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Welcome to Vietnam’s ‘moss kingdom’

Saturday, June 08, 2019, 15:24 GMT+7
Welcome to Vietnam’s ‘moss kingdom’
A stream running through Ta Xua Mountain, Yen Bai Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The natural moss-laden forest enveloping Yen Bai Province’s Ta Xua Mountain has earned it notoriety amongst local tourists as the country’s “Kingdom of Moss.”

Ta Xua Mountain, peaking over the lush forests of Tram Tau District, is one Vietnam’s 20 tallest mountains, well known by local tourists and professional mountain climbers for its mysterious and unique beauty.

At the peak of the mountain lies a moss covered wonderland, where everything – from the smallest stones to the tallest trees – is covered by dense moss.

Even on the hottest summer days, the weather on Ta Xua fluctuates between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius, creating the perfect environment for the moss to thrive.

For the local Hmong people, the mountain is more than a nifty tourist spot; it’s an important provider of life’s necessities, particularly bamboo roots, wood, and grazing land for goats.

In fact, the Hmong are so attuned to the land that many tourists opt to have a local Hmong tour guide take them to the top of the mountain, rather than follow the clear cut route to the peak themselves.

The peak of Ta Xua opens up to a stark contrast of blue skies against the mysterious fog-wrapped forests below, where towering trees with wide trunks grow healthily at 2,600 meters above sea level.

A visitor crosses a “natural bridge” on Ta Xua Mountain, Yen Bai Province. Photo: Hai Duong / Tuoi Tre
A visitor crosses a “natural bridge” on Ta Xua Mountain, Yen Bai Province. Photo: Hai Duong / Tuoi Tre

Discovering moss kingdom

The most mysterious parts of the forest are the moss-covered tree trunks, which stretch several hundred hectares, as far as the eye can see.  

The tiny drops of water spread across the moss-laden forest floor create a pillowy carpet for visitors to walk barefoot across.

“Walking on this special ‘moss carpet’ definitely gives us a strange feeling and tree trunks being fully covered in moss look like gigantic green ice-cream cones,” a visitor told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Old trees running across cracks in the mountain create bridges for visitors to walk across or gates for them to walk under, both of which create an otherworldly feeling.

“It’s like we’re lost in Jurassic world,” a group of visitors said.

The mountain also features a stream of cold, clear water which can be followed to an 50-meter-tall waterfall.

The Hmong people who live in the area claim that the waterfall resembles the hair of young northwestern Vietnamese woman.

In order to promote the region and improve local incomes, authorities hope to develop a strong tourism industry in the area, all centered around the mysterious moss kingdom of Ta Xua Mountain.

A waterfall on Ta Xua Mountain, Yen Bai Province. Photo: Hai Duong / Tuoi Tre
A waterfall on Ta Xua Mountain, Yen Bai Province. Photo: Hai Duong / Tuoi Tre

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