Explore the golden season and cloud hunting in Hoa Binh17/11/2023
In the autumn visit to Hoa Binh, Pham Tu was able to admire the golden season in Lac village and the white cloud sea stretching across the mid-mountain in Hang Kia – Pa Co.
Hoa Binh is the gateway to the northwestern region, impressing visitors with its diverse landscapes of rivers, lakes, mineral springs, national parks, and the cultural identity of the H’Mong, Muong, Dao, Thai ethnic groups…
On October 15, Pham Tu (29 years old, Hanoi), a photography enthusiast, embarked on a trip to explore Hoa Binh with friends, through points such as White Stone mountain pass, Lac village, Hang Kia – Pa Co.
From the center of Hanoi city, Tu and his group travel by motorcycle through Thang Long Avenue to Hoa Binh with a distance of about 150 km. On the way through Hoa Binh city, tourists can buy tickets to visit Hoa Binh hydropower dam. This is the largest hydropower plant in Vietnam and Southeast Asia completed in 1994.
Tourists can buy tickets, priced at 50,000 VND to visit the complex structure or 20,000 VND to visit the open structure, or buy cruise tickets on Hoa Binh Lake with prices ranging from 1.5 – 2 million VND per two-hour trip.
Passing the hydropower dam about 50 km to Da Trang pass, the whole group stopped at the rest station. The recognizable feature of Da Trang Pass is a rock peak with a flying red flag with a yellow star for tourists to check in. There are also food and drink services available here.
The second place that Anh Tu’s group visited was Lac Village in Mai Chau Valley. This is an ancient village over 700 years old that still retains its pristine beauty and traditional lifestyle of the Thai ethnic group, according to the website of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
By the time Tú arrived, the fields of rice on both sides of the road leading to the village had turned golden, surrounded by green mountains. The tranquil atmosphere is suitable for cycling, sightseeing.
Here, there is a car rental service for sightseeing around the village, with a price of 400,000 VND per trip for 8 people or 600,000 VND for 12 people. Food and drink services range from 600,000 to 800,000 VND per platter for 6 people and there are many shops for tourists to choose from, Tú said.
Visitors have the opportunity to discover and purchase a variety of locally crafted items, featuring a range of designs, including clothes, dresses, hats, handbags, wallets, teddy bears, bows and arrows, flutes, buffalo gongs, gongs, jaw harps, and buffalo horns. In addition, visitors have the chance to try their hand at fabric weaving and join in local activities such as singing, sap dancing, and evening bonfire lighting.
Leaving Ban Lac, Tú’s group heads to the most exciting site of exploration – Hang Kia – Pa Co valley (Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province), located amidst rocky mountains, covered in clouds year-round. Situated about 200 km from Hanoi, Hang Kia and Pa Co are two communes in the highland region of Mai Chau, preserving distinctive cultural features and traditional crafts of the Mong people such as hand weaving, embroidery, indigo dyeing, bee wax painting, blacksmithing, according to the National Administration of Tourism’s website.
The road to the cloud hunting spot at Hang Kia is convenient, accessible by motorbike and car.
Hang Kia – Pà Cò is located in the middle of the Xa Linh and Luong Xa mountain ranges, with an average altitude of about 900 m above sea level, the climate is cool all year round. Here, visitors often come to the sky gate area to hunt for clouds.
“The sea of clouds at Hang Kia will be lower than the line of sight so it feels like you’re standing on a cloud,” said Mr. Tu. The layers of clouds are halfway up like the white fabric of nature stretched between two mountain ranges, stretching endlessly.
We are currently entering the cloud hunting season in the northern mountainous provinces, hence the clouds become thicker and more widespread. Compared to other famous cloud hunting locations like Ta Xua, Y Ty, Ha Giang, Hang Kia – Pa Co is “quite peaceful, not too many tourists, you can freely choose shooting angles to capture all the majesty and poetry of nature in each picture,” Mr. Tu shares.
Each season, Hoa Binh has its own beauty. Autumn is the time when there are fields of ripe yellow rice, and vast white clouds. Hoa Binh’s winter delicacy is red persimmons swinging under bare, leafless branches. Spring is when swathes of forest are covered white with apricot flowers, plum flowers or the pink of peach blossoms. While summer is the time to enjoy red ripe peaches, plums on the trees, according to the electronic information page of The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hoa Binh province.
When coming to Hang Kia – Pa Co, in addition to the route to explore the village, visitors can set foot in places that still preserve the primitive beauty such as tea hills, plum gardens in Ta Xong A area, Ta Xo area, Thung A Lang.
Some other ideal places to cloud hunt in Hang Kia – Pa Co are the Pa Khom route to Thung Mai or on the peak of Sam Tha mountain, where you can look at the peak of Pu Luong (Thanh Hoa) and Pha Luong peak (Son La).
“Hoa Binh is a suitable tourist spot to experience for those who like the rustic, gentle, slow pace”, Mr. Tu commented after the trip. The tourist spots in Hoa Binh have not been commercialized much, the natural scenery and people still retain their closeness, simplicity.
“Currently, the weather in Hoa Binh is warm during the day but quite cold at night and early morning, so bring waram clothes and prepare good health to be able to explore the entire natural scenery of Hoa Binh’s autumn”, Mr. Tu said.