Sunday, 3 December 2017

My Third Day In Sapa: Visiting Hamrong Mountain

Our legs were still sore from the 12km trek through Muong Hoa Valley the day before but we had to proceed with our itinerary. We'd planned to start our third day in Sapa by climbing Hamrong Mountain and later do a walking tour around town. We tried to cover all the activities in this self-planned itinerary as we would not be returning to Sapa again after this trip.

However, the thought of climbing another mountain was wearisome and I was almost tempted to abandon the idea of another tiring activity. Fortunately I did not as I soon found out that Hamrong Mountain is the best attraction in Sapa town. I also discovered that the ascent to Hamrong Mountain was nothing like trekking Muong Hoa Valley or even Cat Cat Village. It was 'peanuts' compared to the two and that was a consolation indeed. 
The road leading to the base of the mountain starts from the hub of town, starting from where the prominent Stone Church is located. This happening road was robust with activities. Visitors to the mountain have to pay 70,000 VND and tickets could be purchased at a counter just before the entrance gate somewhere halfway along the flight of steps.
There was no rugged terrain and no steep slopes to reach the mountain park! The ascent was entirely on stone steps and lining the stairways are shops selling an astonishing range of merchandise. As we feasted our eyes on the interesting items sold, we actually forgot we were climbing many steps!
It didn't take long before we reached the park. Beautifully landscaped to merge with nature this park features stone sculptures, a bridge, mountain rocks, a pond, and lots of plants and trees. It was very green, very refreshing and a lot cooler than in town. There were also facilities like F&B outlets, toilets, and souvenir stalls within the park. 

The beds of flowers made me want to swim in them! There was a diverse range of floras; beautiful shrubs, creepers, trees and flowering plants.
This place has an ambiance which is quite close to my idea of a 'Shangri La'. 

Hamrong Mountain reaches a height of 1800 meters asl. The lower part of the mountain is a landscaped park from where a few trekking paths are created to scale a few points with higher altitute. 
The peak of the mountain is said to have the shape of a dragon's head and Hamrong Mountain actually means Dragon's Jaw Mountain.

Hamrong Mountain offers fantastic views over Sapa town. I love visiting viewpoints as it is the best place to get a bird's eye view over a town or a vast area. A wrong information citing the TV tower as the best viewpoint over Sapa town which I gathered from some travel blogs almost drained us of our energy. We actually trekked to the TV tower which is also located on Hamrong Mountain to find out that it isn't!.
This is the best view we got from the TV tower. The view is much obstructed by tall trees and shrubs. It was disappointing as the trek to this point was quite a tiring one.
We stumbled upon an interesting cave enroute the TV tower which kind of made up for the disappointment. This cave is called Love Cave.

The Best Viewpoint Over Sapa Town
By the time we spotted the best viewpoint we were quite exhausted. This viewpoint is towards the left hand side of the park while the TV tower is towards the right. We had to trek up another path to get to the 'correct' viewpoint.
 And we finally made it there! 

Posted below are some of the pictures we took from this viewpoint.
We could see the entire town and Sapa Lake from where we stood.
The effort was worthwhile as we savored some awesome views of the lake, the town buildings, the mountains and even the rice terraces!

From this viewpoint we could also look down to Hamrong's landscaped park! It was stunning indeed!

Related Posts:
1. Top Things To Do In Sapa, Vietnam
2. My First Day In Sapa: Trekking To Cat Cat Village
3.My Second Day In Sapa; Trekking To Muong Hoa Valley
4. My Third Day In Sapa: Visiting Hamrong Mountain
5. My Fourth Day In Sapa: Bac Ha Market
6. What And Where To Eat In Sapa

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