O Quy Ho Pass is a beloved destination that attracts many tourists when visiting Sapa. As one of the four great mountain passes in the Northwest mountains, O Quy Ho Pass is undoubtedly a summit checkpoint with the pristine and picturesque beauty of the mountains and forests. Let’s explore with DanangPrivateCar.com to see what makes O Quy Ho Pass so beautiful that it captivates travelers!
Overview of O Quy Ho Pass
Location of O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho Pass is the largest and most beautiful pass in Sapa, and it is also the longest pass in the Northwest region. The pass is known by various names such as O Quy Ho Pass, Hoang Lien Son Pass, or Cloud Pass. It is located adjacent to National Highway 4D, running through the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, bordering the provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau.
Situated at an altitude of 200m above sea level, with dangerous twists and turns along its 50km length, the pass is shrouded in white clouds throughout the year, making it stand out among other famous passes like Ma Pi Leng (20km), Pha Din (32km), and Khau Pha (40km). Perhaps for this reason, O Quy Ho Pass is dubbed the “uncrowned king” of the “four great mountain passes” in the Northwest.
Conquering the pass by what means?
Previously, one had to travel by motorcycle along National Highway 4D to reach the pass, but now there is a safer and more convenient option: taking a cable car. You can purchase cable car tickets at the station (tickets for Fansipan Peak tour). You will move from Fansipan Peak to Thac Bac area, then up to Tram Ton station, and finally travel about 4-5 km along National Highway 4D to reach the summit of O Quy Ho Pass.
When is the best time to visit O Quy Ho Pass?
O Quy Ho Pass has its unique beauty in each season, and the best time to visit depends on what experiences you desire.
In summer, the weather is cool and pleasant with a touch of freshness and less fog, making it suitable for travel. However, it is recommended to only travel the Lao Cai section during this time, as the Lai Chau section can be very hot.
In winter, the weather in Lai Chau is relatively more comfortable, with some sunshine around noon, while Lao Cai is completely covered in fog, and there may even be icy cold snow. If you plan to travel to O Quy Ho Pass during this time, remember to equip yourself with necessary items such as warm clothes or gloves. Additionally, the ideal time for a motorbike trip on O Quy Ho Pass is in the late afternoon when the sunset tinges the entire Northwest mountain range with red hues. Staying overnight at a hotel to catch the sunrise in the morning will not disappoint you.
What to Prepare for This Adventure?
If you plan to explore the destination in a day, there is no need to prepare excessive luggage. You should prepare personal documents, cash, a jacket, a map, a first aid kit, sports shoes, and a bit of water along with some snacks for when you get hungry.
Many people often mistakenly think that the Heaven’s Gate is located on Ham Rong Mountain when they arrive in Sapa. In reality, Sapa has two Heaven’s Gates. One is on Ham Rong Mountain near the Sapa Town, and the other Heaven’s Gate is the one on the summit of O Quy Ho Pass that we are discussing. However, the Heaven’s Gate on Ham Rong Mountain has nothing for you to explore. Therefore, when in Sapa, it’s important to take note of this location to avoid wasting your trip.
Guide on How to Get to O Quy Ho Pass
Visiting O Quy Ho Pass involves first reaching the town of Sapa, and then traveling from Sapa to O Quy Ho Pass. Most tourists from both within and outside the country typically travel to Sapa from Hanoi, and DanangPrivateCar.com provides the following guidance:
From Hanoi to Sapa
The distance from Hanoi to Sapa is approximately 420 km, and the travel time from Hanoi to Sapa takes about 5 to 6 hours depending on traffic conditions and your chosen route. This particularly depends on the mode of transportation you choose. Various means of transportation are available, such as buses, coaches, motorbikes, private cars, etc. You can find more details in our article on how to travel from Hanoi to Sapa, where we provide a comprehensive guide.
Furthermore, if you are in Hanoi and want to get to Sapa quickly and safely, you can immediately book a car rental service in Hanoi from DanangPrivateCar.com. With door-to-door service, professional drivers, and years of experience, this will make your journey easy and comfortable. Book your trip from Hanoi to Sapa by Private Car today to receive detailed advice from our staff.
From Sapa to O Quy Ho Pass
There are various transportation options for tourists to reach O Quy Ho Pass, but the most common means of transport are:
- Taxi: This option is suitable for tourists who prefer not to worry about driving and mainly want to enjoy the scenery. Taking a taxi allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery without having to focus on driving. The taxi fare from the center of Sapa to O Quy Ho Pass is usually around 200,000 VND. However, the fare may vary depending on the route and the time of any stops.
- Motorbike: Many adventurous tourists choose to rent a motorbike in Sapa to explore O Quy Ho Pass, especially those who enjoy the thrill of conquering challenging roads. Motorbikes can be rented in Sapa for approximately 100,000 to 150,000 VND per day for a trip to O Quy Ho Pass. Traveling by motorbike provides more flexibility and freedom throughout the journey, allowing you to experience the excitement of conquering the pass.
Please note that the transportation prices mentioned here are accurate at the time of writing and may vary over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to check with local providers or travel agencies for the latest information.
Unique Aspects of O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho Pass is the longest pass in Vietnam as of 2020. On both sides of the pass, one side features a bottomless abyss, while the other side has sharp, towering cliffs. Warning signs of danger are erected on both sides of the road. Typically, travelers plan their routes so that they pass through O Quy Ho during the twilight hours. On full moon nights, the moonlight casts down onto the majestic mountain cliffs, creating shadows towards the bends. When viewed at an angle, it resembles a painting with a profoundly majestic and mystical atmosphere. Standing close to a bend beside the towering mountain cliffs, you can hear the silent, spine-chilling breath of the mountainous forest.
