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Nature & Adventure

Wild Nhiu Co San

Translated by Bing
Located in Sieu Ma Suo commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province, about 60 km from Sa Pa, Nhìu Co San is the 9th highest peak in Vietnam. In Hmong, Nhiu Co San means "buffalo horn". The wild and majestic beauty of Nhiu Co San increasingly attracts believers to move.

Not a prominent name compared to other peaks in the Northwest, the terrain is not too complicated, but Nhiu Co San is still a great challenge for first-time trekkers

The beauty of the road is created by the terrain, diverse and unspoiled vegetation. From waterfalls to primeval forests, rhododendron forests, bamboo forests, from green cardamom fields to goat grazing grounds... In November - 12, if the weather favors, climbers can go to Nhiu Co San to admire the beautiful floating sea of clouds like paradise. This is also the time when the forest changes clothes, red and yellow maple leaves mixed between green and grass. If you come to Nhiu Co San in March 3-4, you will get lost in the beautiful azalea forests like fairytales. The journey to conquer Nhiu Co San reasonably should last for 2 days and 1 night.

There are 2 directions to the top of the mountain: up the way of the Queen Bee waterfall, down the goat dump or vice versa. We choose the first option. However, on rainy days, going up by Queen Bee waterfall is not a safe choice.

At the gathering point in Den Sang commune, the car can no longer enter because in front is an extremely rough and dangerous offroad about 7 km long. We got off the bus, asked for the help of a motorbike taxi to drive to Nhiu Co San village to start the walking journey.

A short distance later, the sound of the stream began to hum in harmony with the wind to make the chorus of the mountains and forests. The ascent is characterized by many streams and waterfalls, overlapping rocks, moss covered with green. On the old shady trail alleyway. Although the sun pours down the leaves as yellow as honey, signs of winter are spreading beneath their feet with dried leaf carcasses on rocks and on the soil.

More than 12 noon, the majestic and tall Queen Bee waterfall stands in front of you. The white water flowed down from above, looking as far away as a strip of silky white silk. Steep cliffs clinging to moss and green grass. It all makes for a spectacular sight that makes everyone excited.

After resting and having lunch, the journey continues with the destination of the overnight shack. This stretch of road begins to appear many steep slopes, cliffs that challenge the feet. When crossing diverse vegetation, from grass bushes, cardamom to large trunks, moss, mushrooms cling to the stems,... The scent of the forest filled his chest.

By the time the sun poured its last rays down the mountain, we hadn't made it to our break in time. In an instant, dusk fell in the middle of the desolate mountains and forests, and the sky turned so brilliant that we stood dumbfounded, temporarily forgetting our constant anxiety. In the darkness halfway up the mountain, the temperature was getting lower and lower, and the tired legs trudged step by step finally stopping at the camp at nearly 19 o'clock.

The Nhìu Co San shack was also full that day because in high season, we set up our tent in the nearby lot to spend the night. The evening temperature is only 4-5 degrees Celsius, the wind is blowing. But in return, the clear sky gives dreamers a sea of twinkling stars. The photographers hunted the milkyway once again braving the cold to capture beautiful moments.

After a night of not being able to nap due to the cold, the group started day 2 very early to ensure the schedule to descend the mountain. The most difficult stage is from the shack to the top, the higher it goes, the steeper it is. The bamboo groves and rhododendron forests led us to the spire of Nhìu Co San landmark after 2 hours. Because of the clear day, the layers of mountains are clearly visible in the sky. Here, looking out into the distance, you can see both the peaks of Liangzi White Jupiter and Lu Chen.

The way back in the direction of the goat paddock is quite "easy to breathe". Along the way, the maple trees turned red in a corner of the sky. The strenuous but emotional journey ended when we crossed the goat paddock to the village. This is a journey to cool the soul by streams and waterfalls, green forest canopy, by sparkling sunshine, clear laughter, things that are difficult to find in the noisy city.

For me, trips are not just about taking photos, to lengthen check-in lists, but also about bringing new perspectives when trying to put yourself in situations that are different from everyday life. And 2 days and 1 night exploring Nhiu Co San once again helped me do that.

Articles and photos: Le Phuong

Image source: Multiple authors
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