As if in a fairytale, I found myself lost in a mystical moss-covered forest on an adventure to Tay Con Linh mountain peak in Ha Giang Province.
Tay Con Linh is situated along the Chay River mountain range.Spreading along Hoang Su Phi and Vi Xuyen districts, the mountain peak is 46 km from Ha Giang Town, the capital of the province of the same name.The mountain has an altitude of 2,428 m and is considered sacred by the La Chi ethnic community.
My guide Trieu Menh Kinh is a Red Dao from Thong Nguyen Village.He has eight years of experience in the field of community tourism, helping him skillfully shepherd any backpacker across Ha Giang.
At 9 o'clock a.m on an early morning in September, our group departed for Kinh house, following the cement road from Nam Hong village to the foot of the mountain.Because it is the harvest season, we have been given a tranquil picture by nature with golden terraces reaching up to the blue sky, green streams, and peaceful houses of the Dao, Tay, and Nung ethnic groups. .
Terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi District, Ha Giang Province.Xu Kien's photo.
The expedition started off on a rough note as we walked towards Nhung Village, with rocky and muddy paths soon replacing the smooth cement roads.
After lunch at Tung San village, we continue our journey up the mountain.The deeper we penetrate its surroundings, the more obstacles appear, with sharper and more zigzag turns than ever before. I held my breath every time Kinh’s motorbike came a tad too close to the edge.We went to a H'mong woman's house next to a bamboo forest, parked there and started going up Tay Con Linh.
The first steps were not the easiest, Kinh led us along a stream bordered by slippery rocks.The road does not seem to be frequented as a thick layer of moss covers the rock.And since I went there during the flood season, the water came pouring down from above.
Behind the stream appeared a verdant garden of lanxangia tsaoko, a ginger-like plant used for medicine and cooking.The burgundy fruits are in season and neatly concentrated at the base.The plants grew wild and in every direction that even our guide had to take note of as we navigated the maze-like garden.
Wild flowers on the way to Tay Con Linh peak.Xu Kien's photo.
The more we ventured into the bushy expanse, the steeper the slope became.Centuries-old trees flank both sides of our path to add an enchanting feel to the forest.
Out of nowhere, a dense branch suddenly popped out of the tree and landed on the ground, disturbing the eerie silence of the forest.Chills ran down my spine as I quickly scanned the crew to confirm everyone was fine.To my relief, we passed the dangerous road safely.
Continuing our progress, we noticed rows of illegally axed Po Mu and Ngoc Am trunks lying nearby.Because wood is precious, rare and in constant demand, many people sneak into the forest to get rich.Along the way, I also encountered bowls and plates left behind by those who had gone before us.Their rusty color further accentuates the derelict feel of the forest, as if neglected for years.
Finally, after a day of walking, we crossed a narrow bridge to reach a slum at an altitude of 1,848 meters.Initially, this work was erected as a stopover for the local H'Mong people who regularly visit the forest.Over time, Kinh made a deal with its owner to provide accommodation for tourists, equipping the slum with thick blankets, dishes, and cutlery.
At 5 pm.m, the whole group was completely exhausted after a hard day of climbing.As one, we make use of the nearby spring to wash away our accumulated sweat and dirt.Even though the water was as cold as ice, I had no choice but to pour a bucket of water over my head.
Passing an old tree stump, a crewman reported what appeared to be a venomous snake whose head he saw protruding from the trunk.
During the rainy season, snakes appear in greater numbers along the route, making the presence of an experienced guide all the more important.To avoid an incident, the three Red Dao men set out to kill the snake, and returned half an hour later with a muscular black-and-white snake whose fangs had been ripped off.We don't want to kill animals in the wild, but we have no choice but to avoid danger.
That night, we ate wild vegetables, frogs huddled near the river, snake meat.
Warmed by a cozy fire, we sipped on a glass of traditional goat wine to end an eventful day.
The next morning, we awoke to the pleasant rustle of a nearby stream and the cheerful chirping of birds.I stepped out into the slums and was greeted by a thick opaque fog, a new day had begun.We fueled ourselves with hearty bowls of noodles and rice before continuing the second day of our Tay Con Linh expedition.
At 7 o'clock.30 a.m, the crew begins their trip.The scriptures told us the trip from our squalid slum to the top of the mountain would take two to three hours depending on our pace.
Our second day trip was covered in thick fog.We were surrounded by moss-covered oak trees.The higher you go, the harder the old trees become to walk and navigate.For a brief moment, I thought I had entered another dimension.
Mystical moss-covered forest on the way to Tay Con Linh peak.Xu Kien's photo.
From time to time, Kinh would hit out at snakes found along the way.
Interspersed with the towering ancient trees are centuries-old tea trees from which white flowers bloom, covering the entire forest floor. Amongst the white flowers were ngoc cau, a rare species of burgundy mushrooms only found at an altitude upwards of 2,000 m.They are commonly used to make medicinal wine that is good for bones and joints.
