Cloud hunting on Ha Giang's second highest peak

 Chieu Lau Thi mountain peak in Ha Giang Province is an all-year-round place for cloud lovers.

Chieu Lau Thi or Kieu Lieu Ti is located in both Tan Minh and Chien Thang villages, Ho Thau Commune, Hoang Su Phi District. At 2,402 meters above sea level, this is the second-highest peak in the northern province, after Tay Con Linh summit (2,428 m).

From Hanoi, tourists often choose to take a night bus to Hoang Su Phi, then rent a motorbike to drive nearly 40 kilometers more to reach the foot of the mountain before scaling Chieu Lau Thi.

It would take over half a day to travel 300 kilometers from Hanoi to Ho Thau Commune using private transport. The last 15 kilometers get pretty dangerous with many bends and ongoing construction.

A concrete road to Chieu Lau Thi is nearly finished, meaning vehicles with less than nine seats could soon reach the foot of the mountain, surrounded by forests.

Chieu Lau Thi has different beauties in different seasons. But the best time for cloud hunting here is from September to February, which coincides with rice harvest and spring blossom season.

From the foot of the mountain, visitors have to ascend hundreds of steps before reaching the peak.

Make sure to bring water and snacks when climbing. The weather at Chieu Lau Thi in the first months of the year is dry but windy and cold, so a jacket is needed.

Although the footpath to the top stretches only 800 meters, it can take 30-40 minutes to conquer. The higher you go, the denser the forest.

Hanoians Cuong and Ha conquered Chieu Lau Thi on the first day of March.

Ha said, although she had seen oceans of clouds in places like Ta Xua (Son La Province) and Y Ty (Lao Cai Province) communes, she was still amazed by the beauty of the second highest peak in Ha Giang.

Without going to the top, you can still see the sea of ​​clouds over the valleys around Chieu Lau Thi.

A good time for cloud hunting is late afternoon (4-6 p.m.), when sunset is about to hit, or at 5 a.m., before dawn.

Sunset viewed from the mountain top.

In March and April, sunsets last until 6:30 p.m. with temperatures of about 15-18 degrees Celsius.

To stay overnight, tourists either camp or book a homestay operated by the Phu Pu family, which costs VND100,000 ($4.3) a night. The homestay is about 2 kilometers from the route to the mountain.

Originally a farm, it was later expanded and welcomes guests from 2016. A meal costs VND150,000 and a herb bath about VND100,000.

In early March, late blooming peach blossoms still surround the homestay, adding a touch of color to the foot of Chieu Lau Thi.

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