3 days trek in Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang - part 1
- on Jan 19, 2020       By: BN
First day in Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang
Leaving Hanoi very early in the morning by a comfortable minibus, then by motorbike, I arrive at the very beginning of the afternoon in the house of COI, a pleasant homestay located mid-slope on the edge of the forest, just overhead a small pond and flooded rice terraces. It is run by a family of red Dao. A quick tour of the house help me to discover the vast panorama which embraces the other sides of the valley.
I am here for only one night before leaving early tomorrow morning for a trek... Three days to discover the landscapes of rice terraces which make the beauty of this admirable region populated by the Dao and, higher in the mountain by the flower Hmong...
Quick tour of the house which has become a homestay over the years. There is still time to stretch your legs to find this beautiful place, built on the slopes in the middle of magnificent landscapes that bear witness to the work of men.
Note that, as in neighbouring Yunnan, the upper parts of the mountains remain the domain of the forest and the jungle. It is this forest which captures the humidity of the clouds and the rain, then regulates the flow of water thus allowing the capture and the routing towards the rice fields then the valley… I’ve had crossed many small hamlets and the locals returning work in the rice field or plantations hidden by the forest.
Bamboo trunks are stored across the path and some women in traditional dress make what will become fences or gutters. I continue to a large open and unobstructed space, semi-circular or "coexist" in harmony rice fields and a dispersed habitat.
Some fearful dogs barked before disappearing under the bamboos near the houses. In fact, I discovered this region a few years ago, during a hike, from a small hotel, "nha nghi" in Vietnamese, located in a village in the valley. Since then, ecotourism has developed for the benefit of the locals, while respecting the environment, local traditions and culture.
Another few kilometres, with the crossing of a torrent, near a plantation of tea trees, is another speciality of these high regions. A last good evening in front of an isolated house... Here is a first and very beautiful late afternoon in Hoang Su Phi at the Red Dao's...
The sky is darkening, it's time to turn around for a return to the night ... Few lights, the smell of wood fires, only a few fireflies for company and a great silence during this lonely return... Here we live, we go to bed and we get up with the sun... So, have a good night!
To be continued
Text and photo: Marcel Labretelle