Stellar of the Seas Cruise Halong Bay
Stellar of the Seas Cruise Halong Bay

Exploring four great mountain passes of the northwest (Part2)

Exploring four great mountain passes of the northwest (Part2)
UPDATED: 25 Aug 2015 175 Views
The Ma Pi Leng mountain pass With the length of 20km, the arduous Ma Pi Leng mountain pass, traversing the Ma Pi Leng mountain peak of 2,000m high in Dong Van plateau, is part of the Happy Road connecting Ha Giang city, Dong Van and Meo Vac towns Ma Phi Leng The mountain pass was built by tens of thousands of young volunteers from 16 ethnic minorities in 8 southern provinces in 6 years (1959-1965). Especially, a heroic squad had to climb onto cliff walls to cut into the mountain little by little over 11 months to make the road passing the Ma Pi Leng mountain peak. Ma Pi Leng in Mandarin language means “horse nose” because the sheer mountain peak is compared to a horse’s nose by the local people. Figuratively, the name means that the pass is too dangerous to climb even for horses. They might be exhausted climbing there, especially the pregnant ones. Before the 1960s, over 80 thousand H’Mong (Meo) ethnic people living in the four districts behind the mountain grandeur of the Dong Van plateau had no concept of “road”. For many generations, the only way to pass Ma Pi Leng was to pile wattles on rocks to hang ropes and cling on these ropes to creep over nine rounds of craggy mountain slope path full of rugged rocks. The 9-round slope path to the Ma Pi Leng mountain peak is also called the Slope of God. In order to help ethnic groups in mountainous areas to catch up with the civilized life in the plain, the Central Committee of the then Labour Party of Vietnam and the then Viet Bac Regional Party Committee decided to open the road to connect Ha Giang – Dong Van – Meo Vac, which is later called the Happy Road. Though the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass, a part of the Happy Road, is not very long, it is the most arduous pass in the mountainous areas of the northern border. It is even dubbed “the King of Vietnam’s mountain passes”. At the beginning, the pass was only wide enough for pedestrians and horse-drawn carts. Later, it was widened so that cars and vans can go by. However, it is still very difficult and dangerous for two cars to avoid each other because of blind and sharp curves, and rough road. The construction of the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass, including the 9-round slope, is really a miracle. Some even compare it to the Great Wall of China or a Pyramid. On the top of Ma Pi Leng, the highest point of the Happy Road, there is a stone stele with information on the construction of the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass, and also a place for people to enjoy a good view of this mountainous region. travel to vietnam
Tags : Mountain