Lai Chau Overview
Lai Chau is a frontier province, which is 450km to the northwest of Hanoi. The province shares the common border with China on the north, with Dien Bien province on the west and southwest, with Lao Cai on the east, with Yen Bai in the southeast, and with Son La on the south.
Topography Lai Chau’s topography is featured with Northwest - Southeast mountain ranges and high peaks such as Pu Sa Leng peak (3.096m), Pu Sam Cap (1.700m). The well-known mountain ranges include Hoang Lien Son in the east, Song Ma in the west. The landscape is also characterized by high and steep mountains and hills alternated with deep and narrow valleys. The valleys are quiet flat, and some of which have become popular destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists, namely Tam Duong, Binh Lu, Than Uyen, Muong So valleys. The scenery becomes much more romantic and peaceful with the appearance of many plateaus, rivers and streams.
Climate Lai Chau features the typical tropical climate with two distinct seasons: dry season and rainy season. Rainy season starts from May to September with much rain, high temperature and humidity. If you travel to Lai Chau in June, July, August of lunar calendar, be prepared that you trip might be interrupt due to hard rain. It is because 80% the rainfall of the year is allocated within these months. The average temperature in rainy season ranges from 25 – 35oC. Dry and cold season begins from November to March of the following year. This season is featured with cold weather and low humidity. The temperature falls really low during these months with the lowest temperature of 4-5oC and thick mist, dry and cold wind, and frost. April and October is the transition period from rainy season to dry season. During these months, there is great difference between temperature at day and at night. Sometimes, temperature in the afternoon reaches 38oC and falls down to 18-20oC.
Tourism With scenic landscape, rich cultural features, Lai Chau promises to be a great destination for traveling. Tourists visiting Lai Chau can enjoy the majestic scenery, visit local villages to learn new knowledge about Vietnam culture in general and local culture in particular. Sin Ho village is a mountainous village in Lai Chau Province, where various ethnic groups are living together. The village is a 38km climb on road off National Route 12. On Sunday, ethnic people in their most beautiful costumes flock to the market, creating a very colorful picture. The province is home to 20 ethnic minority groups, each of which has its own cultural features. You can experience the traditional culture by joining the highland market sessions.
Transportation Lai Chau town is about 402km to the northwest of Hanoi. The transportation of the province is mainly by road. The National Highway No.12 connects Dien Bien Phu City to Ma Lu Thang Border Gate crossing Lai Chau, and National Highway No.4D links Lai Chau with Sapa Town.