Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang – The most impressive mountain pass in Vietnam
Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the most impressive mountain passes in Vietnam. It is located in Ha Giang province, in the far north of the country, and is a popular tourist destination for those seeking stunning scenery and an adventurous experience.
The pass is named after the H'mong word "ma pi leng," which means "the bridge of a horse's nose." This is a reference to the shape of the pass, which is narrow and winds its way through the mountains. The pass is also known as "The Happiness Road," due to the beauty of the scenery and the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing it.Ma Pi Leng Pass is 20 kilometers long and is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters. The road is paved, but it is still narrow and winding, so it is important to drive carefully. There are a number of viewpoints along the way where you can stop to take in the stunning views.
The views from Ma Pi Leng Pass are simply breathtaking. You can see the towering mountains, the lush green valleys, and the winding Nho Que River. On a clear day, you can even see the Chinese border in the distance.
It is known as the King of Vietnamese mountain passes. There are cliffs and abysses almost everywhere along the route and enough hairpin bends to get dizzy. The road along the mountainside has a romantic, breathtaking landscape that is ideal for motorcycling. The road to the top, considered “the Great Wall of Vietnam”, feels like a scene from a fairy tale.
The best travel time for Ma Pi Leng Pass is during the dry season from October to February. However, this is also winter, so it can be very cold. You can expect rain and fog all year round because you are higher up in the mountains. Try to avoid these days if you have the time, because it is less safe and you have a chance that you will not see anything.
In addition to the stunning scenery, Ma Pi Leng Pass is also home to a number of ethnic minority villages. These villages are a great place to learn about the culture and traditions of the H'mong, Dao, and Tay people.
There are a number of viewpoints where you can stop to view the amazing view and take photos. You can also stop at other places to take a photo, but when you stop on the road you have to watch out for other traffic, because this mountain pass is also the main connection between the cities of Dong Van and Meo Vac. Almost no tourist sights and facilities have been built such as temples and hotels, so this rugged landscape still looks very natural.
Beside travelling by motorbike, exploring Ma Pi Leng Pass by boat will also be a great experiences. Once down, you will come to the Nho Que river. On this river you can take a 1-hour boat trip for 300,000 Dong (around 12 dollar). It gives a powerful feeling when you sail by boat along the steep mountains and towering cliffs. Because Ma Pi Leng is high, it is regularly hidden in the clouds, but with a boat trip down the mountain pass over the river you often have good visibility. There are also kayak trips on the river, but these can best be arranged in advance at a local homestay or tour operator.
Ma Pi Leng Pass is an incredible destination that is sure to leave you breathless. If you are looking for an unforgettable travel experience, then be sure to add this amazing place to your bucket list.
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