Admire 4 great passes in the northwestern Vietnam

Updated July, 2022

O Quy Ho Pass, Pha Din, Khau Pha, Ma Pi Leng have become a legend for those who have ever set foot in the far northwestern land.


1. O Quy Ho pass – Lao Cai

At an altitude of 2,073m above sea level is the wild O Quy Ho pass. O Quy Ho is also known as Hoang Lien pass because it passes Hoang Lien Son mountain range, or May pass because it is covered by clouds all year round.

Located on the national highway 4D, the pass connects the two provinces of Lao Cai – Lai Chau and the top of the pass is also the boundary between the two provinces. With a length of 30km, O Quy Ho is one of the most long, craggy and imposing mountain passes in the northern mountains of Vietnam. O Quy Ho is known as the “King of the Northwest Pass”.

At present, the pass route is well upgraded, becoming a full of traffic roads. To go from Hanoi to Lai Chau, many people choose to take a train to Lao Cai and then take a bus to cross O Quy Ho pass.

2. Khau Pha Pass – Yen Bai

Khau Pha pass is ranked 2 in the “four great peak pass” of northern Vietnam. The pass is located in the border area between Van Chan district and Mu Cang Chai district of Yen Bai province, the Khau Pha pass passes many famous places such as La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le, Che Cu Nha, and Nam Co. .. at elevations between 1,200m and 1,500m above sea level.

Khau Pha is most beautiful in about October 9, when the terraced fields of the Mong and Thai ethnic groups in the season of rice ripen, brilliantly golden.

The Khau Pha pass road has up to two-thirds of a gravelly, bumpy gravel road, only a little more beautiful through Tu Le.

3. Pha Din Pass – Dien Bien

“Pha Pha Din, I carry you with a pack – Deo Lung Lo, I sing and sing”, Pha Din Pass has become a legend in the resistance war against the French colonialists of our nation. The pass is located on Highway 6, the road from Hanoi to Dien Bien, at the border between Son La and Dien Bien provinces, 66km from Son La city.

44km long pass with the highest point is located at an altitude of 1,648m above sea level, the terrain is very difficult with one side is a cliff, one side is a deep pool. With an average slope of 8 – 10%, the zigzag road with 8 curves is very dangerous, the radius of curvature is less than 15m and next to it is countless countless bends of sleeves, A, Z , the rainy season is very difficult to travel.

On the middle of Pha Din pass, there are often cloudy clouds, at the foot of the pass are scattered villages. Standing on the mountain pass of Dien Bien province, looking down, visitors will see Muong Quai valley stretching with green ngut of hills …

4. Ma Pi Leng Pass – Ha Giang – one of the great passes in northern Vietnam

Ma Pi Leng pass is a rugged mountain pass about 20km long, crossing a mountain peak of about 2,000m in the Dong Van Plateau. The pass is located on a road named Hanh Phuc Street connecting Ha Giang city, Dong Van town and Meo Vac town.

This road was followed by tens of thousands of volunteer youths from 16 ethnic groups in 8 northern provinces of Vietnam for 6 years (1959 – 1965). I worked on the cliff side for 11 months.

There is currently 1 stop for visitors to admire and a stone tablet recording the mark during the construction of the pass.

Overcoming difficulties and hardships of deprivation. Overcoming the hindrance of Mother fierce nature. From the extraordinary strength of the people and the indomitable spirit of overcoming difficulties, the people of all ethnic groups in Vietnam have cleared forests and cleared mountains to make magical paths for us today. Go, to know, to admire. Go, to add love to Vietnam homeland.

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