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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A picturesque route in the north

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A group of travelers explores a route spanning four northern provinces, including Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang and Ha Giang.

We made up our mind to travel on a route running through these four provinces by motorbike.

The motorbike is an ideal means for our trip as it allows us to get through small paths, dried-up streams, jungle paths and high slopes rather easily. Moreover, we could come closer to the untapped and majestic beauty of the northern mountainous region.

It took us three days and two nights to complete the Tuyen Quang-Bac Kan-Cao Bang-Ha Giang route.

We started from Tan Yen in Tuyen Quang Province. The first stop was Na Hang Lake where the Gam and Nang rivers meet. A view of the mountain encircling the lake was as beautiful as a watercolor painting. The emerald green water and the big trees gave us a peaceful nap on the spot. We lay on the grass under the shade of a giant tree feeling the gentle winds.

The next leg was much longer as we traveled 83 kilometers from Na Hang Lake to Ba Be Lake. It took three hours to reach the lake. On our way were passes and streams which prompted us to spend time enjoying the landscapes. Upon arrival in the afternoon, we saw sunlight shining on the surface of the lake, creating a unique yellow color.


We went around on the road that enabled us to admire the Ba Be Lake from different angles. Spending the night in a stilt house leaning against the mountainside was a quite different experience when one could hear the howl of the winds blowing through big stones.

In early morning, the lake was haft-hidden in thin fog, suggesting the image of a white fairyland. Departing in early morning was a good chance to take photos of mountains under the sun and peaceful villages in a valley. It was such a beautiful moment.

We continued our trip on a 20-kilometer road from Phia Den to Phia Oac passes in Cao Bang Province. The road was lined with bamboos in the morning breeze. We stopped at Tinh Tuc, a little village in Nguyen Binh, to taste a local specialty called banh cuon trung (rice cake stuffed with egg) served with a dipped sauce made from bone broth.

Then, we traveled to Ha Giang Province where vast rice fields and mountain ranges stretching to the horizon was the dominant terrain.

What remained in our mind were high mountains, abysses and local people who always keep smiling despite difficult circumstances. We climbed over mountains and passes to reach Ha Giang’s Meo Vac Village. We stayed overnight there.

In the following morning, our next leg was Dong Van Village. The way leading to Dong Van fascinated us with the beauty of the Nho Que River, Ma Pi Leng Pass, “Death” cliff, to name but a few.

Dong Van Village was our final destination on the trip. We returned to Ha Giang City in the afternoon. Tranquil villages, majestic mountains, deep valleys and winding rivers on the way were unforgettable.

By Nhat Ngo

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