Standing away from other mountains, Lung Cung Mountain in Vietnam's Yen Bai Province has a distinguishing beauty with a wide summit on which travelers can adore a breathtakingly untouched maple forest or wander among the clouds.
From Hanoi, your correspondents drove more than 250km along National Highway No. 32 to Tu Le Commune in Van Chan District before entering Nam Co Village.
Although the road spans only 13km, steep slopes and slippery surfaces make it hard to drive.
Even professional travelers have to stop by local people’s houses to walk or hire drivers to ride them into the village.
Lost in the jungle
There are three villages located around the mountain in the northern province – Lung Cung, Thao Chua Chai and Tu San.
Your correspondents' two Mong ethnic porters named Ho Tong and Ho A Tru recommended them climb up from Tu San Village to discover beautiful spots.
The path is covered by trees, making it comfortable to walk even on hot days.
Springs are common on northwestern mountains.
The porters took your correspondents to a crystal-clear spring to take a rest before continuing the journey.
At an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, clouds thicken, embracing the jungle.
The vision reduces to dozens of meters.
They started pushing into the impenetrable woods with ancient chestnut trees and tangled vines.
There are giant trees that could not be embraced by three people.
Under the foliage, it was impossible to see the trees’ tops.
Some of them tried to swing on vines hanging down from the branches, pretending to be Tarzan.
It was appealing to see yellowish red maple trees spotted among the densely green jungle.
Many of them grew up hundreds of years ago.
Late November-January is the best time to catch a glimpse of the leaves changing, porter Tru said.
It got dark in the afternoon.
The correspondents followed Tong and Tru to stay over at a wooden shelter set up by the locals, marked with a national flag.
The stop is unmissable in every trekking trip to Lung Cung Mountain.
For local people, it acts as a shack for anytime a forest rain starts pouring.
Meadow in the cloud sea
Your correspondents woke up early in the next morning in the hope of reaching the summit before sunrise.
The temperature dropped drastically as they climbed up higher, ranging from seven to eight degrees Celsius.
It felt fine if they kept walking.
However, once they paused for a rest, the crisp coldness was unbearable.
As they approached the summit, the scene became clear and space opened up in all four directions.
The correspondents wore all the clothes they carried along, lit a fire, and sat in silence, waiting for the sun to wake up.
The golden sun slowly rose from the sea of clouds, appearing behind the legendary mountain ranges of the northwestern region.
The scene lasted for a short moment, getting them overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of nature.
The reached the altitude of 2,913 meters when the sun hung up high.
|Two travelers pose on Lung Cung Mountain at 2,913 meters above sea level in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ng. Huong / Tuoi Tre|
Everyone found a ledge to adore the fluffy, scudding sea of clouds embracing mountains and forests.
From the mountaintop, the correspondents could also see Che Cu Nha Commune or forests of Lao Cai Province’s Nam Xay Commune located far away.
All their senses were opened up to see, to feel, and to breathe nature’s heartbeat.
It all paid off for the long road they had taken.