Leader, where are we going?
The group started to take off when the first rays of sun appeared, the streets began to be crowded. The first schedule was to fill the tank for the series. The group focused in the center of Ha Giang City and took photos at the Milestone 0 km landmark. Many other groups also set up motors and took picture in this landmark.
Ha Giang city was very beautiful with clean streets and wide trees.
According to some reviews on the internet, the group had breakfast at a noodle shop along the road. I started to remember names of my some first friends here.
Then, the group started to go to Dong Van Dictrict, beginning the Motorbike Trip Vietnam.
My companion, who came along with me the whole trip, was a guy of my age who loved to take pictures…. behind him. On the way, we talked a lot. He was introduced by a older boy to the group. This was his first time with the group, his first time in a long trip. In the group, many of members came with the group for the first time, and we may well recognize several couples.
The road to Dong Van was new, beautiful and wide. After the easy paths, soon the group went into the mountainous area. The roads were up in a spectacular way, winding, up and down. Scenery on both sides of the road was graceful. There were some beautiful 180 degree roads of crabs, so the driver was also sublimated!
Feeling dizzy, but full of consciousness, was also an attraction on the road to drivers.
The first stop was Quan Ba, 50 km from Ha Giang center.
Quan Ba Heaven Gate was the first gateway to Dong Van Highland Geological Park. The sky gate was at the top of the pass. Previously, 4 districts of Quan Ba, Dong Van, Meo Vac and Yen Minh were “autonomous regions of the Cat ethnic”. In 1939, the French built a huge 150cm thick wooden door at the gate of heaven to define the boundary.
The sky gate was narrow between two peaks that was lowered and extended enough for the road to pass, which was also where the road to Happiness began. Around the sky gate, white clouds covered as the sky. This was the ideal place to watch the Dong Van stone plateau.
Took a short more step was the Quan Ba couple mountain (also known as Fairy Mount), stretching between the valley. The group stopped a bit, everyone was trying to capture the picture of the most beautiful Mountain!
The next 50 km was Yen Minh, one of the most beautiful pine forests in Vietnam. The road was an “intersection of shape” with the arc of the elbow, the other side was the cliffs upright, one side was deep chasm. Coincidental message, climax that such as dancing, the car moved smoothly, kept the distance with stable speed.
The two sides of the road opened to reveal the green pine hill.
At 11 o’clock, the whole group had lunch break. The location was a lush “restaurant” on pine hill. We used nylon, bag ball, raincoat down and then ate bread together. Everyone would have milk, sausages, pates up to their choices. After that, we picked all the garbage and then slept. Each person was at each corner, under the tree shadow to sleep. Having rested 40 minutes and then hit the road. We brought the trash and left it in the trash bin in the nearest town.
The next stop was Pho Bang, about 27 km from Yen Minh. The small town was nestled within the rocky mountains of cat ears, deep within the valley. The town was peaceful after the noisy of life. After endless passes, the valley of roses blossomed into the middle of the plateau.
An interesting point when traveling in groups was that when a motor needed to stop to “feed” gasoline, the entire team stopped. The same motor should share the same frequency of gasoline, the same group of gasoline. At this point, people can take rest, relax muscles, check the phone.
However, the minus point was to remove the luggage to pour gasoline and put in took a long time! From my understanding, the whole project needed to focus diligently to avoid any mess whenever we needed.
The Tham Ma Pass, the classic slope, which was one of the most dangerous 8-shaped turn, had been around the people for a long time. Many brides and grooms chose this as their wedding photography venue. From here, we can take the majestic angle – the road as a giant snake curved around the mountain zigzag.
Having woke up early, took a little snap at noon, although I drank lots of coffee but I was still sleepy on the motor. But the drivers were still very concentrated while driving on the road, it was admirable. On the road, I tried to talk to avoid being sleepy, then tried enough games such as eye-opening continuous games, shaking heads… but that still did not succeed. This situation also normally occurred in most people who seated behind. Therefore, as soon as the group stopped for a rest, I had to jump right off the motor and jumping around to escape from the sleep. At lunch break time, I immediately found a place to sleep, enlisted every minute to recover energy. Driving a motorcycle in a hard road is dangerous if you fall asleep! So, you should try to stay awake, call for help of the drivers, take a rest until you are fine before continuously going!
Therefore, I could figure out that couples liked to travel on Motorbike Trip Vietnam so much. Because that you needed to sleep a little, just hugging and holding your driver tight!
Sung La Valley was the next place to conquer. This was the town of H’Mong people. They planted triangles circuit flowers on highland, grew corn, rice in the land. Sung La was a favorite place for travelers because there was House of Pao, the backdrop of the famous movie “Pao’s Story“, based on the short story “Tiếng đàn môi sau bờ rào đá” by the writer – Do Bich Thuy.
The ancient house was preserved and invested for tourism. Here, visitors can witness the real life of ethnic people.
Road to the House of Pao, the two sides of the Triangle flowers bloomed, many crowded tourists took photos.
When we left, it was staring to get dark. The group rush to the last place of the day is the Cat King’s Palace (Palace of the Vuong’s family). The residence was nearly 100 years old by Cat King – Vuong Chinh Duc. He hired skilled workers and tens of thousands of construction workers to construct it during 9 years. The cost was then 150,000 in Indochina, or VND 150 billion at present. The Cat King’s Palace was influenced by the architecture of three cultures: China, Mong ethnic and France. Most of the mansion was made of precious natural wood.
This residence was recognized by the State as National Monument in 1993. In 2004, the Vuong family decided to devote the palace to the State for conservation.
The architectural complex of the Cat King Palace really impressed me. At the end of my trip, I found documents and materials of the family and contributions of the Vuong family with the two resistance of the country.
At 7 o’clock, the group arrived at Dong Van.
Dong Van town is located on the plateau at an average height of 1,000-1,600 m above sea level, 160km far from Ha Giang city. At the beginning of the 20th century, the old town was only inhabited by several Mong, Tay and Hoa families. During the occupation, the French planned and left important architectural highlights, especially Dong Van Market, built in stone in the 1920s almost new to this day.
The old town and Dong Van ancient market were bold features with extremely thick walls of stone, large columns. Tile roofs on sturdy timber. In front of the house, there is a high hanging lantern to light up at night, dispelling the harsh cold of the Rocky Plateau.
The previous house that we rent was a stilt house right in the center of the intersection. Twenty two people rented a whole floor, the price was 3-4 USD/ person/night. There was a private toilet area, no hot and cold water. The whole house was in the same floor, divided into small groups. To save time for hanging out and having dinner, we went 2 people in each bath!
At night, the temperature dropped very low, the weather was very cold. After dinner, we hang out to visit the old town of Dong Van. Very cold, I had to borrow the clothes of everyone in the group to wear. On weekends (Friday night), it was very crowded.
The triangle circuit flower / buckwheat flower season has changed the life of the highland people. Tourist photos attached with the Triangle Circuit Flower Fields have became famous brands. Not only that, Triangle Circuit cake was very delicious, you can buy on the street for snacks or breakfast.
In terms of fashion, there were specialty brocade cloths of the Mongolian. The small towel used by the H’Mong girls to tie the head was very prominent. And now, it became the uniform of the local women. The price was just 1 USD/unit, just a souvenir, as well as an interesting gift for relatives.
To be continue…