Conquer the king of the mountain passes – Ma Pi Leng

As one of the "Big Four Passes" in the mountains of Northern Vietnam, Ma Pi Leng is not the longest but the most challenging and dangerous. It is known as the King of the Vietnamese mountain passes. It locates in Ha Giang Province, about 20 kilometers beyond Mount Ma Pi Leng, a mountain with an elevation of about 1,200 meters in Dong Van Plateau, situated on the street named Happiness, connecting Dong Van, Ha Giang and the town of Meo Vac. 

The pass is a winding road, one side is Mount Ma Pi Leng, on the other side is the road to Sam Pun, where lie the border post and gateway to China. Ma Pi Leng has 9 sharp turns, stuck between sky-reaching escarpments and dropping abyss. It is definitely a wonder of infrastructure construction of our people on this land of Ha Giang.

In Nguyen Tuan’s journal “Mom Lung Cu Tot Bac” about the construction process of Ma Pi Leng Pass, he wrote: “The whole stretch of Dong Van – Meo Vac, 24 kilometers of rocky road, took a year and a half, but the spot at Ma Pi Leng slope alone took 11 months of hanging on the cliff to break the rocks, to carve, to make the road into the almost vertical slope.” Now, while standing at the top of the pass, you can see a stone tablet recording the milestones during the building of the pass, paying tribute to those that gave their lives to create this road of Happiness. 

Ma Pi Leng - "Nose of the horse"

Ma Pi Leng, in Mandarin, means "Muzzle horse" literally. Figuratively, this name reflects the extreme danger of this mountain, where pregnant mares collapse, where the horses die  because of the steepness, or the steep mountain peaks like a horse’s nose. However, according to some local Hmong minority people, the true name is Mao Pi Leng Pass, which means the “nose of the cat”.

Ma Pi Leng – the road always imprinted with travelers

Painter Do Duc wrote a poem the first time he traveled on Ma Pi Leng:

"... Mountain range runs like elephants entering battle

Road runs across like lines of cloud

Deep mountain collapses into the valley, river winds

Corn leans with the late afternoon mountain wind

Face up looking at the soaring sky

Reach the peak where fog wraps your feet

Minutes pass with steep bumpy prospects

One day of sun after nine dark days"

Standing at the top of the pass, the majestic scenery will capture the travelers’ attention. You will find yourself in awe of the beauty of the nature and the result of manpower to conquer natural difficulties. With incalculably transfigured landscapes, winding roads together with O Quy Ho Pass, Deo Khau Pass, and Pha Din Pass, Ma Pi Leng inspires the dreams of the motor travelers to conquer this pass at least once in their lives. For those who have seen this wonder with their bare eyes, they always want to come back. In the journal of any motor travelers, Ma Pi Leng has never lost its attractiveness.

Do not hesitate to form a team and conquer this legendary pass!

Image source: Internet