Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Trails for Vietnam Discovery in 2016

So surprise when seeing stunning photos taken along trails stretching on this S-shaped country. Once riding through breathtaking, rustic, untouched but imposing regions in Vietnam, it will be the most memorable experience in life.

Here are the 16 best trails for Vietnam discovery in 2016. What makes you hesitate? Let snatch a motorbike and ride your own world. 

#1: Da Nang – Lang Co

Once set foot on Da Nang, don’t skip motorcycling on the trail Da Nang – Lang Co, just only 30km in length but splendidly beautiful. Its southern part features Hai Van pass – the highest and most imposing pass in Vietnam, while its northern part is Phu Gia pass appearing intermittently. Under Hai Van pass, it is Lang Co bay with fine, white sandy beaches stretch and interfuse with ultramarine water that makes anyone also love the bay right in first sight.

da nang - lang co vietnam


Hai Van pass

#2: Saigon – Ca Mau

Crushing this route, it is just the way to conquer the southernmost point of the country. Atmosphere and landscapes dominating this trail are imbued in essence of the South, with boundless rice paddies, wooden bridges and bamboo monkey bridges span over opaquely alluvial canals, and orchards laden with fruits.

>> Recommended journey: Mekong delta exploring on bike

Long An mangrove forest

Ben Tre

Ca Mau - the southernmost point

#3: Hanoi – Moc Chau – Ta Xua – Bac Yen

For ones who love coping with demanding challenges, it will be a pity if skipping this route, which leads to peacefully limitless flower grounds, and real heavens where sky and the earth blend into one… Let take an expedition to Pha Luong summit – the roof of Moc Chau plateau, or vanquish renowned spots like Kem slope, Cun slope and Thung Khe pass.

>> Ready to conquer: 
Pha Luong peak - Moc Chau



Moc Chau in seasons of flowers

Ta Xua

#4: Hanoi – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai 

With this trail, surmounting Khau Pha pass, the over-30-km pass rated as one of the four greatest passes in the North Vietnam, is a must. After crossing over ethereal fog covering Khau Pha, a majestic view will unfold with forests and mountains linking to picturesque rice terraces and tranquil villages of ethnic tribes.

>> Ride your world: Motorcycling west to east northern Vietnam

 Khau Pha pass

Mu Cang Chai

#5: Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu – A Pa Chai

Ideal time to ride on this trail is on the dry season from November to April. Eager more as it takes to meaningful place-names like the westernmost point of the country - A Pa Chai, one of the four greatest passes in the North namely Pha Din pass and the historical Command bunker of General De Castries.

>> For something unknown: Motorcycling on historical trail of North West


Pha Din pass

#6: Hanoi – Hai Hau

A mere 2 days on a weekend for the trip Hanoi - Hai Hau will be truly worthy. With a distance of barely 120km, this trail soon become a famous “night stormy” route. What is awaited more than welcoming first sunlight of dawn beaming down Hai Ly ruined cathedral (in Hai Hau) and admiring Phu Nhai church - the largest church in Southeast Asia in a quiet morning.



#7: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hoang Su Phi

This is one of “mecca” routes to the native backpackers as well as adventurous travelers and trekking lovers, with Vietnam's the hot hub of trekking - Sapa. If just reaching here once, it’s impossible to discover all various landscapes spectacular in an amazing way, from superb, towering Mount Fansipan – the roof of Indochina, O Quy Ho pass – the king pass among the four greatest passes in the North, to Vietnam's the recent snow heaven – Sapa, and Hoang Su Phi - land of alluring terraced fields.

>> Let travel: Conquer Vietnam north pole


 Mount Fansipan

 O Quy Ho pass



Hoang Su Phi

#8: Quan Ba - Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van – Meo Vac – Ha Giang city

Have you ever heard largest buckwheat fields in Vietnam spreading fabulously on the rock plateau, do you expect to conquer Lung Cu flag pole – the northernmost point of the country, or simply contemplate dreamy pine hills in Yen Minh and glide on meandering roads? If so, you will not be able to resist “charm” of this inspiring route.

>> Discover Vietnam's hidden Himalayas: Complete trekking in Ha Giang province





#9: Hanoi – Tam Dao

Another wonderful trail for a weekend trip if departing from Hanoi, Hanoi – Tam Dao. Just nearly 2 hours motorcycling, you will be lost in a white cloudy paradise.



#10: Hanoi – Nghia Dan

From November to the end of the year, Nghia Dan (in Nghe An province) will be mightily magnificent by vastest sunflower fields in Vietnam. This trip is also exciting with a visit to Kim Lien village, where Ho Chi Minh president was born and grew, and roaming on Mombasa grass fields, corn fields and farms of milk cows.


#11: Saigon – Dalat

After overcoming 107 sudden turns in Bao Loc pass, let your mind find to the cherry blossom road, the less-known marvelous maple forest and weird house blocks Paris in style settled right in Vietnam, or feel the gentle cold, breezes pervaded pine scent of highland, and creep of long-abandoned ghost villas.

>> Ride now: Mountain biking in Dalat




#12: Saigon – Binh Thuan – Lam Dong – Dong Nai

This trail offers diverse experiences: beating exactingly mountainous parts of Gia Bac pass on way to Di Linh, sinking into sea in Phan Thiet, admiring romantic landscapes in Dalat, turning urgently on Bao Loc pass, and sliding through green forests in Nam Cat Tien.

Binh Thuan

#13: Saigon – Nha Trang

Shifting along coastal roads, it is a chance to get into eyesight completely ravishing scenery of sea and serene sandy beaches along the roads. Not only attractive views, abundantly fresh and inexpensive seafood for free enjoying certainly please even gourmets that nowhere is better.

