Pitching a tent and sleeping overnight on top of Ta Xua Mountain is an interesting travel experience: you will wake up amid a sea of white clouds.
Situated 230 kilometers (143 miles) north of Hanoi, Ta Xua, the 10th highest peak in Vietnam, straddles Yen Bai and Son La provinces. It has become increasingly popular among trekkers as a cloud-hunting spot in recent years, but the journey to the top is not easy at all with dangerous winding routes and craggy cliffs.
If you choose to set up a tent on the mountain peak, remember to take warm clothes and an insect repellent, and buy firewood from locals to burn at night. It is necessary to buy food in advance because there are no restaurants or other services on the mountain. From late November the temperature in Ta Xua is 14-19 degrees Celsius during the day and 9-10 degrees at night. The best time to hunt for clouds there is from December to March.
After a cold windy night at 4-5 a.m. trekkers can see a sea of white clouds stretch out as far as the eye can see.
Quan, a visitor from Hanoi, said setting up a tent to sleep overnight on the peak of Ta Xua Mountain is an unforgettable experience, but trekkers need previous camping experience in difficult terrains before taking up the challenge of Ta Xua.
Peach flowers bloom in pink along the way to the top while the surrounding landscape is shrouded in thick fog and white clouds.
From Hanoi, you can take a bus going to Ha Giang Province from the My Dinh Bus Station (VND135,000 or $5.85) and get off at Bac Yen Town in Yen Bai Province. From Bac Yen, you can rent a motorbike for the drive to Ta Xua. A popular bike rental shop is Thanh My.
From afar, Ta Xua Mountain looks like a resting dinosaur, and so the trail leading to the peak is called Dinosaur’s Spine. Tourist facilities are minimal in Ta Xua with only a few homestay options available. If you are hungry, you can find Hmong families who will serve you local dishes and corn wine, a local specialty.