Bac Son Valley in Lang Son Province

Bac Son Valley is in Lang Son – a province in the North of Vietnam, famous for its gorgeous valley with rice fields and tiny villages dotted around. We have a little trip to Bac Son on our motorbike, and can’t wait to tell you about the amazing experience. 

Lang Son Map

The Bac Son Valley Adventure Starts

It takes around 3.5 – 4h drive from Hanoi center (150 km). Go along National Road 3 to Thai Nguyen city, then turn left for National Road 1B and then few kilometers to Bac Son District, you’ll find your way to a small peaceful village named Quynh Son.

We arrived there in the evening after some hours driving, and the quiet atmosphere of the village made us so relaxed.  We booked accommodation at a lovely home-stay, owned by an elder Tay couple, who showed us a warmest welcome and hospitalities.

Tay is the main ethnic group in this village, but you’ll find them not so different from Kinh people the main group in Vietnam - in their lifestyle, the way of farming and culture. They’re also very friendly. 

We enjoyed the dinner at the home-stay very much, with lots of delicious dishes and specialties of the village. Vegetable and rice wine were impressive!

Enjoy a dinner

At night, it was so quiet around. No car, no motorbike ringing, no dust or any sound of the city. The village is really an ideal place to keep you off from modern noisy city life but still can connect with the world whenever you want with good wifi internet. It was so quiet that we could even hear the sound of some mosquitoes (yes, mosquitoes, so don’t forget your insect-free lotion) and frogs singing, which was quite funny.

Nets are provided to keep us off from the mosquitoes, and we soon enjoyed a sound sleep after a while talking and playing card together. 

I believe that in clear days, we could enjoy a beautiful Milky Way across the night sky.

Homestay Experience & Villages in Bac Son Valley

Early in the morning, got up and enjoy the fresh air as well as the mountains not far from the village. Around the home-stay are other wooden traditional stilt houses which offer great chances for photographers. 

Bac Son Homstay

The homes-stay we visited is one of the best I have experience (I used to visit H’mong house in Ha Giang and Lai Chau, Thai’s house in Mai Chau, Dzao’s house in Sapa and Khmu house in Luang Prabang - Laos before that).

The stilt house looked new and very clean. The house owner said it was built around 50-60 years ago and recently renovated for tourist services. The ladder to get into a stilt house is made of wood and often has nine steps, one for each of the souls of a Tay woman. 

Bac Son Valley 4

Pillow and blanket were all in good “sunny scent”, giving us a strong feeling of cleanness and comfort. The house can accommodate 25 – 30 people, but the owner never let so many people staying at the same time to guarantee the privacy and comfort for his clients.

Bac Son Valley 5

Some villagers slowly walked or cycled for the market or farming work with their tools on the shoulder, were very friendly. 

Farming Work

There is no market in the village but there’s one in Bac Son town, which is 5 km away. So if you are curious to see the people in their daily life in the morning, just cycle to the town and enjoy the hill tribe market. Foods for breakfast can also be found easily. 

Here is the village’s road after the rain previous night.

Trekking BS Valley

The surrounding was also very photogenic in a foggy morning:

Bac Son Valley 8

The small stream and mountains around looked really like Vang Vieng in Laos

Stream in Bac Son

It’s the beginning of rice planting, so we saw a lot of green baby plants like this:

Plant in Bac Son

There’s a beautiful communal house which is about 8 km from our home-stay. Under the shade of a giant banyan tree, this is where takes place every community activities in the village


Hiking in Bac Son Valley

The hike starts at 7 AM, but I would recommend you to start earlier in the summer (5 AM) to catch the sunrise on the peak. 

Hiking in Bac Son

It takes only around 1-hour hike through approximately 1.200 steep steps. In general, it’s easy but could be a little bit muddy in the first 50 steps if it is rainy, so be sure you have a suitable pair of shoe and in a reasonable fitness. People with leg problems are not recommended.

There are lots of photo opportunities on the way, but the best would be on the top where you reach a telephone tower of the district. 

We found it a stunning view of the mountains surrounding the valley and the village. Tiny colorful houses shined under the sun, dotted nearby the chess-like fields: 

BS valley

We traveled in the spring when farmers have just started their rice planting, so the rice fields are less amazing than the harvesting season. However, it still could make anyone surprised with the breathtaking panoramic landscape in sunlight or even in foggy days. 

It would be like this in harvesting seasons (beginning of July and October)

BS Valley

Tips for Adventure to Bac Son Valley

Best time to go is from April to November. For best photos opportunity, the beginning of July and October will be the best with yellow rice fields. 

Bring suitable shoes, hat, and sun-cream for the hike

Don’t forget mosquito repellent

Motorbike is the best way to go to Bac Son from Hanoi, however, you still can rent a car if you cannot drive.