Quang Tri province summit offers breathtaking view of the horizon
Now is the best time of the year to climb Voi Mep, the tallest mountain in the central province of Quang Tri.
Voi Mep Mountain stands at a height of 1,762 m and is located in Huong Hiep Commune, Dak Rong District of Quang Tri. It is dubbed ‘roof’ of the province.
Its peak is dangerous to scale, with no official tours available to the public. However, many forest rangers, researchers and some tourists still find their way to the top of the mountain.
In 2008, a gaur, included in Vietnam’s Red List, was spotted near the peak, creating renewed interest in the area.
The best time to explore Voi Mep is from mid-February to September. The weather is dry so tourists can avoid slippery accidents. It usually gets colder and mistier as visitors ascend.
Campers ideally begin their exploration from Pin Village, Huong Son Commune in Huong Hoa District early in the morning. After about 4-6 hours, they arrive at the campsite located on a bank of a stream at the foot of Pa Thien Peak.
At about 1,600 m, Pa Thien is lower than Voi Mep, reached via the former. Pa Thien’s terrain is flat and consists of many big bolders.
Atop Pa Thien, many wild tea trees grow alongside bamboo trees. In the picture, Ho Van Xuon, 26, one of the guides, picks tea leaves for brewing.
Locals used to come here to pick tea, boasting a hard and thick texture. Huong Son residents eventually started cultivating these plants in their gardens for easier access.
At Pa Thien's foot lies the remains of an airplane that crashed here during wartime. According to village elders in Huong Son, the plane either crashed in Pa Thien due to bad weather or was hit elsewhere before its fatal descent. They confirmed there was no fighting in this area.
Ho Van Hai (pictured), a member of the tour group, holds a piece of iron from the plane. Over the years, locals have taken some scrap to sell, leaving only some iron scattered among the bamboo and tea bushes.
The weather changes from one state to another in the blink of an eye on Voi Mep. The mist can suddenly cover the sky, preventing explorers from seeing one another though they are only a few feet apart.
Each trekker has to bring a hammock and sleeping bag to survive the cold overnight atop the mountain. A nylon sheet usually serves to placate the rain.
The next morning, after about two hours trekking through the forest, explorers reach the top of Voi Mep. Here, there are only bamboo trees only a bit taller than the knee. Locals say on clear days the coastline can be seen from the summit.
From the top of the mountain, you can see the wind farm in Huong Linh Commune of Huong Hoa District.
From a distance, Voi Mep looks like a green ribbon made of bamboo. Its peak is also the source of many main rivers in Quang Tri. The view makes the climb a rewarding experience – a combination of Quang Tri Province and the vastness, immensity and majesty of mountains and nature as a whole.
By: Hoang Tao/VnExpress
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