Ngoc Cau mushrooms in the forest leading to Tay Con Linh peak.Xu Kien's photo.
As we neared the top, both the temperature and air pressure dropped.I gasped and dragged my feet through the wooded paths, feeling my energy drain for a moment.Kinh informed the crew that the altitude was 2,400 m and the peak was only 28 m away.
Energized by this encouraging news, the group sped up to finally reach the summit of Tay Con Linh, where we were treated to a beautiful mountain top view.
We ended our trip with another path descending from above, beautiful flowers of all shades declaring our victory.
Tay Con Linh peak.Xu Kien's photo.
Limousine bus: Since the route is less frequented, there are not as many shuttle buses that run through the region.If departing from Hanoi, you can refer to Ngoc Cuong, Cau Me, Quang Nghi, Quang Giang, Dang Quang bus services to go to Tan Quang fork in Ha Giang province.From here, you can catch a second bus to Thong Nguyen Village.After that, the Thong Nguyen bus service can be contacted at this number: 0966 212 213.However, motorbikes are the only means of transportation from Hoang Su Phi to Tay Con Linh.
Motorbike: If you are feeling more adventurous, you can travel by motorbike from Hanoi to Tay Con Linh mountain base directly.However, this option is not recommended as the pass can be dangerous with sharp turns and uneven surfaces, especially for first-timers unfamiliar with the route.It is best to book in advance a knowledgeable guide who will take you by motorbike to Tay Con Linh.
Accommodation: Stay at Kinh Homestay, Dao Homestay, or Hoang Su Phi Bungalow when in Hoang Su Phi District.During your journey, you will spend the night in a Hmong slum at an altitude of 1,848 m (the fee is included in the tour).
Food: Mainly homemade meals of specialties including prairie chicken, wild boar, forest vegetables, goat rice wine, and corn wine.
Porter: Despite being dubbed the rooftop of the northeast, Tay Con Linh is not over-frequented.Due to the lack of tourists, the route can be maze-like and confusing.This is considered by the locals as a spiritual place of the ethnic community with many stories of mysterious disappearances.So highly recommended to book a guide.Kinh is an experienced, dedicated backpacker who knows the way around Tay Con Linh like the back of his hand.To make a reservation, you can contact him on 0988 070 619.
Tour pricing: The tour costs VND1.3 million ($56) if you depart from Nam Hong Village and 4 million from Hanoi.Fees include meals, accommodation, motorbike rental and tour guide.The minimum number of people in the crew starts from four people and cuts at 16 people.
Ideal time to visit: The most ideal time to climb Tay Con Linh is in the dry season that begins at the end of September and ends in April.You can enjoy the golden terraced fields in the fall, the water season in April, or the red azaleas in early spring.You should avoid visiting from May to September during the flood season when snakes are abundant.
Mountain-climbing gear: Whilst Tay Con Linh is not that tall, its paths are rocky and bendy.Make sure you bring the right gear such as trekking poles, flashlight, waterproof backpack, suitable boots or shoes to prevent dangerous snakebites, gloves and wide-brimmed hat.At such a height, Tay Con Linh can also get cold quickly, so pack adequate and appropriate clothes.
Xu Kien and a H'mong elderly woman at the foot of Tay Con Linh Mountain.Dinh Xuan Chien's photo.
*Xu Kien, 28, is from the central province of Quang Ngai and lives in Ho Chi Minh City.She travels around Vietnam, writes books and writes travel blogs.
Từ vựng liên quan
Tin tức liên quan
Thousands of pharmacies might lose their licenses for failing to comply with new regulation on controlling medicine sales.
Leading stock brokerages like VPS, Mirae Asset, VNDirect, HSC, and FPTS have announced that the cancelation and modification options could be again used except during peak trading hours.
The African swine fever epidemic has caused a spike in pork imports and authorities are calling for stockpiling the meat.
South Korea's new daily Covid-19 cases rose above 7,000 for the first time, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Wednesday, putting hospital capacity under strain as deaths and severe cases rise.
Italian regulators hit Amazon with a 1.1-billion-euro ($1.3-billion) antitrust fine Thursday for allegedly abusing its dominance in the market, the latest action against U.S. Big Tech in the E.U.
A group of crime police stationed down the street chase him down.
As the novel coronavirus continues to stalk Vietnam, bus and taxi drivers are grappling with how to stay healthy without losing their livelihood.
Chủ đề liên quan
Tin được xem nhiều nhất
Vietnam is among nations hardest hit by cryptomining attacks this year, says Moscow-based multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Many Vietnamese YouTube channels have produced comedy videos portraying ethnic minority life through distorted facts and smutty jokes, causing community backlash.
Coteccons will replace two board members with nominees of two major shareholders with whom the management has had a running battle since 2017.
When fall begins towards the end of September and start of October, Nam Hong Village in Ha Giang Province radiates the amber hue of autumn.