Moc Chau has long been called Muong Mok, its ancient name meaning the mountain village of cloud and fog. Moc Chau is not only the land of greenery but also the paradise of fogand cloud. Topographic and geologic characteristics, along with climate, are tourism potentials for Moc Chau.
Located in Son La province, 180 kilometers from Hanoi, Moc Chau Plateau Moc Chau, one of the biggest plateaus in the country, stretches some 80km long and 25km wide, and stands about 1,050m above sea level. As a result, its average temperature is a cool 16-26 degrees Celsius. The climate is ideal for resorts and eco-tourism. In the winter, from Pha Luong and Van Ho peak visitor can view the beautiful Moc Chau plateau in the season of fog.
In October, 1955, soldiers of Regiment 280 under Division 335 participated in building Moc Chau farm which launched the Party and Presidency of Ho Chi Minh. After 60 years, Moc Chau Plateau, a land of wilderness, has become more beautiful with streets, houses, and farms of tea trees and grassland. Tea, milk, vegetables and fruits are currently well-known tourism products of Moc Chau. Moc Chau has become a key economic district in Son La province and the northwest region.
Moc Chau has many tourist attractions, such as a floating maket on Da River, Doi Cave, Son Moc Huong Cave, Ang Village pine hill, Dai Yem water fall, five caves in On Village, Xuan Nha National Nature Conservation Area and Phieng Luong peak.
The system of archaeological sites along the Da River, including Tang Me burial cave, animal fossils at Chieng Yen and marks carved in stone of Xuan Nha area, as well as other historical sites, are well-known tourist destination in Moc Chau. Beside the sites, Moc Chau also has many hot springs in Muong Khoa, Phu Mao, Bo Village and Hua Pang.
One of the tourism potentials of Moc Chau is the diverse and unique culture of ethnic groups, including White Thai, Muong, Mong, Dao, Xinh Mun and Kho Mu. With different customs, the ethnic groups have created a wide range of cultures and festivals.
With the tourism potentials, Moc Chau has attracted a large number of visitors. According to the Son La provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Moc Chau has enjoyed a continuous increase in the number of tourists, from 288,000 arrivals in 2010, to 600,000 in 2013 and about 850,000 in 2014, mainly during holidays, winter and spring when plum and peach flowers blossom, and during the Mong New Year festival in September.
Under the plan, the Moc Chau National Tourism Zone, covering 206,150 hectares in Moc Chau and Van Ho district, will feature diversified and unique tourism products with high competitiveness along with natural landscapes and ethnic cultural identities.
The zone is expected to welcome 1.2 million holidaymakers by 2020 and 3 million by 2030, generating revenues of 1 VND.5 trillion (US$ 71.4 million) and VND 6 trillion (US$ 285.7 million) respectively. It will target visitors from the Red River Delta and the northern midland and mountainous region as well as those from foreign markets such as Western Europe, North America, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia.
The zone will include three key tourism centres: the Moc Chau relaxation centre, the Moc Chau eco-tourism centrer and the Moc Chau recreational centre. Community-based tourism villages will be formed in Dong Sang, Muong Sang, Tan Lap communes in Moc Chau district and Chieng Khoa commune in Van Ho district.
Son La province and Moc Chau district are scheduled to hold a ceremony in January, 2015 to announce the Prime Minister’s decision. As part of the event, an investment promotion programme for provinces in the northwest region, a conference reviewing tourism in eight provinces in northwest region and a photo exhibition on Son La province and Moc Chau district, as well as other cultural activities, will be held.