Ma Pi Leng Pass, the biggest challenge on the Dong Van plateau
- on Jan 5, 2020       By: BN
A journey to Ha Giang does not end without coming to Dong Van and Meo Vac, the most remote and mystical districts of this mountainous region. To get there, travellers will enjoy an unforgettable loop by crossing Ma Pi Leng, the road pass connecting Ha Giang city to these regions. Ma Pi Leng is an integral part of the famous Dong Van geological park which overlooks forests of multifaceted limestone rocks.
Location: Ma Pi Leng belongs to three communes of Pai Lung, Pa Vi and Xin Cai in the Meo Vac district on the edge of national road 4C.
Culminating at 2000 meters and made up of nine loops winding the mountain, the pass undoubtedly makes all hikers experience the most thrilling moments while travelling in Vietnam. Let yourself be amazed by the extraordinary landscapes with one side of the steep slopes and the extremely dizzying chasm on the other.
Below flows the Nho Que river separating Ma Pi Leng and Sum Pu where you will find yourself at the border gate. Ma Pi Leng or "the horse's nose" according to Mandarin describes the particularly steep slopes. With a total of 20 kilometres, if it is not the longest, Ma Pi Leng is undoubtedly at the top of the most dangerous passes of the Northern mountain.
Incredible and emotional, the Hanh phuc road or the Happiness road which gives rise to the legendary pass is the combined effort of tens of thousands of young people of 16 Northern ethnicities. Built over six years between 1959 and 1965, this symbol of solidarity is the fruit of the sweat and blood of the volunteers whose sacrifice is honoured at the top of the pass.
The road was initially accessible only by pedestrians and rustic means. Currently passable for motorcycles and cars, it still exposes passengers to significant risks for certain frightening routes. Regular attention should, therefore, be paid to vehicles running in the opposite direction.
With a depth of 800 meters, the abyss of Nho Que river is at the top of the most majestic in the region of Southeast Asia. It takes half a day to reach the water from the pass.
The mystical pass and the Dong Van plateau more generally, invite you to admire a grandiose geological stele of exceptional value for both researchers and lovers of the great outdoors. If the valley on the edge of the Nho Que chasm presents unrivalled values, the pass is an amazing natural and geological heritage, the peak of which offers one of the most spectacular views in Vietnam.
Along the way, you may come across the Hmong back from the Dong Van market. At the intersection of Sum Pun and Meo Vac, passengers can have a drink at one of the restaurants while chatting with the welcoming men and women who are mostly white Hmong.