Nestled at the foot of Khau Phạ Pass, one of the four greatest mountain passes in the country, Lìm Mông Village appears with a peaceful beauty that makes our hearts flutter.
Lìm Mông Village has beautiful terraced fields with a wonderful view of the peaceful mountains of Mù Cang Chải District, Yên Bái Province, and also the end of this district.
To get to this beautiful village, we had to overcome quite dangerous and difficult roads. This village is known to be one of the most difficult to access in Việt Nam. But, because of the desire to capture the whole scene of the ripe rice fields, to see the poetic beauty of the small houses and fresh air, we are not afraid of difficulties.
Lìm Mông is located on Highway 32 in Cao Phạ Commune. To get to the village, we went from Hà Nội, along Highway 32 to Yên Bái Province.
After passing Tú Lệ Commune, we reached the foot of Khau Phạ Pass, there is a road on the right, that is the way to go to Lìm Mông. The pass is quite steep and twists around the mountainside, we continued to go about 3km to the village.
To reach to Lìm Mông, we had to pass Lìm Thái Village located near Nậm Có Stream. Following the living habits of the Thái ethnic people, Lìm Thái is near the water source. The houses on stilts in the village are scattered along the roadside.
Through the romantic suspension bridge is small, thread-like roads twisting up the mountain and Lìm Mông Village in the middle of the mountain. The red soil road is bumpy and dusty. The corners are both sharp and steep enough to make our motorbikes seem to want to slip back down the slope.
Going to Lìm Mông Village means that we had reached the end because from here on, there are no roads anymore, only trails to forests and fields. The village is a home of the ethnic Mông who with free and proud hearts live in the high mountains, where heaven and earth meet.
From the top of Lìm Mông, looking towards Cao Phạ Pass where many tourists stop, we have a new feeling about the wonderful natural picture. That wonderful picture is adorned by the water-splattering terraced fields interwoven with the young rice seedling colour created by the hands of the locals here, creating peace and prosperity in the mountainous area.
We visited in the village last month when the first rains of the season began to pour down the mountains, the water was led from the mountains into the terraced fields. The fields flooded, making the arid soil softer so that people could transplant rice. This was also the time when people started ploughing to prepare for a new crop. Therefore, in the northern mountainous terraced fields, rice can only be grown for one crop. The water-splattering steps in the afternoon sun create a beauty that makes us surprised.
If you go in mid-September, October, this is the most beautiful time in Lìm Mông, the terraced fields seem to be dyed golden by ripe rice, and you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the terraced fields here. This is also the gathering place for many photographers every time the rice harvest comes.
In the afternoon, the village becomes poetic and strangely beautiful. The clouds turn pale pink at the end of the horizon. Flocks of birds are engrossed in the vast and shiny fields. The birds chirp on the roof, where the pumpkins are ripe. Wind rustles in the fields. The children call each other to bring the buffalo home. The road has many Mông women carrying their children back to the village.
Food is something not to be missed every time we travel somewhere. In particular, the specialities here make it even more difficult for us to forget. We enjoyed some delicious dishes such as grilled chicken with mắc mật leaves served with chẩm chéo (a typical dipping seasoning of the ethnic people), grilled spring fish and táo mèo (local jujube) wine.
And we didn’t forget to enjoy the delicious sticky rice dish, which is the result of the golden rice fields and the labour of local farmers. VNS