Legendary Ma Pi Leng Pass – Guide to explore

Legendary Ma Pi Leng Pass – Guide to explore

ha giang loop

Revered as one of Vietnam’s “four great mountain passes,” the Ma Pi Leng Pass is an enticing landmark in Hà Giang tourism. Visitors to this destination will experience winding, perilous roads, towering mountains, and deep valleys. The impressive scenery of the pass not only attracts tourists for check-ins and exploration but also serves as a challenge for adventure enthusiasts.

A brief introduction to the Ma Pi Leng Pass

In the northern region of Vietnam, travelers are treated to a plethora of breathtaking attractions. From the bustling capital city of Hanoi to the magnificent Halong Bay, listed as one of the world’s Seven Wonders, and the serene countryside of Ninh Binh, there’s no shortage of sights to see. However, beyond these well-known destinations, the North offers the opportunity to explore its mountainous regions and immerse oneself in the authentic village life of ethnic minorities.

ma pi leng

Among these natural wonders is the Ma Pi Leng Pass, located in Ha Giang province, Vietnam. This pass connects the Dong Van Plateau with the town of Meo Vac, sitting at an altitude of approximately 1500 meters above sea level. Regarded as one of the top four passes in Vietnam, Ma Pi Leng is both stunningly beautiful and notoriously treacherous to traverse. Its name, derived from the H’mong language, translates to “the bridge of a horse’s nose,” aptly describing its shape. Some even liken it to the Great Wall of Vietnam. Despite its relatively short length of about 20 kilometers, navigating this pass can pose a significant challenge, especially for first-time drivers.e

Experience in conquering the Ma Pi Leng Pass in detail

1 Best Time to Visit the Pass

Ha Giang is often referred to as the poetic beauty of the Northern mountains, with each season bringing its own allure. Therefore, visitors can freely choose to explore at any time that suits their schedule. From January to March is the season of cherry blossoms and peach blossoms; April hosts the Khau Vai love market; September is the season of ripe golden rice fields in Hoang Su Phi; October to November is the season of blooming buckwheat flowers; and December features the season of mustard flowers.

However, due to the rugged terrain, it’s best to avoid visiting from June to August. During this time, the weather can be harsh, with frequent rain making the roads slippery and dangerous. Moreover, thick fog in the early mornings and evenings can hinder visibility and increase the risk of accidents.

2 How to get to Ma Pi Leng pass?

From Hanoi, travelers can explore the famous mountain pass using the following modes of transportation:

  • By Motorbike:

ma pi leng pass

For adventurous souls, riding a motorbike is the top choice for conquering the challenging mountain pass. If traveling from Hanoi, you can reach Ha Giang via the following route: Thang Long Bridge – Viet Tri – Tuyen Quang – Ha Giang. To ensure safety and ease of travel, opt for a semi-automatic motorbike.

  • By Bus:

Buses are suitable and safe transportation options for those with limited driving experience. Buses from Hanoi to Ha Giang depart from My Dinh Bus Station. It’s recommended to choose evening trips to arrive in Ha Giang early in the morning. Upon arrival, you can either rent a motorbike or take a motorbike taxi (Xe Om) to navigate the mountain pass.

  • By Flight:

For a quicker but less common option, travelers can take a flight from Hanoi to Ha Giang. However, please note that as of now, there are no direct flights from Hanoi to Ha Giang. You may need to take a flight to a nearby city such as Hanoi or Lao Cai, then continue the journey by bus or car to Ha Giang.

4 The Beauty of the First Heroic Pass of Hà Giang

According to the experiences of those who have visited the Ma Pi Leng Pass, everyone is astounded by its mystical beauty. This pass connects the two districts of Đong Van and Meo Vac and is hailed as the first heroic pass of Ha Giang. Along the way, travelers can admire the Tu San Canyon formed by the Nho Que River. Although not very long, the pass is quite treacherous in the north, leading many to claim it as the king of all passes in Vietnam.

Currently, the pass has been expanded considerably compared to before, but its level of danger has not diminished at all; if anything, it seems even more majestic, leaving many in awe. From the peak of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, one can gaze upon the breathtaking grandeur of the Ha Giang mountainous forests, with towering peaks shrouded in early morning mist, golden sunlight during noon, and a mesmerizing array of colors. At any time of the day, looking down from the pass, visitors can witness various mesmerizing landscapes.

Unmissable Attractions on the Pass

1 Admire the Landscape from Above

According to the experience of conquering the Ma Pi Leng Pass, there are always beautiful stopping points along this adventurous route. These are rocky outcrops nestled amidst the cliffs, favored by young travelers because they provide a sense of being amidst vast mountains and rivers.

At the summit of the pass, which is also the highest point of the Happiness Road, there is a stopping point for visitors to admire the scenery. Here, there is also a stone plaque commemorating the milestones in the construction of the pass.

2 Experience Boating on the Nho Que River

The Nho Que River lies beneath the treacherous cliffs of Hà Giang. Visitors can experience boating on the river, passing through the Tu Sản Canyon. This canyon is the deepest in Southeast Asia, located directly under the Ma Pi Leng Pass, with cliff heights reaching 700-800 meters, a length of 1.7 kilometers, and a depth of nearly 1 kilometer. It can be considered a uniquely magnificent landmark within the Global Geopark of Dong Van Karst Plateau. In recent years, many people have chosen to explore the Nho Que River by paddling their own boats or using stand-up paddleboards.

3 Conquer the Nine Bends Slope

The Nine Bends Slope in Ha Giang is a winding mountain road connecting Phố Cáo commune with Sủng Là commune, Đồng Văn district of Hà Giang. This area features consecutive sharp bends, steep slopes, and winding paths. According to the experiences of many young travelers conquering the Ma Pi Leng Pass, the slopes around Sung La are often adorned with blooming buckwheat flowers. If you are a fan of this flower, you shouldn’t miss it.

Due to the challenging steepness of the slope, it’s essential to equip yourself with a sturdy motorbike before ascending. Besides the Nine Bends Slope, this area also features other slopes like Pai Lung, Tham Ma, Sam Pun, which are equally worth experiencing.

Some Tips for a More Convenient Journey

Conquering the Ma Pi Leng pass is neither simple nor safe, so you need to pay attention to several issues before starting your journey. Here are some tips for your reference:

  • If traveling by motorbike, you must have strong riding skills to navigate through dangerous curves. Otherwise, you can hire an easy rider as a driver and guide.
  • Clothing: You should choose the most comfortable outfits for your trip. If traveling in summer, bring a lightweight jacket as the highland nights can be quite cold. In winter, prepare warm coats, gloves, and scarves.
  • Accommodation: When reaching the Ma Pi Leng pass, accommodation options are limited as there is only one homestay called Ma Pi Leng Homestay. Therefore, many travelers often choose to cross the pass and stay in Meo Vac instead.

Ready for your trip to Ma Pi Leng

Hà Giang is a name that never goes out of style on the Vietnamese tourism map, and the Ma Pi Leng Pass is a challenge you can’t afford to miss. If you’ve already fallen in love with the beauty of the Hà Giang mountains and the adventurous roads, then this is the ideal choice for you. Let’s explore even more exciting destinations in Hà Giang with Jackfruit Adventure Ho Chi Minh city cycling tour and Team Building.

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