With a perfect combination of mountains, forests, and peaceful lakes, Thung Nai in the northern province of Hoa Binh has become the epitome of poetic landscapes, attracting tourists from all corners of the world.
When visitors arrive in Thung Nai in Cao Phong district, they are enchanted by what some call ‘Ha Long Bay on land’ and the Muong ethnic group, indigent to the region.
Legend has it that “Thung Nai”, was once a great valley covered by vast forests, and was home to countless numbers of deer. The name, “Thung Nai” literally means “the Valley of Deer”, hence how the name originated.
For decades, Thung Nai has been famous for its huge lake powering the hydropower plant on Da River and its surrounding mountainous areas which create an ecosystem rich in flora and fauna.
The best time to visit Thung Nai is in the autumn and spring when the valley is filled with romantic lake water and small islands are covered by the green colour of coconut trees.
Travelling to Thung Nai, tourists can also visit Thac Bo cave – a national heritage – and discover the scenic beauty and distinctive culture of the Muong ethnic minority people.
Thac Bo is a deep cave spread over many levels. Behind the large entrance, visitors can see multi-shaped stalactites mirrored on a limpid pond and listen to the stone musical instruments and gongs of the Muong ethnic group.
Many tourists in Thung Nai choose the Windmill guesthouse located on a small island as an ideal place for a comfortable and relaxing stay. The guesthouse area consists of a large two-storey redbrick house, a windmill offering visitors a breath-taking view of Thung Nai, and a stilt house functioning as a communal dinning place.
Staying in the Windmill, tourists will be served local specialties like grilled Muong pork, grilled Da River fish, hill chicken, and straw wine. After the dinner, tourists, especially the youngsters often gather by the campfire in front of the guesthouse, and watch the sparkling fishing canoes floating in the lake at night.
Thung Nai impresses everyone who sees it with its harmonious combination of mountains, lakes and charming stilt houses nestled in between high hills.
To Thung Nai, tourists can enjoy the beauty of wild nature and witness the life of ethnic minority people living on the mountains. Thung Nai promises to bring great tourism potential to Hoa Binh Province in the near future.