Chưa phân loại Visit Na Khuong water wheel on a sunny day

Visit Na Khuong water wheel on a sunny day


The simple, rustic beauty of Na Khuong water wheel, Ban Bo commune, Tam Duong district (Lai Chau) associated with the daily life of the ethnic people here is a unique tourist destination not to be missed when you visit the land on the edge of the Northwest sky.

Getting on the Galaxy bus at 10:00 pm at My Dinh bus station, our two families were full of enthusiasm and headed straight to Lai Chau to explore the land on the edge of the Northwest sky in the cold days of late spring.

Depart from My Dinh bus station.Depart from My Dinh bus station.

The cold weather in the evening helped us quickly fall asleep despite the sleeper bus crawling slowly over the dangerous mountain pass. We all woke up when the bus conductor announced that we had arrived at Tam Duong town. The cold air hit our faces as the bus door opened and the clock struck 4am. We all quickly went into Phuong Oanh motel, a beautiful 3-storey accommodation located opposite Tam Duong central market. Without anyone telling us, we all quickly went to bed for more “navel sleep” and were only awakened when the sun knocked on the door.

Thanks to its prime location, we only took a few steps to Tam Duong market to enjoy the atmosphere of a highland market and recharge our batteries before traveling nearly 20 km to visit Na Khuong water wheel.

Tam Duong Central Market, Lai Chau.Tam Duong Central Market, Lai Chau.

The market is divided into separate areas, the center sells essential goods and services such as: clothes, shoes, hoes and shovels… The right side sells food for daily life. We met women and girls dressed in traditional costumes with bright faces entering the market.

Go shopping with grandmaGo shopping with grandma

On the left is the place reserved for “pig auctions”. A cultural space imbued with the identity of the highlands.

Pig auction location.Pig auction location.

The jet-black pigs with sparkling eyes carried the hope that someone would “bring them to their team”. We were almost convinced by them but quickly reconsidered because a question popped into our heads: “How can we raise them in the city?” No way… Mlem, Mlem. Well, we had to let someone else cherish and raise them better.

Waiting pig.Waiting pig.

Buy it, sister, this pig is guaranteed to give birth to 12 healthy piglets after 6 months, trust me. The bargaining continued, but I can only guess the content of the conversation 😊, because everything was exchanged through their traditional language.

The bargaining continued.The bargaining continued.

Walking around the market we all started to feel hungry, especially the kids, we decided to pick something to eat. Pho Nhang could be a great choice.

Let's have some Pho Nhang, guys?Let’s have some Pho Nhang, guys?

However, most of us voted to eat banh cuon to be healthy, the hot banh cuon did not disappoint anyone. Each person finished a full plate.

Hot rice rolls.Hot rice rolls.

However, the appeal of the 2k donut urged us to add 2 donuts to our “hungry stomachs” each.

2k donuts

So, with enough calories, we said goodbye to Tam Duong market and headed straight to Na Khuong water wheel in Ban Bo commune, Tam Duong, Lai Chau. The distance from Tam Duong town center to here is not too difficult. Traveling on winding roads through villages with the strong identities of the Thai, Mong, Giay, Dao, Lao ethnic groups… After about 30 minutes of traveling, the sound of the Nam Mu river seemed to urge us to move forward quickly.

There, in the distance, are 35 waterwheels constantly carrying water from the Nam Mu stream upstream to the fields of the Na Khuong valley. After parking our vehicles, everyone was eager to get closer to the masterpieces from the skillful hands of the local people. A bamboo bridge across the stream seemed to help us carry our emotions to the other side.

Bamboo bridge across the stream.Bamboo bridge across the stream.

But that’s a story for a few minutes to come, now let’s keep some memories at this poetic bridge, shall we?

Memories with the wooden bridge.Memories with the wooden bridge.

This is also the best place to observe and take beautiful pictures of the operation of the water wheels below.

Stay to take pictures of Na Khuong water wheel.

These Na Khuong water wheels are shaped like a “super giant” wheel, when turned they will emit a very beautiful and impressive flute sound. Thanks to being made from natural materials such as wood, rattan, bamboo, etc., these water wheels have a very simple, rustic beauty, imbued with the Northwestern mountains and forests.

Na Khuong water wheel seen from the wooden bridge.Na Khuong water wheel seen from the wooden bridge.

For the people in the commune, the Na Khuong water wheels are not only an irrigation project but also a unique cultural symbol, a part of the mountainous rice civilization, demonstrating the creativity of farmers. Coming here, just standing and taking a photo with these water wheels will give you a beautiful memory when traveling to Lai Chau .

The bridge is only a few dozen meters long, but it took us more than 10 minutes to cross. On the other side of the bridge are rows of thatched huts set up by locals to welcome visitors.

Cabin by the stream.

Luckily, there weren’t too many visitors, so we could enjoy the beautiful scenery and breathe in the fresh air, somewhere there was a faint aroma of something, which turned out to be the smell of grilled fish.

People are grilling fish.People are grilling fish.

We had such a full breakfast, but when we smelled this, we felt like we couldn’t control our salivation. The fish were caught right from the stream and were grilled on the grill, so golden. We decided to choose a rest stop at the end of the road to stop while waiting for the delicious fish dishes that had just been ordered.

Small family.Small family.

The sun and wind could not reduce the level of “freshness without watering” of the members of the group, even the youngest member.

Big happinessBig happiness

Oh fish, why is it taking so long? All eyes are on the girl grilling the fish, but the only answer I get is “almost there”. Well, I have to go check in before it gets too sunny.

Almost there, kids!Almost there, kids!

Boldly wading into the cool stream, photos with each person’s own style were created. For example, “Mother holding child Style” or “Muse in the city by the water wheel Style”. The amateur posing team can only do that, guys 😊.

Mother and child style.Mother and child style.

The Muse at Na Khuong Water WheelThe Muse at Na Khuong Water Wheel

Children can also be led by their parents to find small fish or crabs hiding under small rocks.

Let's go find crabs and fish.Let’s go find crabs and fish.

Or women can rent traditional costumes of the Thai, Dao, Giay, Lao ethnic groups… to create memorable souvenir photos.

Dao girl in Lao costume.Dao girl in Lao costume.

The boys often sacrifice themselves to take pictures of their muses or sometimes pose in the style of “the smiling, proud wanderer” or simply “a raftman on the stream”.

The Smiling, Proud Wanderer style.The Smiling, Proud Wanderer style.


The fun only ended when the sun was overhead and hungry stomachs were rumbling. A plate of delicious stream fish served with wild vegetables picked right by the stream, a plate of local chicken, some cabbage and boiled bamboo shoots was a simple but delicious lunch.

We all ate voraciously with the motto “not leaving any fish or chicken behind” and in the end, everything was clean. We lingered for a while, exchanged some beautiful photos, and then prepared to leave for Tam Duong when the clock struck 2pm.

Lunch by the stream.Lunch by the stream.

So, we had a memorable morning visiting Na Khuong water wheel, everything seemed to be very wild and intact the culture of the ethnic people here. A place that is not too noisy, not yet touristized. What are you waiting for, come visit this place in the nearest day.