Conquering the topmost of Northern Vietnam and the milestone 428
- on Nov 24, 2018       By: LucyH
After a one-night bus ride to Dong Van town, Ha Giang province, we took a day off at Dong Van coffee shop and the first point we arrived at is Cao Cao - a hill to boot ahead. For the next day, we boarded the North Pole trekking - milestone 428.
Conquering the North Pole and milestone 428
After enjoying the hot rolls at the restaurant near the Dong Van coffee shop on a rainy morning and buy some white rice for lunch. We started at 7 am the last day of August 2018. In the midst of the cold weather, it comes to conquering the northernmost land of Vietnam we will not be "excited".
We followed the 4C highway and 128B (Provincial road) in the north, crossing the road around the winding mountains. Clouds and fog were so dense that we could not see the streets in the morning. Maybe we had spent a lot of time to enjoy the beauty that people call in the textbook "the river". We tried to go back to Dong Van before it got dark, so we had to go quickly to Lung Cu flag pole and then to the border marker 428.
After visiting the beautiful roads, we quickly reached the Lung Cu flag pole at 9 am in the unbelievably fresh air that we thought it was going to rain quite a lot. The Lung Cu flag tower stood in the middle of the sky with a tower about 1,470 meters above sea level in Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang province. Above is a red flag with the height of 9 meters, the width of 6 meters and the total area of 54 m² representing 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam.
We came here on a beautiful day without people, this made us feel really happy because we can look at the vastness of the sky and the ground admiring the beauty of this place. We felt proud of our country, proud of the fallen soldiers to keep the peace of the country as it is now.
At 11:15, we went downstairs to our uncle's house holding a flagpole to ask about hiring a tour guide to the 428 milestone. Actually, we were still wondering whether we should go 428 or go to the apex point on the map. Then the guide arrived and we left with his ethnic group named Thang. I also did not forget about asking price, 300,000 VND for a trip of 3 people, very lucky, after the negotiation he discounted only 250,000 VND. Not much but enough to offset the car rental we had in Dong Van.
After about 10 minutes walking to the parking lot, we started the first steps of the northbound journey - milestone 428. Three of us was being led by a cheerful ethnic guide in black. He was wearing only a scarf, a cap and a pair of flip flops but still go through without a bit of difficulty even when the road was so rocky and sloppy.
After crossing the roads, the woods, corn fields, and rice fields, at 14h15 we were at the border marker of 428 in delight and pride. My friend could not help herself when we saw the milestone in joy, she ran to it and hugged it.
We sat down and enjoyed the joy of conquering here for about 30 minutes then continued on the way back. It was steep. The way go was a downhill, I thought it would be very hard for the girl in the team to finish it. But no, with all the effort and encouragement of the people, she stepped off the steps and finished the way back easier than I thought.
Another male member of the team, a young traveler, a passionate photographer, he was so happy to tell me that he was so proud of himself he could walk like this; last year he was "as weak as a slug". After a few years "stick" with the mountains, his health has improved more and more after the trekkings.
A journey of more than 5 hours to conquer the North Pole - milestone 428 was a test for us to see the limit of yourself and beyond yourself.
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