5 Perfect Passes in Vietnam to Discover with a Group

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Summer is coming! It’s a great time to do internship, but you also don’t want to miss such a wonderful vacation occasion, especially an overseas one. Don’t worry, because you are not alone – apply for a group internship placement in Vietnam, and wait to enjoy the two things young people hope for the most. If you are really up to do a group internship, what you should pay attention to is your travel agenda when you are in Vietnam, to make sure nothing amazing is missed! One of the most highly recommended activities for groups or even individuals is to “phuot”, which refers to bikers going places, especially mountainous ones. So, here are the top 5 mountain passes in Northern Vietnam, 5 gateways to embrace the breathtaking nature of the country.

Mã Phục – Cao Bang Province

As you may know, Vietnamese people name landscapes, objects,… based on some meaning that they resonate. Ma Phuc, in people’s imagination, refers to a kneeling horse, due to its moderate height and slope. The pass used to be one of the most dangerous passes in the region, as the road was so narrow and winding that even the most experienced drivers should beware. However, since it was widened and became more accessible, the beauty that it offers has appealed to a large number of tourists who wish to enjoy the panoramic view along the way.

Along Highway 3 from Cao Bang City for 20 kilometers, travelers will meet a seven-storey pass made up of multiple blind bends. The pass is separated into two roads at the top, one leading to Trung Khanh District, which is famous for its fantastic Ban Gioc Waterfall.

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Part of Ma Phuc pass. Source:

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Ban Gioc waterfall. Source:

Khau Phạ – Yen Bai Province

In Thai language, Khau Phạ means “sky-high horn”, as the top of the pass, engulfed in dense fog, looks like rising from a sea of clouds. The pass runs through the highest mountain in Mu Cang Chai and ranks top in the list of most rugged and longest passes in Northwest Vietnam. However, with the adventurous nature in your blood, you will not miss this wonder.

The endlessly extending mountains surrounding the pass offer tourists with terraced rice paddies and pristine forests which are home to some rare species. If you have a chance to explore Khau Pha right before the harvesting time, when the rice ripens, it will surely become an unforgettable experience.

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Part of Khau Pha pass. Source:

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Khau Pha in clouds and fog. Source:

Du Gia, Mau Due – Ha Giang Province

Ha Giang is renowned for its stunning rock plateau – Dong Van, besides numerous other appealing landscapes. But part of enjoying those wonders is on your way – when you are excitedly biking on the road.

If you are in desperate thirst for adventure, your whole journey should go Minh Ngoc – Du Gia – Mau Due, which passes Nam Lang Cliff, a sight that pulls many over for its splendor, Ngam La slope with the most majestic paddy fields. And among all the high rock plateaus lies a small valley entirely covered in perfect green that sometimes even overwhelms the big mountains above.

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Part of Mau Due pass. Source:

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A small green valley. Source:

O Quy Ho – Lao Cai & Lai Chau Provinces

O Quy Ho Pass is part of Highway 4D that bends along the Hoang Lien Son Mountains, home to Mount Fansipan, the rooftop of Indochina, and connects the northern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau. The name O Quy Ho is said to originate from a kind of mythical bird that used to live in the area.

Standing 2000 meters above sea level, its peak is covered with white snow almost all year round, but it is also where tourists can join in a seesaw with the sun and enjoying colorful sunset behind the mountains on the horizon. What’s more, the special weather at the pass proves to be the irresistible feature for tourist. In winter, if it is warm at a side of Tam Duong, it is foggy and cloudy at the side of Sapa. On the contrary, in summer, if the side of Sapa has cool weather, it is sunny and dry at the side of Tam Duong.

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O Quy Ho in the sun. Source:

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O Quy Ho in sunrise. Source:

Mã Pí Lèng Pass – Ha Giang Province

You are craving to conquer all the best beauties and challenges in Northern Vietnam? Conquer the King – Ma Pi Leng Pass. Ma Pi Leng Pass is not long but the most dangerous pass in the northern border mountain area, lovingly considered as the Great Wall of Vietnam or the Pyramid of the Meo. Scenery in Ma Pi Leng pass is unique with majestic and wild beauty. Looking to the north and northeast, you can find thousands of gray mountains at the horizon. Next to the road is an abyss, below which is the Nho Que River with cool water.

Therefore, although the roads are challenging, narrow and have a lot of sharp turns, the views are far more rewarding, especially in the buckwheat blossom season.

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The paralleled natural pieces of art. Source:

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Part of Ma Li Peng pass. Source:

No matter where you go, this pass or that pass, on the top or at the foot of the mountains, you will usually find yourselves in the care of local people, who mostly belong to groups of ethnic minorities. Their culture, lifestyles and food will proudly stand besides all those breathtaking experiences.

That’s it! It seems that there are lots of ways to step to the heaven of life, and your job is to pack up and go for it. You can either go as individuals, during your individual internship in Vietnam, or in a group, after applying for a group internship placement. Either way, all the benefits are for you!



Want to discover more about our past group internship programs?

Click here to learn about IVEY Global Laboratory or here to learn about SEND Education Group Internship

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