, and Tan My (Lac Son District) and Bac Son, Nam Son and Ngo Luong (Tan Lac District).
Tourism aims to provide locals with an additional income separate from agriculture and husbandry. The NGO project also supports a range of other activities from biodiversity surveys to awareness campaigns against domestic violence.
Tourism development at the Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve follows participatory approaches of “learning by doing” and “bottom-up”. For example, commune development plans were established this way, from villages (bottom) to communes (up). Tourism was identified as one of the activities that villagers wanted to engage in.
The aim is that ultimately the community will be able to operate all tourism activities independently. The project supports tourism infrastructure development to improve trails, signs and resting areas. Homestay owners have received comprehensive training in cooking and hosting, and guides are trained how to take care of visitors and what to show them. Additionally there are weekly English courses given by volunteers from Hanoi University.
The project supports other socioeconomic activities, such as husbandry, forestry or agriculture, and is very interested in gender and cultural activities; two Muong Cultural Festivals have been organised with a song-writing contest which aims to support local culture and nature (the lyrics must be related to nature conservation).
Comprehensive surveys have described the biodiversity and natural assets of the area.
Mr. Jaime Armenteros
FPSC Country Representative Vietnam
Muong Khu Trekking Route (NSNL NR)
Mr. Bui Van Me
Head of Homestays Group of the Commune of Tu Do, Lac Son District
Cel number: +84 16 426 412 70
Tel: +84 16 426 412 70
Muong Khu Trekking Route (Cuc Phuong National Park) Mr. Do Hong Hai
Cel number: +84 915 666 916
Cuc Phuong Tourism Center
Cel number: +84 30 384 8006
The marker indicates the Pu Luong Nature reserve