The turtle's head at the Ta Xua Mountain
The turtle's head at the Ta Xua Mountain

Hiking Tour Ta Xua Mountain - 3 Days

Visited places: Yen Bai, Tram Tau
Tour Activity/Theme: Adventure, Trekking, Mountain climbing, Ethnic village, Mountains

Hiking the Ta Xua Mountain is a hard and difficult mountain trekking tour for 3 days, 2 nights. While there are 3 peaks at the Ta Xua Mountain, of which the highest peak is 2,865m, we only cover the first peak on this trip (2,400m) known as the Dinosaur’s Spine.

The 2nd and 3rd peaks of the Ta Xua involve climbing, clambering nearly vertical mountain cliffs without anything to cling to which is exacerbated by often too strong wind for nearly 2 hours. AdventureGreen declines to offer tours to cover these two peaks for now. 

The Ta Xua Mountain, which is among the 10th highest mountains in Vietnam, stands astride in Tram Tau District of Yen Bai Province and Bac Yen District of Son La Province. The three highest peaks of the mountain are in Yen Bai. And it is at Tram Tau Yen Bai, 240km North-West of Hanoi, that this adventure starts and concludes.

It is good to note that there is also another Dinosaur’s Spine at Bac Yen Son La which requires no hiking efforts and which are on a camping adventure by AdventureGreen.

A breathtaking mountain view on the Ta Xua Trek
A breathtaking mountain view on the Ta Xua Trek

The best time to do the trip is from December through March during which it is dry and there high chances of taking photographs of breathtaking clouds. October-November could be a great time to climb the Ta Xua Mountain and adore the clouds but there may be tropical depressions or typhoons which cause bad rains sometimes. It is dry and quite warm in April and the rains between May-September, October make the trip not possible often.

Hiking the Ta Xua Mountain is among the most difficult mountain trekking tours in Vietnam due to lack of water and steep mountain slopes. Some parts of the path are quite steep that we’ll have to use ropes. When it rains, the dirt paths are deadly slippery and trekking on them is not possible.

Accommodations on the tour are at a simple hotel on the first night and in a hut in the mountain on the second. Our local Hmong team will prepare necessary food and water for the meals on the trek. AdventureGreen also provides candies and biscuits… to help you with more energy. Important notes on what to bring and weather conditions are provided upon booking.

Clouds on the trek at the Ta Xua Mountain
Clouds on the trek at the Ta Xua Mountain

Day-to-day itinerary
Day1 Hanoi – Nghia Lo – Tram Tau (L/D)
Day2 Tram Tau – 4km motorbike transfer - Full Day Hiking to the First Peak of Mount Ta Xua (Dinosaur’s Spine)/Overnight at a mountain hut (B/L/D)
Day3 Ta Xua – Tram Tau – Hanoi (B/L)

Accommodation
Simple hotel at Tram Tau.
Rudimentary hut in the mountain.

The tour price includes
English speaking guide;
Local porters and cook;
Simple hotel room for accommodation at Tram Tau;
Hut with blankets for accommodation in the mountain as on the tour itinerary;
All car/van transfers as on the tour itinerary;
All admission fees and permits for the tour;
Meals as on the tour itinerary: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner;
02 bottles of water/day/person on a trekking day;

The tour price doesn’t include
Insurance of any types;
Drinks or personal expenses;
Others not clearly mentioned as included above;

Detailed itinerary

Day1 Hanoi – Nghia Lo – Tram Tau (L/D)
0800 A.M : AdventureGreen team picks you up from the hotel in Hanoi and we travel via Route 32 heading north-west. In Phu Tho, we'll be amid lovely tea plantations and idyllic mountains.
Lunch at Thu Cuc.
Continue our adventure via Khe Pass (Deo Khe) and Ach Pass (Deo Ach) where the mountains get much higher, we'll be in the North-West of Vietnam. Then the road goes down leading us into the valley of Muong Lo at Nghia Lo, the second biggest valley in the north-western mountains of Vietnam. There are a lot of photography opportunities that we'll stop for them now and again.

Passing Muong Lo, the road gets smaller and goes higher the further we get close to Tram Tau Township. We won't miss the lovely possible photos of rice terraces and ethnic villages on the way.
Dinner and overnight at Tram Tau.

A scenic road passing through the heart of the Muong Lo Valley, Nghia Lo Town, Yen Bai
The Muong Lo Valley, Nghia Lo, Yen Bai

Day2 Tram Tau – 4km motorbike transfer - Full Day Hiking to the First Peak of Mount Ta Xua (Dinosaur’s Spine)/Overnight at a mountain hut (B/L/D)
0730 A.M After breakfast our local Hmong team will transfer you by motorbike to Ta Xua Village where the trek starts.

The steep path to the Ta Xua Village
The steep path to the Ta Xua Village

0800 A.M Starts the trekking adventure to conquer the Ta Xua Mountain. More splendid photos of rice terraces (if in the season) and ethnic villages in the backdrop of imposing mountains on the way. You’ll have a glance of the Tram Tau Township from above before venturing futher into the greenery of the mountain and forest.

View of Tram Tau and the surrounding mountains
View of Tram Tau and the surrounding mountains

It is steep (45 degrees often) all the way to the mountain hut tonight. We’ll be trekking through a thin forest or bushes with no shade, and having a sun hat is recommended. At some parts of the path we’ll have to use a rope to go up.

A steep path on the trek at the Ta Xua Mountain
A steep path on the trek at the Ta Xua Mountain

12:00 Picnic lunch en route.

1400 For most trekkers with averaged fitness, we should arrive at the mountain hut by now. Large groups of more than 10 people may take a couple of hours more to reach the hut.

The wild mountains at Ta Xua
The wild mountains at Ta Xua

After arrival, proceed to the famed Dinosaur’s Spine and have time to adore the breathtaking wilderness around you. Sunset provides magical moments for photography and relaxation.

The famed Dinorsaur's Spine at the Ta Xua Mountain
The famed Dinorsaur's Spine at the Ta Xua Mountain

 

The Dinosaur's Spine at Ta Xua
The Dinosaur's Spine at Ta Xua

Do not bother to think of a shower as it is not available up here.

1800 Dinner and easy time in the night.

A mountain hut at Ta Xua
A mountain hut at Ta Xua

Day3 Ta Xua – Tram Tau – Hanoi (B/L)
0630 A.M Get up, have breakfast and enjoy the fresh morning amid the wilderness of the Ta Xua Mountain. Sunrise provides great moments for great photography, too.

0700 Descend the mountain. Exercise caution as it is not necessarily easier going down on the slippery and steep path. There are several points on the way down that there is nothing for your to grab as a leaning point. We’ll have to use a rope then.

1230 If you are all fit, we should have been at the Ta Xua Village by now and have a motorbike transfer to Tram Tau.

1300-1400 Lunch at Tram Tau.

1400-1900 Transfer to Hanoi and arrive back at your hotel in Hanoi where our adventure concludes. We trust you had an adventure of a life time with AdventureGreen!