It was a misty morning around the area when we woke up the next day, with a little minor raining out there. Praying that the weather won't get worse, we depart straight out to continue the journey after having our breakfast from the home stay. However, the rain start to heavy and heavier, hence we have no choice but to stop at a local store in a small village, while waiting for some construction job on the road maintenance. It was pure luck that we did stop down, or else we will be in total wet from the subsequent heavy rain. Just in time to get a raincoat for each of us, and hit the road again once the rain get lighter.
Johnny did recommend us to take the new route up hill on junction in Cán Tỷ village, with the intention to cut short the distance between Yen Minh and Tam Sơn village, but end up the scenery along the road was just spectacular! However, the ascend was so steep at certain point which was tough on the poor bike, hence Q have to step down and walk on certain zone of it. The highlight of the ride here for sure have to be the stunning slope at Tham Ma pass, which was around 10KM of distance after passing through Yen Minh town.
Another alternative road down there to loop over to Yen Minh, but the recommended path by Johnny was absolute stunning!
Not sure how many turns we went through to reach up here.
Beautiful road ahead.
Open view of beautiful Ha Giang after rain.
Not too bad to have a ride after raining, enjoy the fresh air to the max!
The iconic Tham Ma pass, truly astonishing!
Unfortunately, I start to realize that our bike start to have some chain jamming symptom, especially when I am using low gear for uphill route. The situation got worsen on the hike after Lung Cam village as it was too steep to go through the ascend without using low gear, and the jamming condition getting worsen. Without a choice, we have to get a mechanic to repair it. The issue truly gone away after the chain was replaced, and Johnny agree to deduct the replacement cost from the rental as well for us, with sincere apologize on the issue that the rental bike had causing. For me, I am very impressive with his assume responsibility attitude on the bike he rent out, definitely a great man!
While waiting for the repair to be done, we have our lunch on one of the restaurant on the road side, as well as a short visit to Pao House, place where a popular local movie 'Story of Pao' was casted, about a tragic tale of an H'Mong girl on year 2006.
The entrance to Pao House.
It will definitely being more meaningful for those that watch the movie before.
The gate leading to the Cultural Tourist Village of Lung Cam, which Pao House was resided.
Popular rice as our lunch, simple but great in taste!
Seriously, it make us feel more comfortable with the ride after the repair without worry that the gear box will just drop on the road out of sudden once again! The ride after Lung Cam village surrounded by lots of limestone rock structure, which was quite true as we were in the area of Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. There was also a stopover by the road side on a view point on these limestone close up, and also spot that resemble the surface of moon as well.
Just opposite side of the view point, we came across with another famous tourism spot in Ha Giang, the H'Mong King Palace. It was an approximate 100 years old palace with massive unique design with strong influence of Chinese architecture style. The palace spreading about 1,120 square meters of area, with 6 vertical rows, and 64 rooms.
As we go north in Ha Giang, the more we see those limestone formation all over the area.
A small mountain of limestone just at the back of the small hut.
This wasn't the only place to see these limestone, but one of many view point to witness the beauty of it.
Like an oasis in the middle of desert, H'Mong King Palace was in the shaded area in the middle which was surrounded by trees.
A small pyramid like mountain caught my attention at H'Mong King Palace car park area.
Walk way to visit the palace.
The main entrance toward the palace.
The prove of how Chinese culture influencing north Vietnam, by simply looking at the words there.
The architectural also very similar to Chinese style, even back old houses in Malaysia.
The two towers function as both watch and defense structure.
Q exploring the second floor of the palace.
This might have been the King's photo.
The interior remind me of my grandparent's house, really look the same!
There were few compound in between buildings along the way.
Almost most of the time, we were riding on the main road in Ha Giang known as QL4C, but we were about to temporary leaving this road for a while, in order to go up all the way north to Lung Cu Flagpole, the northernmost tips of Vietnam bordering China. Along the road, we passed through countless view point with series of truly stunning mountain view. Although it was quite late based on our schedule with the unexpected bike issue, but we still can't help with multiple stop along the way to witness this beautiful mountain range with countless peak. There was also a great Underground River view point along the way, that gave you spectacular paddy terrace and river view on the valley, from high up.
The endless wave of stunning mountain range on the road to Lung Cu Flagpole.
Truly engulf with these view and forces us to stop multiple time by the road side.
Happy Q with the wonderful scenery.
The view from Underground River viewpoint, not getting a clue why.
Exploring to the left, suddenly understand what it was name that way.
Q imagination resemble the mountain to have the face of Kaonashi or Faceless, in classic anime by Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away.
Beautiful paddy field down there on the valley along the river.
The scenery was unreal like a water color painting.
Too bad we can't get any trail to walk our self down there, but to only witness its beauty from the view point.
Looking high up on the valley, you can see countless terrace paddy field scattered on the mountain.
Traffic control on the road to Lung Cu Flagpole as there was on going construction work there.
Q was clever to indicate we can ride our bike up to middle zone instead of hiking the stair all the way from the car park at the bottom. As a result, we just have a short hike to reach the famous Lung Cu Flagpole, which occupies a special place in all Vietnamese's heart as the symbol of country's proud determination. The Vietnam flag here was in exact 54 square meters in size, which also symbolizing 54 ethnics group in the country as well.
It was a challenging ride leaving Lung Cu to our destination for the night, Dong Van city when the sky turn dark way earlier than what we were expecting. Further more, the road that we intended to follow wasn't in good condition, and both of us nearly slipped from our bike when passing a watery mud road, luckily I drop my legs to prevent the bike from falling, but there goes my shoes! Thanks god we reach Dong Van safely, and immediately settling our stay at Hoang Ngoc Hotel for a very reasonable price.
Total distance ride today was around 125 KM.
Glad that we ride our bike all the way up here, means it wasn't too many stairs to conquer before reaching the pole.
Closer to the flagpole.
The history of Lung Cu Flagpole carved on a solid rock here.
Q enjoying sun bathing so much here.
The place resemble the pride of fellow Vietnamese on their country.
Far north, somewhere out there, was the Yunnan province of China, so near yet so far.
The Lung Cu Flagpole close up.
Sun going down way too soon, we have to rush now.
This unique trail, and a small fence just probably 50 meters away, was the actual border between Vietnam and China! There was a policeman here when we came but probably went off already went we getting out from Lung Cu.
Truly have to speed up, it going to get pretty dark soon.