Around Sin Ho

Around Sin Ho

Coming and going win

More on Sin Ho

As with a number of the other smaller centres in the northwest, the main attraction here is the getting here. The scenery both between Muong Lay and Sin Ho and onwards between Sin Ho and Lai Chau is just magnificent.

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Vroom vroom. : Stuart McDonald.
Vroom vroom. Photo: Stuart McDonald

If you are travelling under your own steam, it is worth noting that the roads, while generally pretty good, particularly near Sin Ho are susceptible to landslides. When we were riding through here after heavy rain in September 2019, one stretch of road had been almost completely swept away. While the chances of you being swept away are minimal, you should bank of the occasional delay, of an hour or so if you are a bike, often considerably longer if travelling by bus or car.

We found the run up from QL12 on DT128 to be especially enjoyable. With almost no traffic, the road was tightly wrapped to the valley wall, making for excellent riding and plenty of spots to stop to enjoy the view up and down the valley. On the other side of Sin Ho, heading towards Lai Chau is an excellent stretch which loops around the northern end of a broad rice field valley. The views are superb, especially with clear weather.

On the road from Sin Ho to Lai Chau. : Stuart McDonald.
On the road from Sin Ho to Lai Chau. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In Sin Ho itself, aside from the pond and the market there isn’t much in the way of sights, though the setting, surrounded by stubby karsts and rice fields, is scenic. On Sundays the central market goes off with people from the surrounds trekking in for the affair. If you can time your trip to coincide with this, that would be sensible.

On a past visit to Sin Ho it was suggested we visit some of the local ethnic minority villages. The village of Xa De Phin was recommended to us—it’s apparently 5 km from the town centre along the road to Muong Lay, and after the turnoff onto a dirt road, it’s another 5 km. We didn’t have time to visit it this time around. The Phuc Tho Hotel or Thanh Binh Hotel would be good places to ask for advice regarding finding a guide.

Reviewed by

Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

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