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Where is the highest-altitude reservoir in Vietnam?

Friday, January 26, 2024, 11:05 GMT+7
Where is the highest-altitude reservoir in Vietnam?
Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

Situated 1,600 meters above sea level in northern Vietnam’s Hoang Lien Son mountain range, Seo My Ty Reservoir holds the distinction of being the country’s highest-altitude reservoir.

Seo My Ty is a small, quaint mountain village in Ta Van Commune, approximately 20km from the tourist town of Sa Pa in Lao Cai Province. 

Within the heart of this highland village lies a 60-hectare man-made Seo My Ty Reservoir, which was created by damming the area in order to build the Seo Chong Ho Hydropower Plant.

Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

At 1,677 meters above sea level, Seo My Ty Reservoir is the highest reservoir in Vietnam and is likely among the highest lakes in Indochina, according to news site VnExpress.

At such heights, it should come as no surprise that it is not so easy to visit the reservoir. 

To make it to Seo My Ty, visitors must first navigate 12km of steep mountain slopes over rugged and rocky terrain, which may be too difficult for novice drivers to pass.

Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

However, the scenery flanking the road, which is wide enough for only a small pickup truck, is exceptionally gratifying thanks to the Muong Hoa valley unfolding into stunning landscapes of expansive terraced rice fields. 

After successfully navigating the challenging road, visitors can enjoy the clear blue lake nestled in the midst of the serene village.

Eighty Hmong households are situated around the lake, according to Bien Phong (Border Guard) newspaper. 

The Hmong people are one of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. 

A house by Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

A house by Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

Due to its elevated location within Hoang Lien National Park, the air in the village is clear and pure and its vegetation is rich, comprising cold-resistant plants capable of thriving at altitudes over 1,500 meters. 

Notably, cunninghamia lanceolata trees, commonly known as Chinese fir, are planted around the lake, contributing to the distinctive temperate landscape. 

A tourist boats on the Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

A tourist boats on the Seo My Ty Reservoir in Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: dulichlaocai.vn

Visitors can camp next to the reservoir in summer or trek to explore the Hoang Lien mountains and forests during the dry season.

A few households have opened homestays and even sell salmon and sturgeon, along with equipment and tent rentals for tourists interested in camping by the reservoir.

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