Climbers, ‘cloud hunters' conquer the challenge of Ta Chi Nhu peak
Ta Chi Nhu peak in Tram Tau District in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai is the dream mountain shared by many who love climbing and "cloud hunting".
The best time of year to watch the clouds is between October and February, when the cool air causes clouds to gather around the mountain.
"I had a chance to conquer this peak last year. It was really wonderful. I shared my woe with the ocean of clouds. The trekking up was tough, but the nature scenery was worth it," said Hanoian backpacker Nguyen Xuan Giang.
"If you intend to hike Ta Chi Nhu in the winter, you should have good health, carefully follow tour guides, and remember to bring a tent, water and food," Giang added.
According to Hanoian Bui Huy Thanh, Ta Chi Nhu is a perfect start to fulfill your dream of conquering the mountain top because there are not many obstacles or difficulties during the ascent.
Thanh said discovering the sixth highest peak in Viet Nam, with its 2,979m altitude, is an unforgettable experience, with a view from the summit he called awesome and ravishing.
The mountain is also known as Phu Song Sung by the Thai ethnic, or Chung Chua Nha by the Mong people, and is part of the Pu Luong mountain of the Hoang Lien Son range.
To scale this mountain travellers from Ha Noi have to go through Nghia Lo Farm Town to Tram Tau District, then zigzag along small roads to Xa Ho Village, before taking an 8km ride to the foot of Ta Chi Nhu.
Although Ta Chi Nhu is lower compared to Mount Fansipan (the highest mount 3,143m in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai), the way to the top is more difficult because of Yen Bai mountain's sloping and tortuous roads.
However, to ensure that climbers' trips are safe, they should contact local authorities and hire a qualified local guide.
The weather conditions near the mountain are often foggy and windy. The path to the peak is almost vertical, sometimes like walking on a ridge.
From the foothills, dense fog surrounds the area, not to mention strong winds, which become stronger near the top, whipping climbers' faces.
On the way, tourists will see fields of flowers and small streams.
The mountain is also home to horses, goats and cows. Local residents visit animal huts on the mountain every week, bringing salt to feed their animals.
Hikers who conquer the 2,000m height can stay overnight at the transient station where they can camp overnight, light a fire and drink hot tea, while enjoying the clouds and sky, as well as have a unique chance to watch the mesmerising dawn and sunset among the clouds.
From here, visitors have to hike several kilometres to reach the final destination, where they will feel as though they can reach out to grab those lazy, floating clouds surrounding them, which create a fairy tale-like world.
Also from the peak, hikers can easily see the Ta Y Cho and Ta Xua peaks. In the ocean of clouds, those peaks float like stunning islands.
"I couldn't verbalise my feelings when I stood at Ta Chi Nhu peak. Only people who climbed to the top, like me, can understand. My life was raised to a new level. Trekking tours made my life more beautiful, sparkling and meaningful," said a backpacker nicknamed Roxy. — VNS