Known as one of the Four Great Peaks of the Northwest of Vietnam, O Quy Ho Pass is the destination for people who like trekking. Even if you don’t like trekking, you will be able to fall in love with the pass for the first time because of this masterpiece of nature with a picture of a landscape that is so majestic and poetic. From the top of the pass, you will feel as if you are lost in a fairyland.
1. Where is O Quy Ho Pass
O Quy Ho Lao Cai pass is the largest and most beautiful pass in Sapa, also the longest pass in the Northwest. The pass is an important position to connect Lao Cai Province and Lai Chau Province. “O Quy Ho” is the name of H’mong woodcutter and came from a tragic love story. He fell in love with a fairy but they could not be together. The fairy turned into a bird that forever cried and called “O Quy Ho”. Since then, people here have used to name the pass.
O Quy Ho pass is located under Hoang Lien Son range, so the pass is also known as Hoang Lien pass. With an altitude of more than 2000m, craggy bends, and a length of up to 50km, O Quy Ho pass is known as the “king of four great peaks” of the Northwest ò Vietnam.
2. Local direction
You have to adapt from Sapa Town. From Sapa Town, you should ask locals to find out the shortest path to O Quy Ho Pass, about 15km from the center of Sapa Town. However, the path has many twists and turns that are extremely difficult and dangerous, especially the part from Tram Ton to the foot of the pass. If you are not good at driving, Lily’s Travel recommends you rent a car with a local driver.
Which season is the most suitable time go to O Quy Ho Pass?
2.1. In the summer: Summertime is always time to travel. In this season, the weather in O Quy Ho Pass and Sapa is almost cool, pleasant, slightly cold and less foggy. You will see the path clearly and it will be easier to go. We advise you should only go to the pass on the Lao Cai side, not on the Lai Chau side because the side on the Lao Cai side is more beautiful.
2.2. In the winter: In the winter, the weather in Sapa and O Quy Ho Pass is so cool for foreigners. When the temperature is low, O Quy Ho is covered with snow, which attracts many trekkers to come here to check-in and take pictures.
2.3 Otherwise, The most ideal time to check-in O Quy Ho pass is in the late afternoon when the sunset dyed red covering the entire Northwest region. Or you can also stay one night at Sapa hotel, then go on a morning hike to catch the sunrise in the early morning.
Read more: Sapa Heaven’s Gate: Heaven in cloud
3. Unique experiences to try when going to O Quy Ho Lao Cai
3.1. Conquer the pass – of course
With many people who have never been in O Quy Ho pass, will probably wonder what so beautiful O Quy Ho Pass is that makes so many people so passionate? Actually, the answer lies in the journey to conquer this legendary pass.
You can catch the wind, breathe the fresh air and enjoy ro conquer other destinations lying on the path to get to the peak of O Quy Ho Pass. That makes you forget everything that makes you upset.
3.2. Watch some wonderful waterfalls
At the right foot of O Quy Ho pass is Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Fall) – one of the 10 most beautiful waterfalls in Sapa Town and Lao Cai Province. The majestic waterfall pouring down to create white foam that surprises many domestic and foreign tourists.
Besides, Love Waterfall is also famous and attracts many couples. Not as big and magnificent as Silver Fall, but Love Waterfall has its soft and gentle beauty like a silk strip. According to the love legend of O Quy Ho Pass, the pass is also the meeting place of the woodcutter and the fairy.
3.3. O Quy Ho Lai Chau Heaven Gate and O Quy Ho Cafe
After being at the majestic waterfalls, you will move to conquer the top of O Quy Ho pass, also known with names as O Quy Ho Heaven Gate, Sapa Heaven Gate. This is a destination that you can ignore when traveling to Sapa. At the peak, its high hills will give you a panoramic view of the magnificent Hoang Lien Son range, which is submerged in white clouds. Not only that, in each season, O Quy Ho Lai Chau Heaven Gate will give you a different scene of the terraced field, such as the golden color in the ripe rice season or the sparkle in the pouring water season.
In addition, in Sapa Heaven Gate, there is a modern coffee shop named O Quy Ho Coffee. Let’s enjoy a cup of smoky coffee at the Cafe then seeing the rolling mountains will be a definitely memorable experience in your journey. This place is similed as Bali Heaven Gate in Vietnam.
3.4. The poetic scenery of the mountains and forests of the Northwest
On the journey to conquer the top of O Quy Ho Pass, you will be on the highest and most mysterious road hidden in the cliffs of Vietnam. When you pass a bend, you will capture the image of the rustic villages in Lai Chau with the undulating mountains like a picture. Perhaps only when you witness it with your own eyes, you can feel the startling beauty of the Northwest mountains.
3.5. Delicious dishes
When you reach the peak, you can see the restaurants in the O Quy Ho Heaven Gate. Come and enjoy rustic and attractive Sapa specialties such as: grilled skewers, grilled potatoes, grilled corn, lamb rice, kitchen buffalo meat, armpit pork, wild chicken…
4. Some notification
The height of Hoang Lien Son mountain range also makes the climate of O Quy Ho Pass separate into 2 different sides. In winter, the side of Tam Duong (Lai Chau) is still warm but the side of Sa Pa (Lao Cai) has had cold winds cut the skin, the whole day is covered with fog. The visibility is very limited and the mountains are submerged in the clouds.
In the summer, if the Sa Pa pass has a cool and fresh climate, the side of Tam Duong Pass will have dry heat due to the influence of the Lao’s wind.
There are many ways to go to Sapa Town and O Quy Ho Pass from Hanoi because the tourist transport service is now very convenient. Many people choose to go by train to Lao Cai and then take a bus over the O Quy Ho pass.
O Quy Ho Pass used to be very dangerous with many horror stories that make people not dare to cross. But now, O Quy Ho pass is upgraded and become a conduit for vehicles crossing more frequently. However, you also should drive carefully because the side of the abyss and the rest are usually steep cliffs but O Quy Ho Pass is still a challenge for adventurous driving.