Fast Facts: Son La Vietnam
Province located in Northwest Vietnam
Population: approximately 1 million
Home of the Black and White Tai
Off the beaten track adventures, gate way to West Vietnam and Dien Bien Phu, ethnic minoirties and ethnic markets, some trekking options, Son La Prision.
Son La, the fifth largest province in the country, is located in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Eighty percent of the province’s natural area is covered with mountains. The province is populated by various ethnic groups, including the Ma, H’mong, Dao, Muong, Kinh, Khmer, Tay, Thai, and so on. Son La has a temperate climate throughout the year.
Tham Tet Tong is a complex of marvelous grottoes located only 1.5 km from Son La. Excursions to Tay Bac Mountains and bathing at Ban Mong Hot Springs are available. Visits to ethnic minorities hamlets are also popular.
The Son La Provincial Museum was originally a penitentiary built by the French in 1908. At first, it was only a small provincial prison. But between 1930 and 1945, thousands of Vietnamese were imprisoned here. In 1962, it was classified by the Ministry of Culture as one of the numerous revolutionary heritage sites in the country.
The penitentiary was partially rebuilt after 1952 bombings and visitors can visit the subterraneous tiny cells with food-serving hatches and leg irons. The museum also exhibits precious objects introducing the historical and cultural traditions of 12 ethnic groups living in Son La province. Son La Provincial Museum welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every year.