Tuan Giao Travel Guide
One reason to linger in this remote mountain town is that Tuan Giao attracts a lot of ethnic minorities who still dress in the traditional way — particularly White Thai and H'mong — and it's a good spot along the route to Dien Bien Phu to take some of those classic photos you'll want to send back home.
The trip from Son La to Dien Bien Phu used to be a bumpy, 155 km ride along a narrow, poorly paved road that hugged the sides of every mountain and provided breathtaking vistas at every turn. Fortunately the road improvements have now been completed, resulting in one of the smoothest road surfaces in Vietnam.
Of course, the roadworks haven't straightened the roads or improved the suspension on the buses, so you can still expect a relatively slow and bumpy ride for some sections of the route.
As you enter Tuan Giao from the east on Highway six, the road tees. Most of the town is to the right, and Highway 6 continues on 90km to Dien Bien Phu to the left.
Despite it's remote location, Tuan Giao is wired. There are a few internet cafes in town, but the most reliable option is the post office (3,000 VND / hour).
Post Office: Highway 6, Tuan Giao. T: (0230) 386 2935, F: (0230) 386 2386, Hours: 07:00 to 21:00 daily.
How to get there :
Tuan Giao bus station is right in the centre of town, near the T-junction Ben Xe Tuan Giao: T: (0230) 386 2469. Ticket office hours: 05:00 to 23:00
Dien Bien Phu departing at 06:30, 07:30, 11:30 and costing 40,000 VND.
Ha Noi (My Dinh) departing at 05:00, 07:00, 09:00, 10:30, and costing 165,000 VND, and departing 17:45, costing 230,000
Ha Noi (Giap Bat) departing at 17:15, 19:00 and 20:30, and costing 240,000 VND.
Son La departing at 06:30, 07:00, 08:00, 10:00 and costing around 45,000 VND.
Thai Binh departing at 05:30, 07:00 and costing 235,000 VND.
Muong Lay departing at 06:30 and 14:30, and costing 235,000 VND.
To pick up a through bus in either direction, wait at the T-junction on the Dien Bien Phu side and wave down the bus. Price will depend upon type of bus and negotiation.