Hanoi – Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which runs a length of 180 kilometers in the northwest of Vietnam through Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Yen Bai provinces, is an irresistible charm with its breathtaking natural scenery.
Visitors can enjoy the pristine and splendid beauty of Hoang Lien Son mountain range by taking the cable car that connects Muong Hoa valley with Fansipan, the so-called roof of Indochina.
The cable car takes visitors through a green valley of natural forests, floating white clouds and terraced rice fields, which symbolize the northwest mountain region.
Visitors will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere on Fansipan in Sapa which boasts a spiritual and cultural area that features Kim Son Bao Thang pagoda and a giant statue of Amitabha Buddha, the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Vietnam. The 21.5m high statue is made of tens of thousands of 5mm bronze flat bars. The sound of a pagoda’s bell gives visitors a feeling of calm.
At the summit of Fansipan where a monument is built to mark the highest point of the roof of Indochina, visitors feel as if they are floating on a sea of white clouds.
Fansipan is not the only attraction in Hoang Lien Son. The unique culture of ethnic groups, including the Mong, Dao, Xa Pho, Tay Giay, Kinh and Hoa, who have lived in Sa Pa for ages, makes the northwest mountain region truly appealing to visitors, especially foreigners.
In Sa Pa, visitors have a chance to watch traditional festivals of ethnic people such as Xuong Dong (going down to the fields); Gau Tao (a festival of the Hmong to pray for happiness and good health); Roong Pooc (a festival of the Giay to pray for a bumper crop); Mua Xoe (a festival of the Tay dedicated to the God of Farming); and Cap Sac (the maturity ceremony of the Dao).
The festivals, which include worship rituals, and community activities such as folk dances and folk games, offer visitors memorable experiences of the original culture of ethnic groups in the northwest.
Sa Pa district now has nearly 160 establishments providing homestay tourism services in Ta Van, Lao Chai, Ban Ho and Ta Phin communes, where visitors can experience the daily life and culture of the locals.
The beautiful tourist town also has an ancient rock field in Muong Hoa valley and ethnic villages scattered on beautiful terraced fields.
For adventurous travelers who do not want to take the cable car to reach Fansipan, there is a road going through Hoang Lien Son national park which starts from Tram Ton at a height of 1,900 meters and goes up to a height of 2,900 meters.
Going this way, visitors can enjoy the beautiful villages of the Mong, Dao and Giay built halfway up the mountain. They can also explore the 60,000-hectare Hoang Lien Son national park located between 1,000 and 3,000 meters above sea level. The park is recognized as an ASEAN heritage park and is considered the ‘green lung’ of the northwest. It is a biodiversity center which is home to many endemic species named in the world’s red list of endangered species./.