Southern girl wishes to ride a bicycle to conquer the ‘four great peaks’
thamnguyen99 28-10-2022, 10:11

Doan Le Ngoc Linh crossed Ma Pi Leng, Khau Pha, and O Quy Ho passes by mountain bike and the next destination is Pha Din.

Starting cycling in December 2021, Ngoc Linh, 32 years old, living in Ho Chi Minh City, considers the bike an indispensable companion on trips. In March, Linh passed Ma Pi Leng in Ha Giang (1,500 m high, 20 km long), and last September, in the journey to see the Northwest ripe rice season, she successfully conquered Khau Pha (Yen Bai) and O Quy Ho (Lai Chau – Son La). At the end of the year, Linh’s next goal is to go to Pha Din Pass in Dien Bien, which is over 1,600 m high and 32 km long.

Southern girl wishes to ride a bicycle to conquer the ‘four great peaks’
Linh took souvenir photos during the journey to conquer the Khau Pha pass.


Taking a flight to Hanoi in mid-September with a cycling group, Linh is eagerly waiting for interesting things. This is the time that is said to be the Northwest golden season. The goal of the people in the Linh group going to the North is to ride a bicycle in combination with watching the golden rice on the terraced fields. As for Linh, the rough and winding roads appeared in her mind, making her a little scared but also full of excitement.

The cycling schedule will go through 4 provinces: Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Son La, following the route Suoi Giang – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai – Ngoc Chien – Sa Pa.

From Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai, a group of 23 people is scheduled to visit Suoi Giang tea hill, where there are many ancient shan Tuyet tea trees, 400 years old. Suoi Giang is a highland commune in Van Chan district, Yen Bai province, which is likened to Sa Pa and Tam Dao because of its fresh and cool climate. The group enjoyed tea and rest before starting a journey of about 3 hours to Nghia Lo town and overnight.

The next day, Linh and her companions set off at 6 a.m., and despite the heavy rain, everyone was determined to conquer Khau Pha Pass (1200 m high and 30 km long) successfully. Linh rode the bike in a state of wet body, wet shoes and then dry.

“At the end of the day, the road is more challenging, and the slopes appear more and more, making many people feel dizzy because there is a slope of about 20 degrees. I am close to 10 degrees, many sections do not see the road, so sometimes I panic. “, Linh said and said that there was a time when she mumbled a prayer to return safely to the homestay.

In the group, there was an uncle over 60 years old who was not familiar with mountain biking, Linh had to escort him because he did not dare to go downhill. So the two of them led each other to the end of the pass. Rain reduces the heat, so everyone feels less tired.

Conquering Khau Pha pass successfully. The whole group celebrated with a Northwest-style evening including pumpkin soup, banana flower salad, grilled chicken, grilled fish, stir-fried beef with guise leaves, steamed minced pork with fig leaves, and more vegetables dipped in eggs. The joyful atmosphere made everyone forget the arduous journey to overcome by bicycle.

Raspberry hill in La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chai.

After a long day, Linh’s whole body began to ache so much that she couldn’t lift her body, put her back down and fell asleep until morning. However, the next morning, she woke up earlier than everyone else to wash the car, eagerly waiting for a new day to enter the “raspberry” hill of La Pan Tan, a distance of about 40 km from her place.

The road to here is narrow, steep and small, a lot of motorbikes due to the tourist peak, and it rains heavily. As a famous tourist destination in Mu Cang Chai, La Pan Tan raspberry hill always knows how to attract tourists with its peaceful poetic beauty. In September, the ripe rice season made Linh and her companions feel lost in the brilliant golden sea. Relaxing moments, watching the mountains and forests, majestic waterfalls or poetic villages are beautiful memories that Linh still remembers to this day.

Leaving the homestay in Ngoc Chien (Son La), the fourth day greeted the whole group of bicycles with a winding road in hot weather, without rain like three days before. Since the night before, she has been impatiently waiting for the day to conquer the O Quy Ho pass (1,900 m high, 50 km long). At 10am, the truck carrying bicycles and the car carrying people moved to the foot of the pass for the group to start pedaling.

Linh kept pedaling at a speed of about 10 km/h. The pass is quite steep and there is no shade on the road. She was almost delirious because she was still tired after three days of rain. She pedaled and stopped to rest for a few minutes. Every time she looked at any shade, even if it was temporary, she rushed to take shelter. Others could not continue to rest in the group’s bicycle truck. “There were times when I thought, let’s go like this, if something goes wrong, I don’t know who to call for help,” Linh said.

Linh thinks that the O Quy Ho pass is more challenging and dangerous than Khau Pha. The road is longer, steeper. The “elbow” bends are like the roads in Ha Giang. Having conquered Ma Pi Leng’s pass, Linh reassured herself that she had to keep her mind calm and pedal, not give up. The sun was already high above her head, its harsh rays burning her face. Drinking a lot of water but Linh still feels dizzy. She closed her eyes and pedaled until the afternoon. Back at the homestay, she was almost exhausted. Of the group’s cycling schedule, this was the most nightmare day. Linh smiled contentedly because she had successfully conquered O Quy Ho pass. At 4 p.m., the group started eating lunch.

O Quy Ho Pass saw from above.

The next morning, relaxing by the stream next to the homestay after four days of cycling in all weather conditions, Linh felt relaxed and excited because she had completed the memorable experiences, secretly admiring herself. for being determined to the end. In the peaceful landscape, faintly smelling of weeds, she thought if only these days had lasted a little longer.

Every time of the year, “Four Great Peaks” has its own beauty. The weather in each season is also very different. However, the most suitable time is from September to April next year, which is also the dry season in the Northwest. Linh shared her experience, if you ride a bicycle, you need to do good physical exercise, and prepare quality shoes, insect repellent, long-sleeved coats… You should book your homestay in convenient places with beautiful scenery. to regenerate energy. Homestays in the Northwest range from 600,000 to 1.2 million VND per room. If departing from the southern provinces, note the time to book flights to Hanoi accordingly. Coming to Yen Bai, don’t forget to try Tu Le green nuggets, a gift that will make you remember forever.

Photo: Internet


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