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Exploring exotic 'dinosaur backbone' in Vietnam

Friday, October 30, 2020, 14:57 GMT+7
Exploring exotic 'dinosaur backbone' in Vietnam
Hmong women herd buffalo down to the ‘dinosaur backbone’ at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Ta Xua, a 2,800-meter-high mountain range in Ta Xua Commune, Son La Province in northwestern Vietnam, is a favorite spot of cloud hunters.

It is widely known for special scenery – white and thick clouds embracing mountain peaks, giving a feeling of walking in the clouds.

A Hmong woman herds buffalo down to the ‘dinosaur backbone’ at the Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam.

As recommended by the Vietnamese backpacking community, holidaymakers should ride a motorbike to fully experience the twisting and winding roads leading to Ta Xua.

Explorers can start their Ta Xua trip in Bac Yen Town, Son La Province, which is about 240km from Hanoi.

After a 30-minute ride, visitors will reach Ta Xua Commune. However, coaches remain a wonderful choice for those afraid of the distance.

A spectacular view of Ta Xua mountain ranges, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A spectacular view of the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The best time for cloud hunting in Ta Xua is from October to April due to a bigger chance to contemplate beautiful layers of clouds and blooming wildflowers.

To catch more clouds, visitors should begin the journey before sunrise.

Standing on the top of a hill, visitors will see mountain ranges touching the azure sky and waves of ethnic Mong people’s paddy fields below.

The scene is breathtaking with white clouds swimming around.

Trekking in the area used to be a real challenge. However, the route to Ta Xua has become much more accessible thanks to the construction of new roads leading to a place quite close to one of the mountaintops.

An overview of mountains and clouds at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An overview of mountains and clouds at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Sufficient warm clothes are advised as it is always cold in Ta Xua, which deserves the top position in the list of cloud hunting venues in Vietnam.

For more unforgettable experiences, visitors can continue their journey to Hang Dong Commune, which takes 30 minutes to travel on motorbikes from Ta Xua.

Hang Dong is one of the rooftops of Son La Province, at an altitude of over 2,000 meters.

The terrain here is like a giant basin leaning against the mountain range of Ta Xua.

Hence, the place is commonly dubbed a 'dinosaur backbone' by backpackers across Vietnam.

Waves of terraced paddy fields sprawl below the sea of clouds at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Waves of terraced paddy fields sprawl below the sea of clouds at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Standing on the peak, visitors might be amazed by its majestic and dangerous terrain.

Further, do not forget to try some local food and drinks from vendors, because a cup of hot tea will be a great choice to keep warm and stay refreshed.

For people who are looking for a unique travel experience during a Vietnam exploration trip, a journey to hunt clouds in Ta Xua and Hang Dong is definitely what they should think about.

As a difficult journey, tourists must be well prepared in terms of health conditions and essential items such as warm clothes, insect repellent, and food.

Hmong women herd buffalos down to the ‘dinosaur backbone’ at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Hmong women herd buffalo down to the ‘dinosaur backbone’ at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A tourist contemplates the breathtaking scenery at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A tourist contemplates the breathtaking scenery at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors gather at a bridge to take photos at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors gather at a bridge to take photos at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists on a mountain trail at Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists walk on a mountain trail in Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A aerial photo of the Hang Dong ‘dinosaur-backbone’ in Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A aerial photo of the Hang Dong ‘dinosaur backbone’ at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists stop on a mountain trail to take photos at Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists stop on a mountain trail to take photos in Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists stop on a mountain trail to take photos at Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Tourists stop on a mountain trail to take photos in Hang Dong Commune, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A tourist stands at the ‘dinosaur-backbone’ at Ta Xua mountain range, Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A tourist stands on the ‘dinosaur backbone’ at the Ta Xua mountain range in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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