Hang Kia, Mai Chau � Get up early to meet up to hunt clouds at 'heaven's gate'

The mountains and hills of the Northwest embrace a fairyland without the footprints of tourists who are passionate about beautiful scenery. Whoever makes an appointment to return to Hoa Binh, do not forget to turn the way to Hang Kia Mai Chau, a place of dreams and clouds.

Mai Chau highland has a Hang Kia in a white valley

Hang Kia is a highland commune in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province , about 150 km from Hanoi. From the center of Mai Chau district, passing craggy roads on a mountain 1200 m high above sea level, you will arrive in Pa Co commune first, then go another 10 km to reach Hang Kia in the beautiful white valley. hearts. 


Hang Kia is a highland commune in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh
Hang Kia is a highland commune in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh. Photo: gody

Because it is located on a high mountain, the average temperature in Hang Kia Mai Chau is quite low. In Hoa Binh city, it is sunny, coming here you will most likely have to curl up in a warm towel.

Hang Kia is poetic and peaceful
Hang Kia is poetic and peaceful. Photo: halotravel

In the past, this land used to be a remote and dangerous place because of drug trafficking. Today, life in Hang Kia has changed, returning to the daily rhythm of the Mong people. Tourists only know of a dreamy, peaceful white valley covered with white clouds all year round, dyed with peach and plum blossoms in spring.

Colorful butterfly flower season
Blooming butterfly season. Photo: Sunshine


Kia Mai Chau Cave - A beautiful scene that captivates people

The season of white plum blossoms throughout the village

Hang Kia is the starting point of Moc Chau plateau. Every spring, plum blossoms bloom all over the valley. The craggy rock slopes are now replaced by flat asphalt roads through the forest of white flowers, just like the way lost in the magical fairyland.

Down to the plains, the spring colors are brilliant with pink peaches, yellow apricots, blooming flowers. Going back to Hang Kia, getting lost among plum gardens stretching to the top, there is such a pristine spring.

The roads through the forest of white plum blossoms
The roads through the forest of white plum blossoms. Photo: hungmanhnguyen


Cloud hunting in Hang Kia

Do not wait until the plum blossom season in Hang Kia calls spring, the valley always welcomes the "cloud hunters" who have worn the heels of Ban Lac, Ta Xua, and Y Ty, now unable to resist the magical beauty of the sea of ??clouds. here. 

The sea of ??clouds is magically beautiful
Beautiful sea of ??clouds. Photo: tuoitre

Cloud season in Hang Kia lasts from October to April of the solar calendar, the most dense clouds are from November to February of the solar calendar. However, the clouds in the sky, which are inherently fleeting, change. To have the most complete "cloud hunting", you should pay attention to the weather forecast in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh.

The temperature is below 20 degrees Celsius, the wind speed is below 8 km/h, and it is sunny, which are the ideal conditions for clouds to rush to the valley. To calculate the date of departure, you see the forecast when the monsoon or rain comes, followed by strong sunshine. Hunting clouds at Hang Kia Mai Chau in those days surely you will not be disappointed. 

Get up early to hunt for clouds at Hang Kia
Get up early to hunt for clouds at Hang Kia. Photo: LinhTV

The most beautiful time of the rattan garden is around 5-10 am. If you wake up early, you will admire the magical and dreamy beauty when the sunrise dyes a soft orange-pink color on the clouds. After the sun rises, the carpet of clouds turns white like cotton candy, swirling around the undulating mountain peaks. 

Early clouds hovering at Heaven's Gate
Early clouds hovering over Heaven's Gate. Photo: mieu

Arriving in town, you rent a motorbike to go to Heaven's Gate - a place to admire and hunt clouds beautifully and surely built by locals. Entrance ticket is only 20,000 VND. Here you can also check in the romantic butterfly flower garden, or sit on the swing to admire the scenery and take pictures of the precarious pictures between the expensive clouds and sky. 

Swings fly to the sea of ??clouds
The swing "flys out" to the sea of ??clouds. Photo: hktr

Even on clear days, Hang Kia Heaven Gate is also a great viewing point covering the whole valley, seeing as far as Pu Luong peak (Thanh Hoa) and Pha Luong peak (Son La) towering over the horizon. 