Climate at O Quy Ho Pass
In the winter, Lao Cai experiences bone-chilling winds, freezing fog covers the area, and even on the summit of O Quy Ho Pass, there may be a phenomenon of a complete frost covering. In the summer, the climate here is ideal, with fluffy white clouds and refreshing, cool air. Many people often compare the summer scenery at the summit of O Quy Ho Pass to a fairyland.
Scenery from the Summit of the Pass
If you stand at a high vantage point and look down, you will have the opportunity to admire the entire pass road winding through the mountains, crossing the pass to Binh Lu or back to Sapa Town. It’s even more fantastic on a beautiful sunny day when you can gaze at the distant Fansipan Mountain, sometimes hidden, sometimes revealed, proudly standing amidst the sky.
Right at the foot of O Quy Ho Pass, towards Sapa, lies Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Waterfall), one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in Lao Cai. The waterfall cascades day and night, creating frothy white splashes, and this powerful flowing waterfall has left both domestic and international tourists in awe. Additionally, Love Waterfall is another famous attraction that attracts many couples to Sapa. Although not as large as Thac Bac, Love Waterfall exudes a soft and gentle beauty.
O Quy Ho Heaven’s Gate in Lai Chau and O Quy Ho Café
After passing through the majestic waterfalls, you will conquer the summit of O Quy Ho Pass, also known as O Quy Ho Heaven’s Gate, Sapa’s Heaven’s Gate. You would regret missing this place when visiting Sapa. At the summit, you will witness the panoramic view of the magnificent Hoang Lien Son mountain range immersed in a sea of white misty clouds. Moreover, each season, O Quy Ho Heaven’s Gate will present you with a different breathtaking scene, such as shimmering golden terraced fields or sparkling landscapes during the flooding season.
Furthermore, at this location, a café named O Quy Ho Café has been built. What could be better than enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the misty atmosphere with the clustered mountains as the backdrop? This will undoubtedly be a memorable experience in your journey to explore the pristine beauty of the mountainous region.
Cloud Hunting at O Quy Ho Pass
At an altitude of 2,073m above sea level, the summit of the pass is like a floating sea of clouds with mist. Therefore, O Quy Ho Pass in Lao Cai is renowned as an ideal cloud hunting spot, a beautiful and untouched destination in Northwest tourism with captivating check-in photo opportunities.
Admiring the Wild Peach Blossoms
Every February is the time when wild peach blossoms start to bloom, showcasing their beauty along O Quy Ho Pass. During this time, H’Mong young men and women overcome difficulties to climb the mountains and gather wild peach branches to sell along O Quy Ho Pass or at the Sapa market. Wild peach blossom gathering is one of the graceful pastimes for many families during the Lunar New Year. The image of the peach branches with delicate pink flowers is starting to bloom. Along O Quy Ho Pass, you not only encounter the beauty of wild peach blossoms but also come across local markets. This experience provides tourists with the opportunity to learn more about local cuisine, souvenirs, and the cultural identity of the highland region.
Admiring Azalea Flowers
March is also the time when azalea flowers bloom on the Hoang Lien Son range and O Quy Ho Pass. Azalea flowers are the most distinctive flowers of Sapa and serve as an emblem of the town. The scenery leaves tourists in awe when they arrive here. The best time to witness this beauty is from March to April each year, attracting a large number of visitors to Sapa. When visiting O Quy Ho Pass, tourists have the opportunity to admire the azalea flowers from a distance.
Enjoying Local Specialty Dishes
Here, it’s not difficult to come across small stalls set up; these are places for tourists to rest and savor local specialty dishes. Inside each stall, there are displays of mountainous specialties such as grilled skewers, sweet potatoes, corn, cassava, grilled eggs, and bamboo-tube rice.
Other specialties like buffalo by the kitchen, wild boar, and jungle fowl are unforgettable for those who try them, making them excellent gift ideas.
On the cold winter summit of the pass, sitting leisurely with a cup of coffee, a hot tea, and admiring the romantic beauty of O Quy Ho Pass is truly wonderful. You must give it a try when visiting Sapa.
Some Notes for Traveling to O Quy Ho Pass
When visiting O Quy Ho Pass in winter, it is advisable to bring warm clothes and a scarf to protect yourself from the cold temperatures. If you want to capture the mesmerizing scenes of the sea of clouds, the ideal time to visit is in August.
Additionally, check the weather conditions beforehand and plan your trip during the dry season to avoid slippery roads and the risk of landslides. It is crucial to equip yourself with suitable gear, including good traction hiking shoes, warm clothing for the high-altitude climate, and plenty of water as there are not many eateries along the way.
Prepare a paper map, compass, or smartphone to determine directions. Also, ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained before embarking on this route. Regularly check the brakes, tires, and engine oil level for optimal performance during the uphill climb. Take breaks frequently along the journey to rest, recharge, and marvel at the spectacular scenery of O Quy Ho Pass.
For those wishing to admire the sunset at O Quy Ho Pass, it’s recommended to depart around 3-4 pm and reach the pass before 5 pm to fully enjoy the breathtaking sunset view.
O Quy Ho Pass always remains among the list of the four great mountain passes in Vietnam and is a famous tourist destination in Sapa that everyone wishes to visit. O Quy Ho Pass can be considered a masterpiece of nature, magnificently poetic, an experience that any traveler passing through even once will never forget. So, why hesitate? Plan a trip to Sapa now to have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the majestic mountains. You will undoubtedly be fascinated by what DanangPrivateCar.com’s has shared in such detail.