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Hunting for clouds in Vietnam's remote northern highlands

Sunday, November 01, 2020, 11:03 GMT+7
Hunting for clouds in Vietnam's remote northern highlands
A magnificent photo of nature with primeval forests and clouds in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

Located in Vietnam's northwest region at an altitude of 1,200m - 1,500m above sea level, Hang Kia Commune in Hoa Binh's well-known tourism district of Mai Chau is covered with clouds all year round.

This place is not only a great hideaway from summer heat but also worth a visit in the autumn.

To reach Hang Kia, visitors can travel about 35km by bus on mountainous roads departing from the center of Mai Chau District.

Another choice is to ride a motorbike over 160km from Hanoi to Pa Co Commune, take a homestay service provided by local people, and ride to Hang Kia the next morning.

A couple take photos amid the imposing natural scene with mountains and clouds at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A couple take photos amid the imposing natural scene with mountains and clouds in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

Visitors to Hang Kia are recommended to wear warm clothes due to the typical cold climate of northern Vietnam.

“The early bird catches the worm” is an appropriate proverb told to ‘hunters’ as those getting up at 6:00 am will enjoy the fullest experience of cloud hunting.

According to local people, Hang Kia is a paradise for 'early birds' thanks to the chance to contemplate breathtaking landscapes at dawn.

The road to Hang Kia Commune is a little bit risky since tourists have to pass a steep and slippery slope, followed by a narrow and winding road covered with a layer of mist along the mountain.

Sea of clouds attracts tourists to Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A sea of clouds attracts tourists to Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

This destination has literally emerged as a top choice for tourists as many motorbikes and cars are usually parked at the entrance to the scenic spot.

The cloudy season is between October and April, when clouds can be found as beautiful, white and spongy as cotton candy.

Although this is not the only place to admire the wonderful unspoiled sea of clouds in Vietnam, Hang Kia brings a fresh and ‘like-no-other’ experience to travelers, with the immense greenery of mountains and forests spotted with some brown roofs of ethnic Mong people below.

To enjoy the feeling of white clouds floating under your feet, getting up early is a must. However, that feeling is worth every effort to withstand the chilly weather and conquer bumpy roads.

A tourist holds a camera to take pictures of the breathtaking scenery of mountains and clouds at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A tourist holds a camera to take pictures of the breathtaking scenery of mountains and clouds in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

Freelance photographers fascinated by the majestic landscape will need to prepare enough memory cards to snap every corner of the scene.

With the admission fee of VND15,000 (US$0.65) a person, visitors can stand on wooden decks with barriers for a clearer panoramic view and nice photos for their Instagram accounts.

Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city life, visitors will indulge themselves in magical nature and the hospitality of the Mong ethnic minority group.

Visitors gather at the cosmos garden, grown by Hmong ethnic people, and the bamboo bridge to take photos at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

Visitors gather at the cosmos garden, grown by Hmong ethnic people, and the bamboo bridge to take photos in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A mesmerizing photo of cosmos flowers in full bloom facing the sea of clouds at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A mesmerizing photo of cosmos flowers in full bloom faces a sea of clouds in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

The bamboo bridge attracts a lot of visitors to view the magnificent landscape at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

The bamboo bridge attracts a lot of visitors to view the magnificent landscape in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A magnificent photo of nature with primeval forests and clouds at Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

A magnificent photo of nature with primeval forests and clouds in Hang Kia Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Le Hong Thai / Tuoi Tre

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