Hoang Su Phi has been familiar with two highest peaks in the Northeast of the country and majestic terraced fields. Additionally, it “overwhelms” tourists even when they have got there several times by traditional local markets of the La Chi group, Dao Do group, etc.
Climb up the peak of Chieu Lien Thi
Located in the northwestern of Ha Giang province, Tay Con Linh Range has been known for its majestic and rugged significances. Souring from this spectacular range, Tay Con Linh and Chieu Lau Thi Peaks is undoubtedly an ideal destination for those who are engrossed with adventuring experience, especially professional pack backers.
After fulling our stomach with a bowl of noodle named “Pho of the La Chi group” at the food stall along the road, we engage in the journey with newcomers to conquer the “Nang Thi” Peak which is also called “Chin Tang Thang” Peak (those the locals call “Chieu Lau Thi” Peak”).
Our journey came smoothly at the first few kilometers of the road from Vinh Quang town. However, when we turned into provincial road 197 from Nam Dich T-junction, the road is steeper and steeper. Therefore, we had to try our best to come over these slopes.
Our trip to the amazing peak coincided with the post – harvest season of locals. Thus, the soil color intertwined with the lush green of immense forests and mountains that is characterized by bending streams.
We had a short break at the stall of a woman of the H’mong group. She told us to be careful with “shallow stream” which was only left behind the stones and rocks because the soil had been washed away after the torrential rains.
Well, what she did say was totally right. The route started with steep slopes that are scattered with stones and did not coffer handrail running along the mountainside. As a result, some drivers were “nervous”, so they had to ask for short breaks.
Reaching the “shallow stream”, we faced to scattering stones and rocks. Honestly, we drove motorbikes but our body moved up and down as if we rode horses.
After the 3 – hour journey, we eventually went through the road of 10 kilometers long to set food in the only homestay that was 2 kilometers from Lau Thi Peak and located at an altitude of over 2,000m above sea level. At night, the homestay was blanketed by the dark of forests and mountains and the sound of insects and animals.
Mr. Phan Van Phuc – Deputy Secretary of Ho Thau Commune, who opened the first and only homestay near the summit of Chieu Lau Thi, warmly welcomed us by the friendliness and hospitability of the local residents.
We had a cozy dinner at 10 p.m when the landlord was excited and guests “revived” after a tough journey. We slept about 5 hours, then, continued our itinerary.
The homestay is surrounded by prime forests of hundreds years old whose trunks are covered by green moss. We came across ancient tea plantations – shan tea, living at an altitude of over 2,000 meters and bearing the wind and frost throughout the year to create the essence of tea, become the “powerful” herb for treatment.
After nearly an hour, we finally touched the stainless steel pin at the top of Chieu Lau Thi (in 2016), a worthy certificate for conquerors.
The traditional local markets of the Dao Do group
After two days of relaxing at Chieu Lau Thi Peak, we found a way to local market to explore the culture of Hoang Su Phi District, which had 24 communes and 1 town and many ethnic groups. Among them, the Dao Do and La Chi groups have preserved and conserved unique tradition and culture through local markets.
There are dozens of local markets of the La Chi and Red Dao people that are alternately organized in villages. We made a visit to the local market at Thong Nguyen commune, where the Dao Do group purchased and wore eyes – catching new clothes. There was one thing interesting that the little babies who were sleepy, were carried behind their mother’s back. They were put on red hats on their head that looked them so cute.
A cloth saleswoman at the market said that those hats were made by the Dao women, then, embroidered patterns for their children when they were born.
The young ladies of the Dao group in the costumes of red, black, blue, yellow,… gradually flocked to the market.