O Quy Ho Pass: Legendary road in the Northwest mountains
Compared to Ma Pi Leng in Ha Giang province, Khau Pha in Yen Bai province, and Pha Din between Son La and Dien Bien, O Quy Ho mountain pass is one of four long, beautiful, and challenging passes in Vietnam’s Northwest.
Travelers who like to explore will find O Quy Ho pass very interesting because of its wild and majestic beauty and the legends accompanying it.
O Quy Ho Pass is considered a masterpiece of nature with a grand and poetic landscape that makes anyone who only needs one step remember forever.
From the top of the pass, visitors can see the mountains and forests of the Northwest covered in white clouds. This view makes people feel like they are entering a fairyland.
How do I get to O Quy Ho Pass?
The O Quy Ho pass is on National Highway 4D, across the Hoang Lien Son range between Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. It is over 2000m above sea level and about 50 km long.
The legendary pass is also called May Pass or Hoang Lien Son Pass, which is covered with clouds all year round.
This mountain pass is the longest pass among the four great peaks of the Northwest region. The top of the O Quy Ho pass is about 10 km from the town of Sapa and about 60 km from the city of Lai Chau.
Fairy tales about O Quy Ho Pass
According to the story, there is often a bird with a strange call linked to a fairy tale about a couple’s failed love.
The story goes that a fairy in the sky and a woodcutter named O Quy Ho used to go on dates here.
But the two couldn’t have a happy ending. The fairy was still missing the woodcutter, so she turned into a yellow-feathered bird that hovered around the top of the mountain and called out O Quy Ho.
Locals here are moved by the love story of the fairy and woodcutter, then took the name of a pass and called it O Quy Ho.
Instructions on how to go the O Quy Ho Pass
Visitors have many options for vehicles and starting points when conquering one of the four great passes of the Northwest.
Most tourists who want to see the beauty of the mountain pass and see how big and endless the Northwest is will choose to go on a motorbike.
But the road to O Quy Ho pass is dangerous and has a lot of turns. On days with rain or frost, you can only see a few meters ahead. To cross the mountain pass, vehicles can only “crawl” slowly along the cliff’s edge.
Therefore, visitors should be careful with the above choice. If travelers don’t have a good steering wheel, rent a car with a local driver for safety.
From the center of Sapa town, visitors can take the Dien Bien Phu road to Silver Waterfall, go to the Hoang Lien National Park gate, and enter the Tram Ton ranger point.
The road is about 12 km long and takes about 30–35 minutes to travel. From there, guests must go about 6 km to the top of the O Quy Ho pass.
Tourists can take a bus, a car, or even rent a motorbike to get to Sapa town from the center of Lao Cai.
The road above is more than 30 km long and will take about an hour to drive. Tourists take the same route as above to get to the end point from Sapa.
Which is the suitable time to conquer O Quy Ho pass?
All year long, the O Quy Ho pass weather is humid and foggy, so visitors should be careful to pick a good time to go if they want to have the best time and stay safe.
Going to O Quy Ho Pass in the Summer: This is the best time to go to O Quy Ho Pass from Lao Cai because the weather is calm, pleasant, cold, and less foggy. It will be easier for travelers to conquer the mountain pass.
But right now, visitors should still choose the pass that leaves from the Lao Cai side. Because the starting point from Lai Chau’s side is currently too sunny, and the trees have died. Hence, the scenery could no longer be pretty.
Going to O Quy Ho Pass in the winter: In early winter, when there is a little sunshine in the afternoon, Lai Chau is a bit cooler, but Lao Cai is covered in fog and even cold snow.
At this time, travelers who want to go to O Quy Ho should bring a full coat and safety gloves.
Places on the O Quy Ho pass for tourists to enjoy the view.
On the pass, visitors can see many beautiful places in Sapa, such as the O Quy Ho Heaven Gate, the O Quy Ho Cafe, the Glass Bridge, the Silver Waterfall, and the Love Waterfall.
Tourists should stop at these places to enjoy the sightseeing if they have time.
Heaven Gate at O Quy Ho and O Quy Ho Cafe
Sapa Heaven Gate, also called O Quy Ho Heaven Gate, Tram Ton Heaven Gate, and O Quy Ho Cafe, are at the top of the O Quy Ho pass. Tourists can see the best Northwest mountains and forests from a close height. 2,300 m.
From here, tourists can see a wide area, and a sea of white clouds covers the tall mountain peaks.
Below the heaven gate, there are small valleys and small, rural towns. The O Quy Ho pass looks like a soft white thread weaving through each cliff.
Silver Waterfall is one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in Lao Cai. It is right at the base of the O Quy Ho pass, which leads to Sapa.
Many foreign tourists have been surprised by the beautiful waterfall with white foam that flows day and night.
Also, Love Waterfall is a well-known spot that brings a lot of couples to Sapa.
Love Waterfall is smaller and grand than Silver Waterfall. Instead, it has a soft, gentle beauty like a silk strip.
This waterfall is also where the fairy and the woodcutter meet, according to a legend in the O Quy Ho pass’s story.
Dragon Cloud Bridge Made of Glass
Dragon Cloud Glass Bridge is the highest glass bridge in Vietnam. It is in the “heaven gate” area at the top of the O Quy Ho pass (Lai Chau).
A glass elevator will take people from the bottom of the mountain to the top in about 10 minutes. As soon as people step out of the elevator, they will see a transparent glass bridge that goes 60m from the cliff’s edge.
When visitors look down from above, they will think this is impressive work. Steps lead up from this glass bridge to a tourist area at the top of the rainbow-colored mountain, also called the “Rainbow of love.”
The dragon cloud glass bridge has unique views and large-scale construction. It will be a popular stop for tourists who want to see more of the Northwest.
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