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The magnificent mountain towering over Vietnam’s Cao Bang Province

Tuesday, June 07, 2022, 11:01 GMT+7
The magnificent mountain towering over Vietnam’s Cao Bang Province
The majestic scenery of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Mat Than Mountain (Angel Eye Mountain), located in a verdant valley amid the Thang Hen Lake complex of Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, is known for its untamed, stunning green scenery and the massive hole that tunnels through it.

Mat Than Mountain’s name comes from the 50-meter-wide hole in its peak, which mimics an eye beaming down on the area’s turquoise lakes and vast grasslands.

A group of tourists pose against the backdrop of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

A group of tourists pose against the backdrop of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

The Tay ethnic people near Mat Than Mountain refer to it as 'Phja Piót,' or Nui Thung, which means the mountain with a through-going hole.

According to Ly Dao Huy, a local tour guide, Mat Than Mountain has two sides: one belonging to Cao Chuong Commune in Trung Khanh District and the other to Quoc Toan Commune in Quang Hoa District.

Each side offers a unique experience and stunning views.

The shadow of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

The shadow of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Cao Chuong Commune in Trung Khanh District is the most popular stopover for photographers and travelers looking to check out Mat Than Mountain.

The commune is located about 40 kilometers east of Cao Bang’s center.

To reach the commune, travelers can take National Highway 3 east, cross Ma Phuc Pass - Cao Bang's most magnificent seven-story pass, and continue on the highway for about seven kilometers. 

A view of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

A view of Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

The commune is accessible by car, motorcycle, or the Cao Bang - Tra Linh bus.

Mat Than is surrounded by a vast valley filled with lush grasslands and an overall spectacular landscape.

The herds of cattle which graze the valley below the mountain lend a poetic aspect to the area.

The landscape around Mat Than Mountain changes each season.

Cattle graze in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Cattle graze in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

From winter to spring, the weather is cool and dry. There is no water around the mountain and the area resembles a vast green steppe.

During the summer, heavy rains cause the water in the ravine near Mat Than to overflow, flooding the grasslands and merging with waterfalls and large lakes to form Thang Hen, a system of 36 natural lakes.

Views of Mat Than Mountain are equally stunning in the fall, when gentle rays of sunshine peek through the mountain’s hole and famers freely graze their cattle in the mountain’s shade. 

Trucks of tourists arrive at Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Trucks of tourists arrive at Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

During this time, visitors can watch as buffaloes and white horses quietly graze grass and splash in the mud.

Mat Than Mountain is one of Cao Bang’s top tourist destinations. Over the past few years, travel agencies have pushed new tours to Mat Thanh, including overnight camping, trekking, boating, and cycling.

The Thang Hen Lake complex is most popular during the floating season in early June, when visitors can appreciate the magnificent jade green waters, immerse themselves in nature, and learn about the distinctive culture of the Tay ethnic group.

A tourist poses at Thang Hen Lake Complex in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

A tourist poses at the Thang Hen Lake complex in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

A young woman camps at Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

A young woman poses beside tents at Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Visitors enjoy a campfire near Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Visitors enjoy a campfire near Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Visitors enjoy a campfire near Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

Visitors enjoy a campfire near Mat Than Mountain in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ly Dao Huy / Tuoi Tre

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Linh To - Kim Kim / Tuoi Tre News

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