On top of the world

As the central coastal region battens down the hatches and prepares for Noul, the storm set to make landfall on Friday, people far further north are asking how the storm may affect them.

On top of the world
Harvesting has started in the spectacular terraced fields of Hoang Su Phi in Ha Giang Province. 

Some are wondering how the storm will impact the northwestern region’s ripening fields in the steps up to the mountains.

This weekend the temperature is forecast at between 23 and 34 degrees Celsius, with clouds during the day and showers at night, with the potential for thunder.

Travel agents from the mountains have alerted their customers that Hoang Su Phi District farmers in Ha Giang Province have started to cut their rice. As the work can only be done manually, it takes time to work from the lowest terrace and go upwards. 

“We planned to catch the sunrise up the Chieu Lau Thi Mountain,” tourist Nguyen Hoai Chau told Việt Nam News.

Chau and her companions visited the Su Phi mountains last weekend in Ha Giang.

“But it rained so hard, our first plan fell through,” she said.

Sleeping for a couple of hours more, they said they woke up to a much clearer sky with pure white soft clouds flowing.

“We were so lucky to catch the white clouds up here, on top of Chieu Lau Thi Mountain.”

She said that all the hotels and rooms were booked.

“We were lucky enough to find a few sleeping slots left in a large stilt house. The accommodations were basic, you have a hard mattress made from grass, a blanket and pillow and a mosquito net. The restrooms are for common use,” she said.

On top of the world
Challenge yourself in a hike up to Chieu Lau Thi Mountain. — VNS Photo Hoai Chau

“Are there any safes in homestays? Do I need to bring my own pillowcase or blanket?” asked some of the travellers in the group.

The answer is no safe and the bedding is basic but clean. If you book a homestay sponsored by Helvetas, a Swiss NGO, you may find your own bedding brand new in the setting of a hundred-year-old stone cottage located on the hillside of a beautiful mountain.

If you are not familiar with budget travelling in Vietnam, you may be surprised at how cheap it can be and how generous homestay owners and other local people can be. 

Due to COVID-19, the tourism sector in Vietnam has been suffering badly but thanks to effective handling of the pandemic, small signs of revival can be found.

“Remember all the preventive methods you’ve been using,” warned a caring tourist.

“Travelling injects freshness and motivation to your daily lives and you’ll go back to work and your daily life with more energy, until your next trip,” she said.

On top of the world
This year the terraced rice fields of Hoang Su Phi District in Ha Giang Province received quite an upsurge of domestic visitors. — VNS Photo Hoai Chau

An avid world traveller, who has been to many places, including the Rainbow Mountains in Peru, Chau said she finds domestic destinations fascinating. 

“Pick your backpack up and go,” she said, adding that there are still so many places she has to see in her home country.

“Travel is a lifestyle, move accordingly within your budget! You don’t have to be rich to afford travel, especially in Vietnam!”  VNS