Vietnam mountain range turns dreamy in fall

By Quang Thuan    November 7, 2019 | 09:23 am GMT+7

Now is the best time of the year to climb Hoang Lien Son, a magnificent mountain range, and Mount Fansipan, the Roof of Indochina.

Hoang Lien Son mountain range is among the grandest in Vietnam. The mighty range runs a length of 180 kilometers in the northwest of the country through Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Yen Bai provinces.Lying at the foot of the mountain range is Sa Pa, a cool town perched at 1,600 meters, or nearly one mile above sea level and is already a top tourist destination on global tourism map.Last November the U.S-based National Geographic magazine listed the mountain range among the best travel spots for 2019.

Hoang Lien Son mountain range is among the grandest in Vietnam. The mighty range runs a length of 180 kilometers in the northwest of the country through Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Yen Bai provinces. Lying at its foot is Sa Pa, a cool town perched 1,600 meters, or one mile, above sea level and a top tourist destination. Last November U.S. magazine National Geographic listed the mountain range among the best travel spots for 2019.

Standing at 3,143 meters (10,311 feet), Fansipan is the highest mountain in Indochina and has always been an appealing challenge to Vietnamese trekkers.But now, for amateur trekkers, cable cars have come to the rescue. The cable car station is located in Muong Hoa valley, and the system operates from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m every day. A round-trip ticket costs VND700,000 ($30.02) for adults and VND500,000 ($21.44) for children.The 15-minute ride takes visitors over the beautiful valleys of Sa Pa and lush green forests. As the cable car rises up to the 3,143-meter peak, white clouds will swallow it, but passengers are rewarded with breathtaking downward views and a feeling of floating in the sky.

Standing 3,143 meters (10,311 feet), Fansipan is the highest mountain in Indochina and a Mecca for Vietnamese trekkers.

But now, for amateur trekkers, a cable car has come to the rescue. The station is in Muong Hoa Valley, and the cable car operates from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m every day. A round-trip ticket costs VND700,000 ($30) for adults and VND500,000 ($22) for children.

The 15-minute ride takes visitors over the beautiful valleys of Sa Pa and lush green forests. As the cable car ascends to the 3,143-meter peak, it is engulfed by white clouds, giving passengers a feeling of floating in the sky. They are rewarded with breathtaking downward views.

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A religious complex at the top of Fansipan at sunrise amid a sea of clouds.

Visitors can see a grand Buddha, the tallest bronze statue in Vietnam at 21.5 meters, made from thousands of bronze pieces 5 millimeters thick.

The pagoda complex is a microcosm of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture, drawing from styles found in famous pagodas in various places.

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November is the ideal time of the year to climb Fansipan. Don't forget to take your camera. The tip from seasoned travelers is that one should be on the peak at 5-5:30 p.m. to capture the beauty of the sunset.

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Muong Hoa Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Sa Pa. The terraced fields here are always beautiful, but during the rice harvest season from September to November, it turns into a carpet of gold.

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Hoang Lien Son is covered in snow during winter as temperatures drop below zero. A layer of ice measuring could be seen on top of Fansipan.

Snow occasionally falls in Sa Pa and other places in the northern highlands, drawing a lot of curious foreign and local visitors each time it happens.

Lying 2,000 meters above sea level, O Quy Ho, 50 km long, links Lao Cai and Lai Chau in the northern highlands. This pass, just seven kilometers away from Sa Pa, is dangerous for travelers due to the steep abysses that lie along the way.The mountain pass is named after the legend of the Love Waterfall, the rendezvous for a fairy and a woodcutter named O Quy Ho.

The 50-km-long O Quy Ho Pass, lying 2,000 meters above sea level, links Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces in the northern highlands. The pass, seven kilometers from Sa Pa at the nearest point, is dangerous due to steep gorges that lie along it.

It is named after the legend of the Love Waterfall, the rendezvous for a fairy and a woodcutter named O Quy Ho.

Along the mountain pass, motorbike trekkers can view the incredibly beautiful scenery of cherry trees.

Along the pass, cherry trees make for an incredibly beautiful sight.

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Red Dao women in traditional costumes dry corn in front of their houses to make corn wine, a unique specialty of the northern mountains.

Many ethnic minorities live in Sa Pa, with the largest being the H'mong, Red Dao and Tay. Visitors can stay in homestays in local villages to learn about their distinctive cultures and lifestyles.

Photos by Nguyen Tan Tuan 

 
 
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