Lung Van, also called Van Son is a rural commune of Tan Lac district, Hoa Binh province in the northwest region of Hanoi. It is about 40 km from Hoa Binh City, and 130 km from downtown Hanoi.
Located at an altitude of 1,200m above sea level, Lung Van is famous for its spectacular natural scenery and the rich culture of the Muong ethnic group. It also offers several travel options including homestay experience, trekking, cycling, and motorcycle tours.
Lung Van means “The Valley of Cloud” in Vietnamese. This place is considered “The Roof of Muong Bi” one of the four major and the most ancient cultural cradles of the Muong ethnics in Hoa Binh Province (Muong Bi, Muong Vang, Muong Thang, and Muong Dong).
According to the “Land and Water” epic of the Muong ethnic people in Hoa Binh, Lung Van was once a peaceful village which was then completely destroyed by a devastating flood and no one survived after the flood except for a couple who was saved by being stuck in a giant tree, called Bi.
The tree had deep roots in nine rivers and ten mountains so it was not swept away. Having no place to live, the couple built a tent under the tree to live and they reclaimed new land for farming, tamed wild animals for raising, made containers to get water and then established a hamlet and named it after the tree to show their gratitude to the tree that saved their lives.
The present-day Muong Bi is a vast mountainous area including several communes of Tan Lac District. Lung Van is the highest place where the Muong ethnic people are living, and it is believed to be the place where the Bi tree grew.
Lung Van is still unfamiliar to many people including both Vietnamese and international travelers. It’s an off-the-beaten path destination! The village has still kept intact many traditional cultural and architectural features, such as tortoise-shaped roofs and Muong women’s dresses.
The best time to visit Lung Van falls into February – April. During these months, Lung Van is covered by white clouds. It is also the time for the Muong people to prepare for a new crop on terraced fields. So far, they have maintained their traditional farming method.
With a pure atmosphere, spectacular scenery and peaceful life, Lung Van is really an ideal place for those who want to escape the noisy urban life and discover the unique cultural features of the Muong ethnic people.