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Cloudy paradise in Ta Xua

With special gifts endowed by mother nature such as a cloudy paradise, hundred year old Shan Tuyet tea trees, and the pristine culture of the native Mong people, Ta Xua has become a magnet for visitors in Bac Yen district, Son La province.

From Bac Yen, visitors need to travel about 15km on provincial road 112 with many steep slopes and bends to reach Ta Xua’s peak. Located at an altitude of over 1,500m above sea level, Ta Xua is famous for a beautiful paradise in the morning sunlight and gorgeous mountains. 

 

 

Ta Xua valley in the early morning. Photo: Trinh Bo

  The peach blossom season in Ta Xua starts from December to the end of January next year. Photo: Trinh Bo


  Daily life of the Mong in Ta Xua B hamlet. Photo: Thanh Giang


Flowers bloom in four seasons in Ta Xua. Photo: Hoang Ha

 


Tourists take pictures of clouds at a cafe in Ta Xua. Photo: Thanh Giang


White clouds fly on the roof of a traditional Mong house. Photo: Nguyen Thang


Every year, from October to April is the ideal time for cloud hunting in Ta Xua. However, it's not every day that you can see white clouds floating in the valley. According to the Mong, on days with monsoons or days with light rain the night before, the next morning when it is sunny, clouds will cover the valley.

After several unsuccessful hunts for these clouds, recently, we witnessed a wonderful cloud paradise. The white floating clouds drift over the hills and spill down around the pass. The mountains sometimes are hidden and appear in the ocean of clouds. 

A Mong woman picks Shan Tuyet tea at a 200-year-old ancient tea garden in Ta Xua. Photo: Hoang Ha


Cùng với thiên đường mây, nằm sâu trên đỉnh Tà Xùa là những cây chè shan tuyết cổ thụ hàng trăm năm tuổi gắn liền với lịch sử, văn hóa và nếp sống của đồng bào dân tộc Mông nơi đây. Rừng chè phát triển tự nhiên, không có bất cứ sự tác động nào của người dân. Thân cây bám đầy rêu phong, vài ba người có thể cùng trèo lên hái chè một lúc, vì vậy du khách đến chiêm ngưỡng những cây chè cổ thụ có thể trải nghiệm hái chè cùng người dân địa phương.

Mua Thi Tong (right) turns tea leaves upside down before drying them. Photo: Thong Thien


Besides the cloud paradise, there are hundreds of ancient Shan Tuyet tea trees which are associated with the history, culture and lifestyle of the Mong in the area. The tea forest grows naturally, without any human impact and the trunks are covered with moss. Several people can climb up a tree to pick tea at the same time, so visitors can experience tea picking with the local people.

A corner of the center of Ta Xua commune. Photo: Trinh Bo


Shan Tuyet tea in Ta Xua has white buds and large leaves. The locals always process tea manually, because they believe that making tea by hand they will feel the softness of each young tea bud and each tea product will be more delicious. Ta Xua tea has a color similar to honey. When drinking the tea, the first taste is acrid and then it turns sweet. The taste of tea is specific compared to other tea products.

Besides the cloud paradise, the dinosaur spine in Hang Dong commune also tops the list as one of the main reasons for visiting Ta Xua. Thirteen km from Ta Xua and located at an altitude of nearly 1,800m above sea level, the dinosaur spine has a rather special shape, like a sleeping dinosaur. With the rugged terrain, it thrills any adventure-seeker. It is a wonderful destination for cloud hunting in Bac Yen. The scene from the dinosaur spine is priceless and beyond words and is the experience of a lifetime with imposing mountains, poetic terraced fields and greenish forests of po mu, hawthorn and chestnut. 

 

On the dinosaur spine in Hang Dong commune. Photo: Tat Son


The dinosaur spine is home to many generations of Mong people. Photo: Thong Thien


Dolphin ledge is also an alluring part of Ta Xua. This cliff is created by two large slabs like two dolphins swimming among the sea of clouds.

Visiting dophil ledge. Photo: Cong Dat


 

Ta Xua has been invested with a synchronous infrastructure system to develop tourism. With unique and diverse tourism products associated with protecting the natural landscape and promoting the national cultural identity, Ta Xua has become an important tourist spot in the province and connects to Tram Tau in Yen Bai province.

By VNP Translated by Nguyen Tuoi

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