Friday, 17/03/2023 08:50

Conquering Khang Su Văn Peak, the highest border landmark in Việt Nam

Khang Su Văn has tall, strangely shaped trunks, moss-covered from root to top, branches and leaves. — Photo

Lâm Giang

Khang Su Văn Peak is also known as Phàn Liên San or U Thái San. It is located at about 3,000m in the area of Khang Su Văn Mountain in Lai Châu Province. It is the fifth-highest mountain in Việt Nam.

Khang Su Văn has a total length of about 20km and is located in Dào San Commune, Phong Thổ District.

Mountaineers first conquered it in 2015 and it quickly became a destination for trekking due to its passage through the ancient forest with its unique ecosystem and Việt Nam-China border landmark No 79, the highest of its kind in Việt Nam.

To discover Khang Su Văn, after going from Hà Nội to Lai Châu City, we continued by car to Pa Vây Sử Commune in Phong Thổ District. Before that, we contacted to find a porter to guide us and did the procedures to get permission from the local government because this is a border area and prepared food and drink for the journey.

After reaching Pa Vây Sử, the porter guided us on the climbing journey and assisted us with carrying our belongings.

According to porter Tẩn Chỉn Hội, who has five years of experience in helping tourists to conquer mountain peaks in Lai Châu, Khang Su Văn is a magnificent mountain peak in the province. Moreover, the altitude is not too challenging compared to other heights, such as Pu Ta Leng and Nam Kang Ho Tao, so it is suitable for many adventurous people.

Tourists pose at the Khang Su Văn Peak. — Photo 

Our journey from the centre of Pa Vây Sử Commune started at around 5am. We passed through a few houses of Mông people located close to the edge of the forest. Along the way, Mông skirts are drying on the porch. The road has a gentle slope enough for us to get used to it. We then arrived at the forest gate at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level.

On the journey through the jungle, we saw ancient trees covered with moss and passed through the rustling bamboo forest. To experience this, we did not hesitate to sit down and use our hands to push our body to slide down on the dry, thick bamboo carpet.

When the sun rises, its weak rays pierce through the forest leaves. They crept down through the layers of cold fog. The higher we climbed, the colder it got, as the sky cleared and the mist receded to give way to sunlight and warmth. Finally, at noon, we stopped by a beautiful waterfall.

This was an excellent place to take pictures. Then, while waiting for the porter to prepare lunch, we could soak their feet in cold water to relieve muscle tension. This was also one of the "lessons" that porters gave new climbers.

The scenery in Khang Su Văn Mountain. — Photo

After about one hour of rest, we continued their journey through the vast cardamom forests with a characteristic and pleasant aroma that made us want to inhale forever. Cardamom is one of the typical traditional spices of the locals here.

In particular, we passed through a thousand-year-old ancient forest; it is magically beautiful with moss-covered old trees and interlaced vines. We were very eager to take photos here. We did not remember exactly how many kilometres of forest roads we went through, but going through about five cardamom shacks, we came to a stopover for the evening.

The shack to rest in Khang Su Văn in the evening is enough for about 15 people, but it is incredibly cosy. So we joined the porters to cook dinner, exchange and sing. Finally, after a journey of climbing for about 6-7 hours, everyone fell into a deep sleep in the evening amidst the silence of the mountains.

To get to the peak of Khang Su Văn to hunt clouds, at about 5.30 am, we started to depart. The last route is only about 3.5km from the mountain, but it was steep and difficult. So this is considered the final challenge for the journey to the top.

When approaching the top, we hit milestone 79 at an altitude of 2,880m above sea level. We took photos at this landmark to feel the pride of Việt Nam's territorial sovereignty.

A sea of clouds at the Khang Su Văn Peak. — Photo

From milestone 79, it took about 30 minutes to reach the peak. At this stage, we each prepared a pair of boots because this road was not steep but very slippery and muddy.

On the top of the mountain is an ancient stone wall covered with moss as proof of time. According to the porters, this old stone wall was originally a house of a hermit. However, over time, the house had been damaged, leaving only a mossy stone wall for tourists to take pictures.

Like many other high mountains in the northern mountainous region, Khang Su Văn is surrounded by a sea of white clouds adorned by nature with beautiful green vegetation.

Standing on the top of the mountain, we could see the whole land of Lai Châu, the vast green forests, and the white clouds floating. We dropped into the enormous space of heaven and earth. We were happy to discover this mountain as a way to challenge our youth and keep many precious memories. VNS

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