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Legendary O Quy Ho pass in Vietnam’s northwest
O Quy Ho is one of the 4 most daunting passes in Vietnam’s northwestern region. The other three are Ma Pi Leng in Ha Giang province, Khau Pha in Yen Bai, and Pha Din between Son La and Dien Bien province. The beauty and magnificence of O Quy Ho pass inspires adventure lovers.
The 50-km long O Quy Ho pass, also known as Hoang Lien Son or May (Cloud) pass runs through the Hoang Lien Son range connecting Lai Chau and Lao Cai province. The pass is associated with a legend about the Love waterfall, where a fairy and a lumberjack named O Quy Ho met and fell in love.
Because they could not get married, the fairy turned into a bird and flying over the mountain, called out his name “O Quy Ho”. The pass is also called “Cloud” pass because it is obscured by clouds the year round. Vu Truong Giang of Sa Pa township says that from the pass, visitors can admire the imposing panorama of Fansipan mountain, the highest mountain in Indochina: “O Quy Ho pass, called the Sa Pa heaven’s gate, is the highest point of Vietnam’s roads, 2,000 meters above sea level. At the top of the pass, you can see Lai Chau’s beautiful valleys below. When it is sunny in Lai Chau, the passes of Lao Cai province are often shrouded in clouds.”
The climate on either side of O Quy Ho pass, in Lai Chau and Lao Cai province, is often very different during the year. When it’s warm and sunny in Lai Chau, it’s cold and cloudy in Lao Cai and vice versa.
Ms Hong Anh of the Sao Viet Travel Company says: “We organize tours of O Quy Ho pass to explore a number of scenic spots there like Thac Bac (Silver) waterfall, one of Lao Cai’s 10 most beautiful waterfalls. The road over O Quy Ho pass has been upgraded making the trip easier for tourists. At 2,000 m above sea level, you can see an ocean of clouds.”
As one of the most difficult and winding passes in Vietnam’s northwestern mountains, O Quy Ho inspires a lot of adventure tourists. Minh Trang is a visitor from Hanoi: “I have crossed O Quy Ho pass by motorbike twice, once in the daytime and once under a full moon. I had two very different experiences. Under the full moon, the view from the pass was extremely beautiful and romantic.”
O Quy Ho is one of the most attractive destinations in northwestern Vietnam. Blessed by nature, its beauty offers tourists a majestic landscape.