The first thing we did to tackle the 55 km Ta Nang-Phan Dung trek across three Vietnamese provinces was to get off to a really late start.
The late start from Ho Chi Minh City to where the trek would begin would help us avoid the daytime heat.So we - a group of nine - were cycling at 8pNS.NS.one day in July and went to Ta Nang commune, Duc Trong district, Lam Dong province, Central Highlands.
Before long, our bicycles made their way through the still night in the glow of the lights, with houses and their fellow prisoners fast asleep on either side.We passed through Chuoi pass, Bao Loc before arriving at Da Loan market, Duc Trong district at 2:30 a.m, after six hours.
We decided to rest in a sleeping bag right at the market before waking up at 6aNS.NS.to buy some more hiking accessories.
From Da Loan market to Ta Nang commune, the starting point of our journey, we encountered a lot of trouble on the dirt road and even a few small accidents before we reached the guesthouse of Dieu, the porter and guide. our main lead.
After resting a bit at Dieu's, we started our journey into the forest around 8aNS.NS.
Ta Nang-Phan Dung trekking route through Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces is praised as the most beautiful in Vietnam, but it is a difficult route with many steep rocky slopes.The peaks are up to 1,800 meters high.It is safer to pay a little more and hire a few experienced porters who also know the way in the woods.
A Ta Nang hill.Photo by Trinh Kien.
The first day
We first walked through rows of old pines standing like the sturdy ancient guardians, swaying in unison with every strong wind that passed through.
Before long, this gentle walk gets heavier as the path climbs steep slopes.I was exhausted in quick time despite being a walking enthusiast.I needed a short break beside the refreshing little streams and was very grateful for the dedicated support of our porters and team leader.Therefore, it is better to exercise before embarking on this trip.
We also encountered a few snakes, so that's also something to keep in mind.Fortunately, our leader is very good at detecting dangers early and keeping us out of danger.
Despite facing steeper slopes, the latter part of our trek was energised as we passed through the verdant Ta Nang hills, one of the most photogenic views of the route.
After several grueling hours, we call it a day.As soon as we finished setting up camp, it started to rain heavily and the rushing water washed away our fatigue.At night, under the starry sky, we sat around the campfire and enjoyed a grilled dinner with some rice wine, everything became much tastier and more satisfying because of the effort we put into it. get there.
Ta Nang peaks. Photo by Xu Kien
We woke up early, at 5 a.m, do not miss sunrise.Each ray of sunlight seems to do something different with the Ta Nang landscape.After watching the process in silent awe, we had a quick breakfast and cleaned up the camp to begin our second day, heading to Phan Dung Mountain.
To scale this peak, we had to climb the steepest and scariest slope of the trip, appropriately called the exclamation "Me oi" (similar to Oh God).Our experienced porters encouraged us saying that once we got over the slope, the trek would be almost complete, leaving only gentle hikes.
Climbing the slope lined with bamboo bushes soon exhausted us, but we continued, one step at a time, to the top.Accompanying the immense satisfaction of reaching the high point of our trip was the culmination of being part of the wonderful scenery that lay before our eyes.
The dense mountains with old natural forests seemed to invite us to come, and that was an invitation we accepted as we began to descend.The thickness of the forest was such that we had to make sure we didn't get lost moving in rows, with the person in front virtually creating a route.At some intersections, we have made extra efforts to block misalignments with rocks and tree trunks so others can avoid getting lost later.
Resisting sweat and mud, we chose to take a steep, difficult road to the majestic Yaly waterfall in Phan Dung commune, Binh Thuan province.We climbed over slippery, moss-covered rocks that wouldn't have been able to hold onto if it had rained the day before.Rain can also make fast-flowing streams very dangerous to cross.However, all the struggle paid off when it came to the charming Yaly Falls.
The Yaly Falls.Photo by Trinh Kien.
The mere sight of the cascade energized us and not having showered for two days, it was hard to resist taking a dip in the cool waters of the streaNS.
As night fell, we camped near the falls and fell asleep listening to its comforting sounds.Music to the ears, literally.
The next day, we came out of the woods and into a local village and spent more time relaxing there before catching up to where our bikes were parked.
Away from it all for three days into the folds of the mountains reminded us of another real world we needed to connect and bond with.
Transport: You can fly to the Lien Khuong Airport in Lam Dong Province from northern or central Vietnam an any Vietnamese carrier – Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet or Bamboo Airways.From the airport take a bus to Ta Nang commune.If you decide not to take the plane, Dao Van, Thien Hien, Minh Thu, Hiep Duc, Ngoc Hung, Van Nhan are some of the coach/bus services.
From Ho Chi Minh City, you can ride My Hien, Nguyen Kim, Thanh Binh Xanh or take a motorbike to Ta Nang commune.
Porters: It is highly recommended that you hire porters on this trek, as guides and help in carrying luggage.We highly recommend Dieu (tel: 0369 617 5846), a Ta Nang resident whose top-notch and invaluable service.
Budget: The 3-day journey cost us about VND2-2.5 million ($108) each.
Time: The Ta Nang-Phan Dung is a long and difficult trekking path that is best done in three days to have enough time to rest throughout.
Precautions: The route has different dangers throughout the year.In the dry season, from January to May, the hay often catches fire, while in the rainy season, from June to December, floods are frequent.The rainy season has caused a number of fatal accidents, and walking at this time is not advisable.Plan accordingly.
Food: With adequate groceries, the guides-cum-porters can help with cooking throughout the trek.
Trekking equipment: Trekking shoes and a pair of slippers are a must.Hats, waterproof bags and flashlights are also recommended.
Water: Water is essential, of course.So let's arrange four liters a day, split into two bottles.Keeping the body hydrated throughout the journey is a must.
Maps: With Ta Nang - Phan Dung’s twists and turns, it is recommended to keep at least one physical map of the area in the bag and one offline trekking map in the smart phone, considering the lack of internet connection in the forest.
Xu Kien's trekking group in a pine forest submerged in fog, Ta Nang Commune.Xu Kien's photo.
Xu Kien, a 28-year-old Ho Chi Minh City resident, travels around Vietnam and writes books and a travel blog.
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