Nha Trang

#14: Saigon – Pleiku

Tasting tremble but being thrilling when crossing over the “death pass" Phuong Hoang. Dramatic mountainous landscapes and very special, very plain beauty of hamlets will make anyone also deeply attached and not want to leave.

>>  Head to Vietnam Central Highland: http://goo.gl/15s6Ee

Phuong Hoang pass

#15: Sai Gon – Binh Dinh

This trail will receive travelers with acutely green sight of rice fields and orchards along Di Linh district, and pretty sea in Quy Nhon, where the famous Vietnamese poet Han Mac Tu rested in peace. On this journey, let stop a little to look over immense Thi Nai lagoon, where the longest sea bridge in Vietnam spans over, and savor safe and sound minutes as looking sea and mountains in Eo Gio (Wind Channel). All are deserved to get.


Eo gio (Wind channel)

Thi Nai bridge 

#16: Ta Nang – Phan Dung

It’s not untruthful to say Ta Nang – Phan Dung is the most beautiful trekking trail in Vietnam. With a length to even 55km, it stretches over three provinces of Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. The trail bring trekkers varied challenges: walking inside forests, climbing passes and hills, and wadding over streams. However, the present received is absolutely worthy thanks to green scenery beyond eye-view of grass and trees, brilliant sunshine, and tortuous paths. All seemingly lead hikers to an endless paradise.




Vietnamese source: Tri thức trẻ

Monday, November 23, 2015

Overslept Ancient Town in Dong Van Rock Plateau

Used to be a busting border town in Dong Van plateau (Ha Giang province), but now Pho Bang is sunk into oblivion. It has seemingly overslept for a few decades.


In a journey to Ha Giang that travelers desire to find authentic tastes, they won’t miss Pho Bang. Dong Van district has two ancient towns of Dong Van and Pho Bang, in which Pho Bang’s population is about 500 Chinese people alternate with Hmong ethnics.   

Way to the overslept town

17 km from Yen Minh town, way to the town features tortuous slopes with radiant grounds of buckwheat flowers and wild marigold along 4C highway and on foot of sharp, soaring mountains.

There is a T-junction with ahead way to Sung La and the left turn to Pho Bang. Commonly, travelers will move straightly from Quan Ba – Yen Minh to Sung La – Lung Cu – Dong Van town and skip Pho Bang 5km away from the T-intersection. Owning to being sequestered and inconvenient to reach, so hard to see strange guests in this town except several curious Vietnamese backpackers. That’s why it’s dubbed as an overslept town.

The T-junction to Pho Bang is a cloudy road dipping into dense fog in winter. On the foot of towering, pointed hills, adjoining soil houses like in fairyland stand silently and peacefully in Sung La valley.

If departing from Dong Van old quarters to go up to Pho Bang, travelers will take a nearly 20km craggy route of passes, protruding with one side is deep chasms and the other side is high mountains covered with leaden, rugged rocks. Corn farms are green in a startled way due to occupation of rock and rarity of soil.


 A hot-spot of trading formerly

This border town, geographically not distant, especially road to here is not difficult, but image of a hectic place, a stinging, hot-spot several decades ago, when opium and drug occupied Pho Bang as a hub, was gone far away; just a peaceful town left.

Formerly, Pho Bang was an administrative – economic – social center of Dong Van district. However, after the district was moved deeply interior barely 20km, Pho Bang has become an overslept woman among mountains and forests.

Also a frontier ward but Pho Bang is located deeply inside inland than Lung Cu flag pole and Dong Van town. However, it’s at a higher altitudes, so the climate is colder with a freezing winter as snowy as in Sapa and Mau Son.

Cross Sung La – the sole “rain navel” of the water-lacked, grey-rocked Dong Van district - then overcome another out-of-the-way jungle stage, Pho Bang suddenly appears halfway. It is the scarce valley in this area, because if you stop on roadside, look before and behind, turn left then right, you just only find vast, superb mountains at all four sides. If someone misses a roll of hand grip, they can get right to hedges bordered between Vietnam and the neighbor country China.


Portrait of the overslept town

Lost in Pho Bang, it brings feeling like in a big film studio with setting of olden days. The town includes traditional houses with moss ying-yang roofs and damp, dark yellow soil walls.

Pho Bang only remains sparely two quite deserted streets with about one hundred ancient roof-tops, aged above 100. It’s inhabited mainly by Chinese people alternative to Hmong tribe, but this is not enough to change sad and still appearance of this mountain town.  Colors of time cover all corners. In front of each houses, there is a couple of Chinese parallel sentences having changed colors. A few grocery stores are opened to sell essential things behind square windows while some aged, wooden shut-doors are always dormant.

Life in the town passes slowly and monotonously, a calm, simple life among a solitary highland. Some women sit in front to pick up vegetables, chop wood, sew or embroider. Some elders on chair fondle back of lazy cats. Some garrulous children plays marble shooting game. Street sides becomes yards to dry corns and soybeans, which are hang fully on every rooftop. Cloud drifts through streets. When twilight falls, the weather is colder, the streets quickly sinks into ethereal fog. All the town just wakes up suddenly on backward rotating markets, which is hold every 6-day from morning to noon.



More information: 
  • Pho Bang is dubbed as the "valley of roses" thanks to brilliant, picturesque rose fields spreading along slopes around the ward.
  • It features many stunning sights of peach, plum, pear blossoms and also buckwheat flowers like many other areas in Ha Giang.
  • Way to Pho Bang border gate is really scenic by untouched rock mountains.


>> Cycling to Ha Giang: http://www.activetravel.asia/west-to-east-biking-exploration-t286.html
>> Motorcycling to Ha Giang: http://www.activetravel.asia/motorcycling-adventure-in-northern-vietnam-t245.html