Admiring the Real-Life Planetarium at Ma Pi Leng Pass

Backpackers who love overnight camping have recently discovered Ma Pi Leng's white cliff, situated at an altitude of 1700m, as a favorite destination.


This white cliff is located in the Nho Que river, near the border between Vietnam and China. It is surrounded by majestic mountains, lush forests and a wild, untouched beauty.

When it comes to tourism in the Northwest mountains of Vietnam, it is impossible to leave out Ha Giang – the land of the Nho Que River, unspoiled stone plateaus, and winding passes. One of the most sought-after places in Ha Giang is the white cliff, also called “a place to sleep under thousands of stars”. This white cliff is located in the Nho Que River, near the border between Vietnam and China. It is surrounded by majestic mountains, lush forests, and a wild, untouched beauty.

The location of the white cliff

White Cliff, located atop Co Tien Mountain, is renowned for its majestic views. Standing atop the cliff, tourists can take in the sights of Ma Pi Leng Pass and the Nho Que River below. The height of the cliff offers an unparalleled view of the surrounding landscape, making it a popular destination for visitors to the area.

Admiring Real-life Planetarium on Ma Pi Leng Pass

Every Lunar New Year, local customs dictate that people flock to this cliff to pray for a prosperous and happy life. Over time, this has created a well-trodden path leading up to its summit.

To reach the majestic white cliffs, visitors must follow the Ma Pi Leng pass, located on National Highway 4C – often referred to as the Happiness Road. Those traveling by motorbike can also take the Ma Pi Leng B road, though it is not recommended for cars.

After arriving at Ma Pi Leng B, visitors can experience an exciting and thrilling journey to the white cliff. The 3km motorbike ride is narrow and rugged, and the 2km walk requires good physical conditions and driving experience. But the stunning beauty of the white cliff at the end of the journey makes the effort well worth it.

Those who do not want to drive themselves can hire a motorbike driver for the first 3 kilometers. Then, with the remaining 2 kilometers, donning a good pair of running shoes, one can traverse the mountainside, up and down the stone steps.

Admiring Real-life Planetarium on Ma Pi Leng Pass

A place to sleep with a view of thousands of stars

The white cliff surface has an area of approximately 15 to 20 square meters and is located in the center of a rock arch. Geologists believe the white cliffs were formed by the Nho Que River around 30 million years ago. According to the local people, this is the resting spot of the H’Mong king and his entourage when they passed by.

Due to the limited space, it is not possible to accommodate a large number of people. Tourists who have visited the area report that no more than 10 people should be gathered at one time. Therefore, if you wish to camp overnight, you must be sure to take all the necessary precautions. Setting up a small tent, adding a couple of stools around a crackling fire, boiling water in a kettle, and sharing a cup of tea with a friend – all of these make for an unforgettable and rewarding experience for anyone who has successfully conquered the White Cliffs!

From the white cliffs of the Nho Que river valley, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the winding Ma Pi Leng pass surrounded by hazy clouds. It’s no wonder why this place is known as the “sleeping place with a thousand-star view”! Imagine waking up in the morning and watching the sun slowly rise from here; it’s an experience that no five or six-star resort or hotel can offer.

Admiring Real-life Planetarium on Ma Pi Leng Pass

Lastly, it is important to note that no campfires are allowed.

Because it is situated in the midst of the boundless sky, visitors should be aware of a few things when visiting the White Cliffs, particularly when planning an overnight stay. It is important to note that there is no internet or phone signal in the area. Additionally, the area is quite chilly, with temperatures reaching an average of 4-8°C during the night despite the shelter of the stone arch, which does little to prevent the wind from blowing. Lastly, campfires are strictly prohibited.

Therefore, visitors need to carefully prepare blankets or thick clothes to keep their bodies warm. Food, water, basic medicines, first aid supplies, and other necessary items should not be forgotten in your backpack on your journey. Additionally, don’t forget to clean up after the end of this strange night at the white cliffs.

Admiring Real-life Planetarium on Ma Pi Leng Pass
Da Quang