Amazing mountain view on the trek to Bach Moc Luong Tu

Trek Bach Moc Luong Tu Mountain - Part 1

It had been raining in Lao Cai for over three weeks in a row and my adventure to Bach Moc Luong Tu Mountain was delayed from one time to another. And it was coming towards Vietnam's National Holiday that it started to take a change for the better. I called A Tinh, my local Hmong tour guide, and asked him to prepare for the trek. We both hoped that the weather would be more favorable, or else we would go as planned anyway.

Mountains at Muong Hum, Bat Xat
Mountains at Muong Hum, Bat Xat

The overnight train trip to Lao Cai was a fun experience with the fellows sharing the same compartment, but I didn't get much sleep for that. The train arrived at 05:30 A.M and the sky was cloudy and gloomy. I got off the train with my motorbike and rode into the city. While I was having breakfast at a local restaurant, it started pouring down. Luckily when I was on the road again, it was only a light rain. And the trip through the mountains of Bat Xat was without any photo stop on the way. It was rainy and dark.

Golden rice terraces at Muong Hum
Golden rice terraces at Muong Hum

The rain stopped when I arrived at Muong Hum at around 08:30 A.M and it was a relieve to take off the raincoat and rode in the scenic landscape and fresh air. A Tinh had been waiting for me at Sang Ma Sao and together we rode to his home somewhere high up in the mountains. It was clearing up a bit and the winds were blowing hard; the weather was definitely getting better.

Golden rice terraces at Sang Ma Sao, Bat Xat
Golden rice terraces at Sang Ma Sao, Bat Xat

While A Tinh was preparing lunch I felt sleepy and went to his bed for a nap. It was a bit after mid day that he woke me up for lunch: I had got a very good sleep. I came out and it was sunny and blue sky, the breezes were so pleasant. The view from A Tinh's house was wonderful, it is about 1,000m above sea level anyway.

A steep path on the trek to Bach Moc Luong Tu
A steep path on the trek to Bach Moc Luong Tu

 

 

A breathtaking view of mountains on the hike
A breathtaking view of mountains on the hike

We started our trek at around 13:00 while the temperature was getting warm. The sun was strong and I felt the heat immediately after we had passed a steep gradient. Then came a forest that the path was not that steep and we got some cover from the strong sunshine. The air was still in here though. For the next 3 hours we had to trek on a narrow path with some parts flat, some going up and some wet and sticky. There were beautiful waterfalls and streams on the trek that helped us to get refreshed for the adventure ahead.

A Tinh, my Hmong local guide
A Tinh, my Hmong local guide

 

 

a slippery and sticky path on the trek
a slippery and sticky path on the trek

 

 

A steep and rocky path in a forest
A steep and rocky path in a forest

 

 

A nice waterfall on the journey to Bach Moc Luong Tu
A nice waterfall on the journey to Bach Moc Luong Tu

 

 

A steep path followed by another steep path on the adventure
A steep path followed by another steep path on the adventure

It was at 16:00 that we came to an open area with clear views of the surrounding landscape and A Tinh said that it was about half way. We had a break and I got some nice photos of the mountains. When we continued our hike that I realized the path was not the one leading up the mountain but a treacherously vertical cliff dropping down over 3m below. It was well hidden by a bush and I didn't see it earlier. The landing area was tiny next to a ravine! Surely I didn't want to make mistakes here. Amazingly I managed to clamber down more easily than I had thought. Our trip went on a tiny and somehow flat path which traveled through forests and corn farms.

Nui Muoi Mountain (2,100m) was somewhere far away
Nui Muoi Mountain (2,100m) was somewhere far away

 

 

A breathtaking view of Ngu Chi Son Mountain in Lai Chau
A breathtaking view of Ngu Chi Son Mountain in Lai Chau

 

 

A vertical rock cliff marking half way
A vertical rock cliff marking half way

The trip was much longer than I had anticipated. A Tinh said that we had to cover 14km for the first day. There were so nice streams on the way but it was getting so dark soon that we had to speed up. Looking above the peak of 2,100m where we would stay tonight was still far way! And worse, the path after a river turned to be very uneven, rocky, steep and slippery all the way! It looked to me the path had been formed by flowing water from the mountain top than by men walking. Or in other words, it was actually the bed of a dry ditch which had been formed by running water.

Night fell quickly and Nui Muoi was not near
Night fell quickly and Nui Muoi was not near

My mood was really getting down. A Tinh kept handing me a tangerine at a time to help me cope with the difficult way up. Two almost sleepless nights and having little for lunch started having effects upon me now. I had to drag a foot, and rested and, dragged the other foot to move upwards. I was running out of the last reserve of my strength! I was not merely feeling tired but that my body resisted the urge to keep moving on in my mind; my eyes were heavy and I was half sleep walking! It's a shame that I promise to myself that I will come back for another adventure here; I can't be this weak. I managed to drag myself to the guesthouse at 2,100m when to it was 19:50. For the last 2 hours we had been trekking in the jungle in complete darkness!

A waterfall on the "Getting Lost Mountain"
A waterfall on the "Getting Lost Mountain"

Unlike myself, A Tinh was feeling ok as if it had been a leisurely walk and he went about with the cooking right after our arrival. I went straight to my assigned bed, got changed and quickly fell for a nap. I was half sleep when there was some noise: people from another group were arriving. There were myself and some others here tonight! Everyone seemed tattered and shattered…

A Tinh woke me up when I was deep in my sleep. It took a while for my memory to recover and I looked at my phone: it was 22:00! A Tinh said dinner was ready and we got steamed rice, chicken, steamed vegetables and pork. I told him I could have gone through the night without dinner and he told me that we needed food to keep going. Tomorrow would also be another hard day. He was such a caring boy!

A wonderful moonlit night on Bach Moc Luong Tu
A wonderful moonlit night on Bach Moc Luong Tu

I felt completely recovered after dinner and went out for a walk in the front lawn of the house. It was a beautiful moonlit night! I could have spent more time in this wonderful atmosphere if it had not been for the hard trek tomorrow! I went to bed reluctantly. The new comers were deep in sleep, their group had been split into two groups and they were awaiting the others to arrive for dinner...