Pha Luong peak in Chieng Xuan Commune, Moc Chau District is dubbed the roof of the Moc Chau highlands, a common tourist attraction. The desired destination is perfectly-cherished due to ease of accessibility and scenic elegance.
One particular working day in early February, I still left Moc Chau’s heart for Pha Luong Village, 30 km away. The journey commenced along typically flat concrete routes, produced much easier with the help of Google Maps.
That evening, I lodged at the residence of A Chong, my Pha Luong tour information. He has 5 young children, all smaller, grime-lined and fragile, the outlook of poverty-stricken offspring.
My conjecture was verified at evening meal, a meal, inspite of the host’s well-intentioned hospitality, that only included some boiled greens and modest fish. The little ones, on the other hand, experienced minimal else but plain rice and water.
A Chong and his children gather for evening meal. Picture by Xu Kien.
The total of A Chong’s household had gone to bed at 8 p.m, leaving me alone to get pleasure from the amazing evening sky outside. The following morning, after breakfast, I dedicated a couple of times to admiring the mountainous surroundings, with the early morning dew glistening off the leaves.
At 7 a.m., A Chong took me on a seven-kilometre journey to the border put up, a journey that took my breath absent, not with admiration but with dread. We traveled along an below-development filth highway, with 1 facet a tall mountainous cliff and the other an limitless abyss. The horror shortly received the greater off me, as I begun to picture the rattling seem of the outdated motorcycle. Just one slip-up could choose us to the base, I assumed.
After one hour of touring, we attained the border write-up, the initial stop on my Pha Luong itinerary. As Pha Luong peak lies in the middle of the Vietnam – Laos border, all trekkers want to get a travel pass, offered for VND20,000 ($.86) from the border station, just before continuing with their journey.
A Chong initial took me to a H’mong ethnic village at the foot of the mountain. Although the initially handful of ways were alternatively steep, my shoes taken care of their grip. I had a probability to meet numerous ethnic people, with children participating in outside the house and mothers stitching clothing inside, blanketing the village in a peaceful environment.
H’mong children in Pha Luong Village. Image by Xu Kien.
The next path was bare, with no masking jungle. From the again of terraced rice fields Pha Luong peak rose majestically, ready to be conquered.
I slowly attained the all-natural jungle, with ageing vines and tree trunks just about everywhere. The route felt infinite with repetitive foliage, even though no flowers considering the fact that it was all around winter’s conclusion.
Through the route, there had been lots of foodstuff stalls operated by ethnic nearby hosts, advertising sweets, boiled eggs and consuming water. We stopped at a person for refreshments.
I slowly adopted A Chong together the mountain route, which was not as well challenging for an avid traveler like me. Just after only two several hours, we handed by the forests, which ended at an 1,900-meter altitude.
Primeval forests in Pha Luong. Photo by Xu Kien.
I followed the bare mountain route as rough winds began blowing. Tightening my hat, I proceeded on my journey, dealing with slight shortness of breath. An more 50 percent-hour was necessary just before I reached Pha Luong peak on the Vietnam-Laos border.
Quickly, as I stood even now, the air about me froze. Standing on the peak alongside the two nations’ border, I did not experience a trace of exhaustion. However, as I traveled on a windy day, there was not a layer of clouds masking the mountain, which need to have been a scarce handle for the eyes at a different time of the calendar year.
To rejoice, I requested A Chong to just take a photograph of me on the rock ledge. The solid gusts soon pressured us to start our descent.
In the late afternoon, just after spending A Chong for his superb providers, I left Pha Luong with excellent hopes of a return journey.
Xu Kien at the rock ledge on Pha Luong peak. Image by A Chong.
Traveling: Motorbikes are the only approach of touring from Moc Chau to Pha Luong border publish, which could be hired from hostels in Moc Chau.
Tour guideline: While there are several possibilities in phrases of tour guides, I would advocate A Chong (tel: +84 962 086 499), a guidebook with over 3 years’ expertise with great feedback on his friendliness. The tutorial expenses VND500,000 ($21.56) for a team consisting of up to 10 individuals to trek Pha Luong peak. For a solo traveler, the rate ranges from VND300,000 to VND500,000.
Lodge: Most tourists only trek Pha Luong peak in a single working day, even though you could also choose to lodge at tour manual A Chong’s put. You could also decide to commit a night at the border post for VND100,000 – 200,000.
Climbing resources: You need to put together a superior pair of mountaineering sneakers, trekking pole, gloves and heat coats. Tenting equipment are not necessary, as it would be pretty much unachievable to commit the evening at the major thanks to sturdy winds.
Time to trek: The most encouraged time to trek Pha Luong peak is from February to April every 12 months, the most picturesque period. In between September and Oct is also pretty beautiful with leaves shifting shades, although large rain would probably impede your itinerary. At other moments of the calendar year, it would be difficult for you to capture the gorgeous sea of clouds.