2023 Vietnam Landscape Series : Northern Vietnam tea hills mist over as winter begins

Mother Nature favored Vietnam. Let’s start the year by visiting a northern region that stands out with its beauty that passes through the seasons. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Tea hills in the northern provinces of Phu Tho, Mai Chau and Sa Pa are at their best at this time of the year under a blanket of mist. 

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Farmers wearing non la (Vietnamese conical hats) pick tea leaves at Long Coc in Phu Tho Province, around 112 kilometers from Hanoi.

Tea farming is an important occupation in Phu Tho and the main source of income for many locals. A typical tea plantation in the hills of Long Coc measures around a hectare. 

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

In early winter the tea hills are shrouded in thick fog in the mornings, and the sight attracts both amateur and professional photographers. 

Long Coc teems with green tea hills that are compared with the islets in Ha Long Bay, the UNESCO world heritage site in northern Vietnam, where limestone islets and pillars jut out of a bay.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Long Coc at night when the sky is full of stars.

As the Long Coc tea hills start rising on the tourism map, so do local accommodation services. The mainly Tay ethnic local population offers homestays for tourists seeking to stay overnight. 

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Situated at an altitude of 1,054 meters above sea level, Moc Chau in the northern Son La Province has a temperate climate with temperatures ranging between 15 and 26 degrees Celsius through the year.

It has around 1,800 ha of tea estates, which make it the country’s largest tea producer.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

The tea harvest season lasts from April to December.

Every day farmers gather at the tea factory at around 7 a.m. and then flock to the hills to pick tea buds.

In recent years local authorities have started turning the tea hills in Moc Chau into eco-tourism sites.

Bikes and motorbikes are available on rent for visitors to explore the tea hills and traditional stilt houses of the ethnic minority communities.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Tea hills in Moc Chau shrouded in mist. 

Moc Chau, which is around 200 kilometers from Hanoi, can be reached easily by car or bus.

Its rising popularity as a tourist destination has seen the rapid development of homestays.

Some budget places are MAMA’s House, Le Chalet du Lac, Fairy House Moc Chau, House By Lake, The Nordic Village, and Moc Chau Retreat, and they cost VND300,000 to 1 million ($12-40.20) a night.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

A lonely house in the middle of tea hills in Moc Chau blanketed by mist. 

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

O Long tea hill, situated 8 km from Sa Pa Town and nearly 400 km from Hanoi, spreads over an area of 200 hectares. 

It is a tourist magnet at this time of the year when its cherry trees are in full bloom.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Visitors are requested not to litter, damage the tea trees or pick the flowers.

Northern tea hills mist over as winter begins

Pink cherry blossoms dazzle as the sun shines on the tea hills along National Highway 4D leading to O Quy Ho Mountain Pass, around 15 kilometers from Sa Pa.

Sa Pa is also well-known for many other attractions like Mount Fansipan, nicknamed “roof of Indochina,” terraced rice fields, Muong Hoa Valley, and a Gothic stone church at its center.

Written By Huynh Phuong, Tran Linh


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