Sunrise dyes the sky pink
Sunrise dyes the sky pink. Photo: kenhtinggame

Hang Kia Mai Chau - The original cultural identity of the Mong people

Hang Kia is a new destination in Hoa Binh that has not been touristized, so the unique cultural features of the Mong ethnic people are preserved almost intact. Going deep into the village, you can see children playing around on zigzag roads.

In the yard, firewood is piled up, the Hmong women are diligently embroidering, and a thin smoke rises from the top of the kitchen. There is a rhythm of life in Hang Kia as idyllic and quiet as it has been for thousands of generations, making the noisy streets of the city quiet. 

The simple life of the Mong people in Hang Kia
The simple life of the Mong people in Hang Kia. Photo: farwegotravel

Hmong women learn linen weaving, embroidery, and beeswax painting on fabrics very early. After returning from a satisfying rattan hunt, you can experience wax painting, indigo dyeing, brocade weaving, and medicinal leaf foot baths in local people's houses; or even go with them to the mountains to pick San Tuyet tea, grow vegetables, and harvest corn. Those will all be unforgettable memories that are not easy to get. 

Hmong women learn the craft of drawing beeswax very early
Hmong women learn the profession of drawing beeswax very early. Photo: baotuyenquang

Hang Kia also has many delicious mountain specialties such as fragrant honey grilled chicken, herb marinated chicken, grilled pork, grilled stream fish, buffalo cooked with lom leaves, upland sticky rice dipped with sesame salt, etc.

An experienced Mai Chau tourist also advises that if you go in a large group, you can buy a wild boar of about 10-15 kg and then hire someone to process it. A whole pig-man feast consisting of roasted, steamed meat, boiled intestines, stewed bones with bitter bamboo shoots, and a few more bowls of blood soup at a very affordable price. 

Specialty pig man in the Northwest mountains
Specialty pig man of the Northwest mountains. Photo: victorioussan

If you go on the weekend, you should spend time walking around Pa Co market . This market is held every Sunday, located between the centers of 3 communes: Hang Kia, Pa Co (Mai Chau) and Loong Luong (Moc Chau, Son La). The fair is a place to trade and exchange goods, as well as a meeting place for people in the highlands. 

Bustling Pa Co fair market
Bustling Pa Co market. Photo: vovlive

Pa Co fair sells everything in the world from agricultural products, livestock to fabrics, brocades, household items, cosmetics, fresh vegetables and fruits... Market goers are as crowded as a festival. Of course, it is indispensable for delicious dishes at the market such as bun cha, vermicelli, ... many tourists are eager to taste it every time they come to Mai Chau. Here, it is likely that you will choose unique gifts to bring back after your Hoa Binh trip .

Experience moving to Hang Kia Mai Chau

The road to Hang Kia is now flat, motorbikes and 7-seater cars go up to the cloud hunting spot without climbing. The road is a bit steep, it is necessary to check the brakes carefully but not too challenging the steering wheel. 

Ride a motorbike to check in the picturesque roads
Ride a motorbike to check in the picturesque roads. Photo: vnexpress

If you take a bus, you can catch the bus at Yen Nghia or My Dinh wharf on the routes to Mai Chau or Son La. Through Thung Khe pass, go to Hong Nhung gas station, look to the left, see Hang Kia sign, get off the bus, take a motorbike taxi or hire a taxi to continue.

According to self-sufficient travel experience in Mai Chau , riding a motorbike is the most convenient. You follow the route Thang Long Boulevard - National Highway 6 towards Moc Chau, meet Hong Nhung gas station in Pa Co area, see the signpost, you just drive straight into the village.

Hang Kia's sky and clouds are as beautiful as a fairy tale
Clouds and sky Hang Kia is as beautiful as a fairy tale. Photo: kenhtinggame

You can choose to stay in a homestay or apply to stay in a homestay at Hang Kia - Pa Co to catch the dawn in the sea of ????clouds early in the morning. 

Hang Kia Mai Chau is the most beautiful cloud season. What are you waiting for without buying clothes, fully charging the engine battery, filling up the car with gasoline, traveling the winding mountain passes in the Northwest, leaving the noisy streets to Hang Kia in a peaceful corner of the mountains. 

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