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Nature & Adventure

Reclining on an ageless pine hill in Hua Tat

Translated by Bing
Hua Tat pine hill and Moc Chau pine forest have existed for a long time, but tourism in Hua Tat village has only started to be noticed in recent years. Hmong people have now learned how to do community tourism methodically and know how to "sell" indigenous culture in a humble and attractive way.

It started like any other trip, when my group of friends and I found out what there was to eat, play and explore around Hua Tat village. But nothing but a pine hill sounded quite simple. There are no check-in points of thousands of likes, no ads, no praises to the clouds, I am somewhat "bored" because "what the hell will the pine forest have?"


Take a nap and go to Hua Tat


Hua Tat village is located in Van Ho district, Moc Chau, Son La province. Passing through Lang Luong territory, you will see two turns: one continues the new National Highway 6 to continue to Son La and two to the old National Highway 6. Hua Tat village is located on the old National Highway 6.


Hua Tat Pass extends for about 8 kilometers. This is a small pass road, on the side is a cliff, on the side is a hill. The twists and turns are quite complicated, they are only friendly to solid and experienced drivers. The pass is wooded but empty of people. There were green passages of pine forests, then white of some wild plant, hiding the flowering bushes of dogs—which grew rampant all over the hillside.


For backpackers who love challenges, not afraid of stones in the wheel, Hua Ta is really a new joy. If you want to move safer, you can take a bus, every day there is a trip back and forth between Moc Chau and Hanoi. The car cannot go too fast due to the dangerous pass, but you only need to take a nap to meet the green hill.


Reclining to rest in the ageless pine forest


Hua Tat pine hill is located directly opposite the village, just step across the highway. Me and my group of friends with shoes ready to get dirty, anyway our shoes were covered in mud, dust and dirt from the rain yesterday. Going to the forest is like that, you can't be clean. My most interesting trips into the woods were still graded based on how much mud got on me. I think no one wants to touch nature and prevent it from touching them again.


Hundreds of thousands of tall pine trees, the deeper they go, the bigger they are


It may sound strange, but Hua Tat pine forest is surprising because it has a lot of pine trees. I still have a grudge against Ang pine forest, where you have to pay 100,000 VND to see the forest without many pine trees and the sad lake view like the afternoon market.


The place we chose to stay was not far from the trail up the hill. I could still see Hua Ta village looming among the thick trunks of the trees. It was getting colder, and the surroundings were both wet and dry, causing me confusion, perhaps at the pine shelves that had fallen on the ground, and when I bent down to look closely, I saw dew drops on them.


In the forest, I almost lost my sense of space and time. The tree in front of him and his back, left and right, was soaring, and above he saw a thousand thick layers of intertwined leaves, with only a few rays of light shining on the ground. The sound we spoke was the only sound that echoed among the trees. Over time, I heard more coaches driving down the highway, people in the village calling to each other, sounds that tried to penetrate the thick pine but failed, leaving an indistinct shattered chord.


Sunshine covered with calm pine hills


Near noon, there is more golden sunshine, pine hills also change to warm and poetic. The blue sky was clearly visible and the clouds drifted hastily. The breeze blows gently shaking the branches, not violently sucking them. The air was less dense, perhaps backing away to make room for the sun's rays to penetrate between the tall pine canopies. A very carefree tranquility enveloped the pine hill. The romance of Hua Tat reminds me forever.


I think just one day in Hua Tat is enough. But as I took off my coat and spread it out on the ground and dry branches to lie on my back, I saw how quickly the day passed. The sun here disappears very quickly. The dimly sunny forest became frighteningly murky. The trail of course had no guides to guide the entrance, and no one dared to think about getting lost in it. Only a small distance away, but the feeling of being in the forest is very different. The forest is like a living entity of its own, not interacting with roads and villages, not letting artificial sounds mix into it.


In the middle of the morning, stepping into the thick pine forest also became dark


So we left the pine forest. When I looked back, I wasn't sure if I had taken the initiative to go into nature or if nature condescended to allow me to visit. The pine forest stood there, illustrious and majestic.


In the overcast afternoon light, I thought about the feeling of soundless headphones, my eyes saw the sky intertwined with a thick pine canopy, my back was not straight because of the mixed branches of the earth, but as if the moment had passed far away. Maybe tonight gathering around the fire, eating pieces of wild boar, whole grilled fish and chatting with Hmong people who are used to living in the middle of mountains and forests, I will understand more about that feeling.


The fragrance of pine wrapped around me and in my sleep in the village, the sound of pine ringing. I fell asleep in a peaceful dream.


Writer: Ha Mi

Image source: Multiple authors
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