Conquering Lung Cung Mountain in Yen Bai

With an altitude of more than 2,900m, Lung Cung is in one of the most beautiful mountains in Vietnam. The top of the mountain is covered by clouds year-round, which tourists love to snap photos of.

Conquering Lung Cung Mountain in Yen Bai
Checking in the Lung Cung mountain peak. — Photo

Lung Cung is named after a village located deep in the most rugged mountains in Nam Co Commune, Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province. The beautiful trekking route is a harmonious picture of green grass hills, white reeds, vast primaeval forests, and terraced rice fields.

It’s about 250km from central Hanoi to Lung Cung. We took a car from Hanoi to Yen Bai, then rented motorbikes to travel between the villages of Mu Cang Chai District. Because of the mountainous terrain, we rented motorbikes instead of scooters.

Before going to the top of Lung Cung, we stopped at Tu San Village, where many Thai and Kinh people live. The road to Tu San was muddy with high and narrow slopes but we were still determined to reach the village to conquer the beautiful mountain.

Tu San Village possesses many diverse cultural features, thanks to the combination of architecture, cuisine and living habits of the people.

There are several ways to reach the top of Lung Cung Mountain, but many people say trekking from Tu San Village is the best. This road has a diverse terrain with green grass hills, a mysterious jungle and a beautiful bamboo forest. Each layer of vegetation offers beautiful landscapes, making the trek less strenuous.

Conquering Lung Cung Mountain in Yen Bai
Tourists conquer Lung Cung mountain peak from Tu San Village. — Photo

After leaving Tu San Village in the thick fog, we got lost in the vast reed fields, fluttering in the wind. In the distance, clouds were rising. Through the white reed fields, we entered a forest in which old trees covered the sky, making the forest seem dark.

It seemed that we were going through the primaeval forest with the most beautiful scenery. The forest has large, mossy, flat rocks as well as many streams and waterfalls. Going a little further, we saw unique vegetation with bamboo intermixed. The further we went, the more the small trees intertwined.

Near the top of the mountain are fields of white flowers. It was still sunny in the afternoon, but it was very cold because of the wind. Crossing the carpet of white flowers, we stopped to determine what way to go. Perhaps the distant peak was Lung Cung. The wind was getting stronger and stronger and we floundered when walking on the yellow and brown grass fields due to the strong wind.

We clung tightly to the trees on the hillside and continued walking. The sky was getting bluer. Clouds rolled and drifted fast. These beautiful moments of nature made our footprints stronger.

We walked along the abysses with high winds and passed white flower slopes dyed by the sun. 

Conquering Lung Cung Mountain in Yen Bai
Tourists trek through the primeval forest in Tu San Village to reach Lung Cung mountain peak. — Photo

We were very excited when the landmark of 2,913 metres above sea level at the top of Lung Cung appeared.

This mountain top has a wide surface and open space, like a football field on the top of a mountain. In the distance, a sea of white clouds was covering Lung Cung Village. The scene was so magical. At that moment, each person in a corner, stood still to enjoy nature’s gift to us.

We brought tents to camp on Lung Cung. The feeling of lighting a fire to warm up on a mountain top nearly 3,000m high and waking up early to see the sunrise was wonderful.

Conquering Lung Cung Mountain in Yen Bai
Lighting fire on the Lung Cung mountain peak. — Photo

Tourism potential

In recent years, Lung Cung villagers have created tourist routes and guided tourists to climb the mountain, giving them extra income. However, these efforts are largely disorganised.

“Lung Cung has many beautiful spots with many kinds of flowers. Recently, many tourists have wanted to come here, but the unfavourable roads are also a barrier for people in the village who want to develop the economy and promote tourism.

“We hope that authorities will invest facilities from the commune centre to the village for convenient travel,” said Giang A Sang, a resident of Lung Cung Village.

At present, Lung Cung villagers manage and protect 1,798ha of forest. On average, each household is taking care of 200 perennial jujube trees of the Mong people and hundreds of peach trees, giving an average income of VND100-150million (US$4,200-$6,300) per year.